Indian-origin boy wins 2013 National Geographic contest

Washington, May 23 (IANS) Twelve-year-old Indian-origin boy Sathwik Karnik won the 2013 National Geographic Bee by correctly naming Chimborazo, a peak in Ecuador, as the farthest point on earth from the Equator.

A seventh grader from King Philip Regional Middle School in Norfolk, Massachusetts, in the US, he won the 25th edition of the bee in a heated final against 13-year-old Conrad Oberhaus of Lincolnshire, Illinois.

By winning the title, Karnik bagged for himself a $25,000 college scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos Islands for him and a parent and a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society.

“I’m just speechless,” the National Geographic quoted the bespectacled Karnik as saying.

“I didn’t expect to win, and I have no idea what I’m going to do next.”

Around five million students participated in this year’s contest. The number was whittled down to 54 and then to 10 for the final round.

Questions ranged from lions in Botswana to mountain ranges in Asia and port cities in England.

Besides Karnik, two of the finalists were siblings of former finalists.

Karnik’s brother Karthik, who finished fifth and sixth in the bee in 2011 and 2012, helped him in winning the title.

Karthik, 15, coached his brother by asking very tough geography questions in the run-up to the contest.

Karnik also plays the clarinet and participates in chess tournaments, according to the National Geographic.

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