May 24, 2012 3:25 PM
WASHINGTON - A first-time national geography bee contender from Texas has won the annual competition in Washington, beating the contestant from Tucson, who took fourth.
Fourteen-year-old Rahul Nagvekar of Missouri City, Texas, will receive a $25,000 scholarship for his win Thursday. Rahul won by correctly naming Regensburg as the Bavarian city located on the Danube River that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806.
St. Gregory College Preparatory student Raghav Ranga placed fourth in the nation after making it into the top 10 earlier this week. Raghav is missing today's commencement to be in Washington, D.C., but will be part of the ceremony via the Skype tele-conferencing service, according to a news release from the school.
"I have always dreamed of doing this, and I did it,'' Raghav has said of making it to the national competition. He has taken part in the competition for the past four years.
Raghav has traveled the world with his parents, and prepared for this year's competition by reading and studying Google Earth, school officials state.
Thirteen-year-old Vansh Jain (vunsh jayn), of Minocqua, Wis., came in second, and will take home a $15,000 scholarship. The third-place winner, 13-year-old Varun Mahadevan of Fremont, Calif., wins a $10,000 scholarship.
The competition began with about 4 million students in schools across the country this year.
"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek hosts the finals, which were televised on the National Geographic Channel.
St. Gregory is an independent school for grades six through twelve, with no religious affiliation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Images, video courtesy National Geographic and St. Gregory's College Preparatory School