Rahul Nagvekar had to make an educated guess when it came to the final question at Thursday's National Geographic Bee.
Thankfully for Rahul, he was right.
He took home a check for a $25,000 college scholarship after he sealed his victory by correctly stating that Regensburg was the legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806.
|Final three: Runner-up Vansh Jain (left) took home $15,000, third place winner Varun Mahadevan (center) got $10,000, and winner Rahul Nagvekar got the biggest check for $25,000
It was a guess, a 50-50 chance,' he said. 'It just happened to be a good guess.'
It was a close race: he and runner-up Vansh Jain had finished the championship round tied after five questions.
Next, they were asked a series of tiebreakers in a sudden death round. For the first three, both wrote down the correct answer. On the fateful fourth question, only Rahul was correct.
The first-time contender in the national competition will receive a $25,000 college scholarship along with a trip to the Galapagos Islands. It was the third time a student from Texas has won the bee in the past four years. 'I have been reading and reading and reading ...just to be able to make it tough,' said the software engineer who's originally from India. 'He wouldn't take a question if it was easy.' Rahul said maps have fascinated him for years, but he's not sure what he'll study when he gets to college in a few years.
He started preparing for the geography bee in fourth grade and has gone to the state bee every year, placing higher each time. This year's bee began with local competitions among 4 million students in schools across the country.
'I think it's very important for people to know more about the world,' Rahul said.
'That helps with world conflict. It helps people understand others better. It helps people understand why problems happen and how to solve those problems.' The bee tested the 10 finalists' knowledge of history, world cultures, landmarks and climates.
In one round, students were shown a graph with rainfall and temperature averages and asked to pick which city it depicted.
Another round used Google Earth to zoom in on a museum, memorial or church, and the students guessed where it was located.
President Barack Obama asked a question this year by video, quizzing the young contenders on their knowledge of recent events.
Mr Obama asked what Asian capital city on the Han River hosted a gathering of world leaders in March for a Nuclear Security Summit.
The answer: Seoul.
Would you have known the answers?
Which Bavarian city located on the Danube River was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806? Regensburg, in modern Germany. President Obama asked: What Asian capital city on the Han River hosted a gathering of world leaders in March for a Nuclear Security Summit?
Which country has the world's largest Muslim population-Indonesia or Mexico?
The North Atlantic current brings warm waters from the tropics to the west coast of which continent?
What is the term for a part of an ocean or sea that cuts far into the bordering landmass and may contain one or more bays?
To visit the ruins of Persepolis, an ancient ceremonial capital of Persia, you would have to travel to what present-day country?
© Daily Mail, London