Indian-American boy Rahul Nagvekar has won the National Geographic
Bee Championship with an educated guess about the Bavarian city
that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to
The 14-year-old from Sugarland, Texas, correctly answered the
geography stumper by naming the city Regensburg on the Danube
River to vanquish another Indian-American geography bee veteran,
Vansh Jain of Minocqua of Wisconsin, who was making his third
appearance in the finals here Thursday.
Indian Americans swept all the top three positions. As champion,
Nagvekar won a $25,000 scholarship and an all expense-paid trip to
the Galapagos Islands.
Second place finisher Jain won $15,000 in scholarship, and the
third place winner, Varun Mahadevan from Fremont, California, won
a $10,000 scholarship.
Approximately four million students from across the US
participated in the competition this year.
Newcomer Nagvekar later admitted to ABC News that it was just an
educated guess in what the host Alex Trebek described as either
the "year of the rookie or the year of the veteran" finals.
Nagvekar, who said he fell in love with geography when his parents
gave him a globe at the age of three, said he didn't expect to win
the competition on his first try, but stuck to a plan throughout
"Truthfully, no. I was not necessarily expecting to win. But at
the same time I knew that if I was calm and I focused on
everything and I listened to all of the questions then I would be
able to get a good number right and I knew I could do well if I
executed the plan properly," Nagvekar told ABC News.
Nagvekar celebrated his 14th birthday Tuesday during the start of
the preliminary competition, making his win Thursday an extra
special birthday gift.
"It was a wonderful present. I don't think I can ask for more," he
President Barack Obama joined in on the competition, taping a
video message congratulating the participants and asking them to
answer what city hosted the Nuclear Security Summit he attended
this March. Nine out of 10 contestants in the finals answered
correctly with Seoul.
(Arun Kumar can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)