Eighth-Grade Student Places Second at National Geography Bee

After a suspenseful sudden-death tiebreaker, Thomas Wright ’21 finished in second place at the National Geographic Dee on May 17. This is the second year in a row that Wright competed at the national event; last year he finished in eighth place. Wright is the first person ever from the state of Wisconsin to finish as high as second place. He lost to Pranay Varada, who represented Texas, after Varada won on the first tiebreaker question by correctly identifying the Kunlun Mountains as the 1,200-mile range that separates the Taklimakan Desert from the Tibetan Plateau. Wright received a $25,000 college scholarship as the second-place finisher.

2017 National Geographic Bee Champion Pranay Varada of Texas (right) and second-place finisher Thomas Wright of Wisconsin await the results while on stage with Bee moderator Mo Rocca at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., on May 17.

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