Texas whiz kid beats Wisconsin teen in 2012 National Geographic Bee.
A Houston-area whiz kid is the new champion of 2012 National Geographic Bee after correctly answering the question: "Name the Bavarian city located on the Danube River that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806."
Rahul Nagvekar’s answer: Regensburg.
The 14-year-old eighth-grader from Quail Middle School in Missouri City, Texas, won the grand prize, including a $25,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
“My parents have helped me tremendously and everyone -- my family, my teachers, my friends, all the students at the school -- have been so encouraging and supportive,” Nagvekar told msnbc.com on Thursday. “I could not have done this without them.”
Nagvekar admits he was a little nervous during the competition.
“I knew that if I remained calm and focused and listened to the questions I would do well,” Nagvekar said. “I was nervous, but relaxed.”
After four rounds of intense tie-breaker questions, Nagvekar finally ousted Vansh Jain, a 13-year-old bee veteran from northwestern Wisconsin, to win the coveted prize, according to NBC News.
Susan Walsh / AP
National Geographic Bee host Alex Trebek stands with National Geographic Bee champion Rahul Nagvekar, 14, from Missouri City, Texas, on Thursday.
Jain, an eighth-grader at Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk Elementary School in Minocqua, Wis., had been in the finals the past three years. Jain's second-place finish earned him a $15,000 college scholarship.
“I saw him on TV in the finals last year. I admired him for being so well-versed and looked forward to competing with him,” Nagvekar said.
Nagvekar said he will crack open more books, maps and National Geographic publications to prepare for more contests. Nagvekar has a chance to represent the U.S. at the world championship in Russia in 2013.
But first things first, he said. He wanted to chat a little more with some of his competitors during a dinner on Thursday evening, hosted by National Geographic staff in Washington, D.C.
He described his peers as "very nice, very welcoming."
Varun Mahadevan, a 13-year-old seventh-grader at Prince of Peace Christian School in Fremont, near San Francisco, won third place and a $10,000 scholarship, according to National Geographic.
Alex Trebek of “Jeopardy!” hosted the event, which will be televised on the National Geographic Channel Thursday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT.
This is the third time in four years that a student from Texas has won the National Geographic Bee, according to National Geographic. Last year's winner was Tine Valencic of Fort Worth. The 2009 winner was Eric Yang from The Colony, Texas, according to the National Geographic.
Millions of students from thousands of schools took part in the 2012 National Geographic Bee, sponsored by Google.
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