NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Seven Indian-American students from across the country continued their dominance of the nation’s spelling bee competitions, advancing to the final found of the National Geographic Bee championship, which will be held on Wednesday.
The final will take place at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C., and will fittingly test the candidates knowledge of geography — the 10 finalists were drawn from a pool of 54 students from around the country, all of whom were champions at the state level.
The finalists are Pranay Varada of Texas, Saketh Jonnalagadda of Massachusetts, Lucas Eggers of Minnesota, Grace Rembert of Montana, Thomas Wright of Wisconsin, Ashwin Sivakumar of Oregon, Kapil Nathan of Alabama, Rishi Nair of Florida, Rishi Kumar of Maryland and Samanyu Dixit of North Carolina.
Whomever of the 10 finalists emerges as champion will be awarded a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finalists will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.
Indian-Americans have performed with supreme consistency in spelling bee competitions throughout the years — last year, 14-year-old Karan Menon won the National Geographic competition, with 11-year-old Shriya Yarlagadda as the first runner-up. The Scripps National Spelling Bee competition has produced eight consecutive Indian-American champions, as well as 13 of the past 17, a run which began back in 1999. Last year’s competition produced co-champions, Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam, for the second consecutive year. In 2014, Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe were declared joint winners.