Virginia 8th-grader wins National Geographic Bee

Natural Bridge Zoo-Complaint (Image 1)
Natural Bridge Zoo-Complaint (Image 1)

WASHINGTON (AP) – An eighth-grader from northern Virginia has outlasted nine other young scholars to win the National Geographic Bee.

Akhil Rekulapelli (ak-HEEL REH-kuhl-uh-PELL-ee), of Sterling, Virginia, finished fourth in last year’s bee. This year, the 14-year-old answered all three questions right in a one-on-one showdown with the youngest of the 10 finalists, 11-year-old Ameya Mujumdar (uh-MAY-uh moo-JOOM-dahr), of Tampa, Florida.

The decisive question: What African country is building a new capital called Oyala in the rain forest, 65 miles east of the current capital, Bala? The answer: Equatorial Guinea.

Akhil receives a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos Islands with his family and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.

Akhil says he aspires to become a surgeon. He says winning the bee is his greatest accomplishment so far.

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