14-year-old Indian American student Karan Menon wins National Geographic Bee, wins$85,000 in prizes

Karan Menon, 14 wearing the medal (center) from New Jersey is the 2015 National Geographic Bee champion.
Karan Menon, 14 wearing the medal (center) from New Jersey is the 2015 National Geographic Bee champion.

NEW JERSEY (TIP): Indian American children have made a habit of winning the spellings and quiz contests in the United States.

Yet again, Karan Menon, a 14-year-old Indian American student from New Jersey  won the prestigious National Geographic Bee competition.

All top three positions were bagged by Indian-origin contestants.

Menon beat out 54 contestants and 10 finalists to bag the top prize at National Geographic headquarters. In fact, seven Indians were among the top 10 in the finals.

In all, Menon won $85,000 in college scholarships and an expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Lindblad ship National Geographic Endeavour. In addition, he won a lifetime membership of the National Geographic Society.

Karan has added his name to a long list of Indian-origin kids who have made their mark over the years in the similarly coveted spelling bee championships in the US.

The first-runner up and recipient of a 25,000 dollars college scholarship was 11-year-old Shriya Yarlagadda of Michigan.

The third place and a 10,000 dollars college scholarship went to Sojas Wagle of Arkansas, a 13-year-old eighth grader. Seven other finalists, who each won 500 dollars, were Kapil Nathan, a 10-year-old fifth grader from Birmingham, Alabama; Nicholas Monahan, a 12-year-old sixth grader from Idaho; Patrick Taylor, a 12-year-old seventh grader from Iowa; Abhinav Karthikeyan, a 12-year-old sixth grader from Maryland; Lucy Chae, a 13-year-old seventh grader from Massachusetts; Shreyas Varathan, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Minnesota; and Tejas Badgujar, a 13-year-old eighth grader from Pennsylvania.

Watch this year’s championship on Friday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel and on Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD.


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