Students from Wisconsin and California Take Second and Third Place

Competition included pre-recorded question from President Obama;

B-Roll Is Available via FTP and YouSendit

‘Geo Bee 2012’ to air tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight on

National Geographic Channel & Nat Geo WILD

WASHINGTON (May 24, 2012)—For the third time in four years, a student from Texas has won the National Geographic Bee. Rahul Nagvekar of Sugar Land, near Houston, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Quail Middle School in Missouri City, Texas, took top honors at the 24th annual National Geographic Bee held in Washington, D.C., today. He won a $25,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a trip for two to the Galápagos on an expedition aboard the National Geographic Endeavour.

Second-place winner and recipient of a $15,000 college scholarship was Vansh Jain, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk Elementary School in Minocqua, northwestern Wisconsin. Third place and a $10,000 college scholarship went to Varun Mahadevan, a 13-year-old seventh-grader at Prince of Peace Christian School in Fremont, near San Francisco. Fourth place and $1,000 went to Arizona’s Raghav Ranga, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at St. Gregory College Preparatory School in Tucson.

The winning question was: “Name the Bavarian city located on the Danube River that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806?” Answer: Regensburg

Fifty-four state and territory winners took part in the preliminary rounds of the 2012 National Geographic Bee on Tuesday, May 22. The top 10 finishers in the preliminary rounds met in today’s final round, which was moderated by “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek. The six other finalists, who each won $500, were Anthony Stoner of Louisiana, Adam Rusak of Maryland, Karthik Karnik of Massachusetts, Gopi Ramanathan of Minnesota, Neelam Sandhu of New Hampshire and Anthony Cheng of Utah.

National Geographic Channel (NGC) will air the final round tonight from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT. This two-hour primetime special will be simulcast on NGC and Nat Geo WILD. The Bee also will air later on public broadcasting stations; check local listings for dates and times.

The three-person team that will represent the United States at the National Geographic World Championship in 2013, to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, will be selected from this year’s and next year’s top 10 Bee finalists.

Last year’s Bee winner from Texas was Tine Valencic of Fort Worth. The 2009 winner was Eric Yang from The Colony, Texas.

Millions of students from thousands of schools took part in the 2012 National Geographic Bee, which was sponsored for the fourth year by Google.