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Indian Americans swept top three spots at National Geographic Bee contest

Rishi Nair of Florida, second from right, after winning the 2016 National Geographic Bee (PTI Photo)

Washington, May 27 (UITV)- India-American students continued their dominance at the prestigious National Geographic Bee competitions, with the first three positions for this year’s championship finals being bagged by them.

Rishi Nair, 12-year-old Indian-American student from Florida, took top honours at the 28th annual National Geographic Bee held at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington.

This is the fifth consecutive year that an Indian-American has won the prestigious national competition.

Nair is the second Florida student to win this contest. As the 28th National Geographic Bee champion, Nair received a $50,000 college scholarship, a life time membership in the National Geographic Society, and an all-expenses paid trip to Alaska for a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic eight-day adventure.

Eighth-grader Saketh Jonnalagadda, from Massachusetts was the runner-up and recipient of the $25,000 college scholarship. Kapil Nathan, a sixth grader at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School who was also a top 10 finalist in 2015, won a $10,000 college scholarship for coming in third. Seven of the top 10 finalists were Indian-Americans who each won $500.

A total of 3 million students from 11,000 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, US Atlantic and Pacific territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools took part in the 2016 bee competition.

Indian-American students have constantly performed exceptionally well in the various bee competitions over the years. Last year, 14-year-old Karan Menon of New Jersey had won the National Geographic Bee competition.