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Ricky Uppaluri wins 3rd place at 2013 National Geographic Bee

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July 2013
Ricky Uppaluri wins 3rd place at 2013 National Geographic Bee

The 25th annual National Geographic Bee was held in May, and not only did a Georgia contestant place in the top 3, but 8 of the top 10 finishers were Indian-American or South Asian. At the final round at The National Theatre in Washington, D.C, the winner received a $25,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and a trip to the Galápagos Islands. Second- and third-place winners received $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships respectively. The final round was simulcast in prime time on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD.

The 10 finalists were:
• Sathwik Karnik, Massachusetts (1st);
• Conrad Oberhaus, Illinois (2nd);
• Sanjeev (Ricky) Uppaluri, Georgia (3rd);
• Akhil Rekulapelli, Virginia (4th);
• Harish Palani, Oregon (5th);
• Asha Jain, Wisconsin (6th);
• Tuvya Bergson-Michelson, California (7th);
• Neelam Sandhu, New Hampshire (8th);
• Neha Middela, Michigan (9th);
• Pranit Nanda, Colorado (10th).

Ricky Uppaluri, the fifth-grader from Alpharetta, Georgia, is 11 years old, youngest of the final 10. He likes maps and chapter books and admires his grandparents, uncle, and aunt, as they introduced him to geography. Uppaluri’s mother said that he worked 15 hours a day for the last month for this, his first geography bee, and at the preliminaries of nationals, he was the only contestant to get a perfect score. You can view him at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7ooihY8f W8&feature=youtu.be

And the winner’s family is truly celebrating: Sathwik Karnik was a first-time contender at the national levels and won, his brother Karthik Karnik having finished 5th in National Finals in 2011 and 6th in National Finals in 2012.

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