WASHINGTON -- A 14-year-old 8th grader from Texas with an impressive knowledge of rivers, mountain ranges, borders and cultures has won this year's National Geographic Bee.
Pranay Varada of Irving, Texas, won Wednesday after a tense contest against another 14-year-old, Thomas Wright of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Both answered five championship-round questions correctly, moving the bee into a sudden-death tiebreaker. Pranay won by correctly identifying the Kunlun mountains, a 1,200-mile range along the Tibetan plateau.
Pranay, who attends DeWitt Perry Middle School in Carrollton, Texas, was a veteran geography bee competitor who finished in sixth place last year. He won a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos Islands and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.
Pranay's mother was in tears, saying he worked all year to return for a win.