Friday, May 23, 2008

Boy 11 wins NG Bee & $25,000!

Quick - Cochabamba is the third-largest conurbation in what country?

Your answer might be, "Huh?" But 11-year-old Akshay Rajagopal answered "Bolivia" to clinch the 20th annual National Geographic Bee on Wednesday. A conurbation is a large, densely populated urban area - and Cochabamba is the third-largest one in the South American country.

Akshay's correct answer capped a two-day event in which he got every question right. A sixth-grader at Lux Middle School in Lincoln, Neb., he won a $25,000 scholarship. Along the way, Akshay answered questions that included the westernmost Asian national capital (Ankara in Turkey), the country where Makossa is a popular type of music (Cameroon), and the location of Tillya Tepe (it's in Afghanistan).

"Some of them were hard but others were OK," Akshay said as he held an oversized cheque. "I think I was just lucky." One student from every US state and territory, along with a student from a military family, took part in the competition run by National Geographic. Akshay was the youngest of the 10 finalists, all boys. (TOI)

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