|Tine Valencic wiped away tears after winning the 2011 National Geographic Bee yesterday. (Pablo Monsivais/ Associated Press)|
WASHINGTON — A 13-year-old boy from Texas won the National Geographic Bee yesterday by correctly identifying the country that is home to the Tungurahua volcano.
Tine Valencic of Colleyville didn’t miss a single question during the final round of the bee, defeating nine other boys and taking home a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. The answer that got him the win: Ecuador.
“I’m just taking it all in,’’ he said after winning and being given tissues to dry his eyes by both the bee moderator, “Jeopardy!’ game show host Alex Trebek, and the bee’s second-place finisher.
To get to the bee, students had to win their respective state-level competitions. The group of winners, all fourth through eighth graders, competed in a preliminary round Tuesday, narrowing the field to 10.
In the final round yesterday at National Geographic’s headquarters, students answered questions ranging from identifying the flags of various countries to what country has the bandura as its national instrument: Ukraine.
Valencic won a best-of-five final round, which included a question asking for the Italian name for sediment deposits that connect a shoreline with an offshore island: tombolo. Valencic and his opponent, 11-year-old Nilai Sarda of Georgia, got that one right. But Sarda stumbled on the question about the Tungurahua volcano.The third-place finisher was Stefan Petrovic of Lawrence, Kan.
Among the other finalists was Karthik Karnik of Massachusetts.
The bee will be broadcast on National Geographic Channel in June and will also be broadcast on public TV stations.