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10 Students Qualify for 2017 National Geographic Bee Championship Round, May 17: Round will air on Friday, May 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD

WHO/WHAT: 2017 National Geographic Bee

The preliminary round of the 29th annual National Geographic Bee was held today, Monday, May 15. The top 10 finishers — from the field of 54 state-level champions who took part in the prelims — will compete in the final round to be held at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 17. First prize is a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. The final and championship rounds will air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 19.

The 10 finalists are:

  • Ahilan Eraniyan- California
  • Rohan Kanchana- Delaware
  • Max Garon- District of Columbia
  • Nicholas Monahan- Idaho
  • Lucas Eggers- Minnesota
  • Abhinav Govindaraju- New Hampshire
  • Veda Bhattaram- New Jersey
  • Pranay Varada- Texas
  • Anish Susarla- Virginia
  • Thomas Wright- Wisconsin

Questions and answers from the preliminary round of the competition are available upon request.


Final and championship rounds

Moderated by Mo Rocca

Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m.

Doors open to media at 8:30 a.m. and close at 9:30 a.m.; mult-box provided

*All cameras must pull bugged HD feed from mult-box for final round/question

National Geographic Society, 1145 17th St NW

*Contestants as well as National Geographic spokespersons will be available for interviews directly after the competition.


Farley Fitzgerald, National Geographic, 202-807-3132,

Lexie de los Santos, National Geographic, 202-807-3100,


Photos from the competition are available via Dropbox (required caption and credit info enclosed).

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.