Washington, D.C.,
08:09 PM

Venkat Ranjan of California Wins 2018 National Geographic Bee and $50,000 College Scholarship

Students from New Jersey and Georgia Take Second and Third Place

Venkat Ranjan of San Ramon, California, a 13-year-old 8th-grader at Windemere Ranch Middle School, took top honors at the 30th annual National Geographic Bee held today at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. In addition to earning the title of National Geographic Bee champion, Ranjan received a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. He will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, on a Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.

The second-place winner and recipient of a $25,000 college scholarship was 13-year-old Anoushka Buddhikot of Bridgewater, New Jersey, an 8th-grader at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School. Third place and a $10,000 college scholarship went to Vishal Sareddy of Suwanee, Georgia, a 14-year-old 8th-grader at Riverwatch Middle School.

In the final round of single elimination competition, the winning question was “Lebanon has a population most similar to which South American country?” Ranjan’s answer: “Paraguay”

Fifty-four state and territory winners took part in the preliminary rounds of the 2018 National Geographic Bee on Monday, May 21. The top 10 finishers in the preliminary rounds met in this morning’s final round, which was moderated by humorist, journalist and actor Mo Rocca. The seven other finalists, who each won $500, were Gayatri Kaimal of Tucson, Arizona; Atreya Mallanna of Lexington, Massachusetts; Sean Cheng of Stratham, New Hampshire; Jonathan Song of Apex, North Carolina; Saket Pochiraju of Lewis Center, Ohio; Ashwin Sivakumar of Portland, Oregon; and Nihar Janga of Austin, Texas.

The National Geographic Bee celebrates geography and its importance to us all. We were thrilled to host our 30th National Geographic Bee this year. We congratulate all of the 2018 National Geographic Bee participants and thank all of the parents and educators for the encouragement and support they provided along the way.
Mike Ulica, interim president and CEO of the National Geographic Society

Watch the final round of the Bee starting May 24 online at NatGeoBee.org.

Almost 3 million students in 10,000 schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Atlantic and Pacific territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools took part in the 2018 National Geographic Bee.

The National Geographic Society developed the National Geographic Bee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the exciting Geo Bee Quiz, an online geography quiz at www.nationalgeographic.org/bee/study/quiz, which poses 10 new questions a day.

ONLINE PRESS ROOM: bit.ly/NatGeoBeePress

MEDIA NOTE: Photos, videos and other assets from the competition are available via Dropbox (required caption and credit info enclosed).

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. Through its grants and programs, the Society aspires to create a community of change, advancing key insights about the planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. The Society's goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.