Sathwik Karnik, 12, wins the National Geographic Bee contest .
By American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: Last year, the last four standing were Indian Americans. This year, three out of four were again Indian Americans. But the result didn’t change: another desi won the Geography Bee competition, to perhaps stamp – or perhaps stomp it – that Indian origin competitors are the best when it comes to the National Spelling Bee or the Geography Bee.
In arguably the toughest competition for teens in the country, which has its bait a scholarship for $25,000 and a paid visit to the Galapagos islands for the winner, with the handicap of only one parent in tow for the vacation, Sathwik Karnik, 12, from Norfolk, Massachusetts, was named the winner of the 25th annual National Geographic Bee.
The winning question was as tough as they came in the final round, but then it also had the conundrum of both the finalists answering it, with the condition of Karnik missing it, for it to go ahead, as Karnik had answered all the previous four questions correctly, and the other finalist had missed one. Eventually, they both got it, and Karnik, who has been waiting in the shadows of his older brother who has tried in vain to win the Bee the last two years in vain, clinched it.
The winning question had the diminutive Karnik, a seventh grader from King Philip Regional Middle School in Norfolk, MA, write down the answer – Chimborazo – to the question as to where a mountain peak in Ecuador, as the peak on Earth that’s farthest from the earth’s center is called – to get the better of his competitor in the final round, Conrad Oberhaus, 13, of Lincolnshire, Illinois.
Karnik was beaming as he wrote down the answer and the audience laughed at his reaction.
Karnik, who eventually plans to be a doctor, beat nearly five million students who competed this year. His older brother participated in the Bee finals in both 2011 and 2012, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.
Sanjeev Uppaluri, 11, from Fulton Sunshine Academy in Roswell, Ga., came in third, and Akhil Rekulapelli,12,at Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, in Washington, DC, came in fourth place.
Last year, Rahul Nagvekar, who was 14 at that time, and studying in Sugarland, TX, won the contest, with Vansh Jain of Minocqua of Wisconsin, who was making his third appearance in the finals, coming second.
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