Ashburn boy makes geography bee finals

FAMILY PHOTO - Akhil Rekulapelli of Ashburn has advanced to the final round of the National Geographic Bee.

Akhil Rekulapelli will travel the world on Wednesday without leaving Washington. The Ashburn 12-year-old is one of 10 finalists in the National Geographic Bee, taking place at the National Theatre.

Akhil won the Virginia bee, beating 99 others to earn a spot in the national event. On Monday, 54 fourth- to eighth-graders from across the country answered nine questions to try to thin the crowd to 10. It took several tie-breaking questions for Akhil to advance.

“The question that got me to the top 10 was ‘Bird’s Head Peninsula is the northern tip of what island?’ ”

The answer? It’s New Guinea, in the southwestern Pacific.

Akhil, who competed in the state bee for the past two years, says he doesn’t have a favorite geography topic. But he does have a dream destination: Switzerland. “I’d like to hike in the Alps, and they have really good chocolate,” he said.

Geography fans can watch the competition Thursday at 7 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

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