Standing with National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell, Champion of this year’s competition, Pranay Varada of Texas (l). As the National Geographic Bee Champion, Pranay wins a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society and an all expenses paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour II. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society; Veda Bhattaram of New Jersey (c) finished third and won a $10,000 college scholarship; and Thomas Wright of Wisconsin (r) clinched second place and a $25,000 scholarship. (Mark Thiessen/National Geographic)

@Siliconeer #Siliconeer #NationalGeographicBee #IndianAmerican @PranayVarada #PranayVarada #VedaBhattaram @VedaBhattaram – Pranay Varada, a 14-year-old Indian American student, has won the prestigious $50,000 National Geographic Bee competition, maintaining the dominance of the community in the contest, writes Lalit K. Jha.

“I was absolutely sure I could win that challenge,” Varada said soon after bagging the coveted competition, which for the past one decade has been dominated by Indian Americans.

“Having done this for such a long time and winning it now, it’s just a feeling of satisfaction,” Varada, an eighth-grader from Texas, said.

A runner-up last year, Varada this time did not want to give any chance.

He was declared the winner as he won the first tie-breaker question when he correctly identified the Kunlun Mountains as the 1,200 mile range that separates the Taklimakan Desert from the Tibetan Plateau.

As a result, he gets $50,000 in scholarship and other prizes.

Veda Bhattaram another Indian American from New Jersey finished third at the finals held in Washington, D.C., May 17, while Thomas Wright from Wisconsin was declared the runner-up.

Wright received $25,000 and Bhattaram got $10,000 in scholarships.

This year, six of the 10 finalists were Indian Americans.

Indian Americans have won the National Geographic Bee competition for the last six consecutive years. Last year, Rishi Nair, a sixth-grader from Florida, had won the contest.