Venkat Ranjan, a 13-year-old boy from California, says he guessed the answer that led him to be crowned the latest National Geographic Bee champion.
“I eliminated a few, and then guessed,” Ranjan admitted to CBS News.
He and Anoushka Buddhikot, a fellow eighth grader from New Jersey who made it to the final round, were asked for the South American country with a population most similar to Lebanon by host Mo Rocca at the National Geographic Bee held in Washington D.C., earlier this week.
"Two different answers," Rocca said, moments before announcing the winner. “I can tell you that one is correct.”
Buddhikot answered Guyana, while Ranjan wrote in the winning answer, Paraguay.
“They should run their own think tank,” Rocca said in an interview after the competition, impressed by their talent. "They are their own think tank.”
The contestants at the D.C. championship were the best of the best in the entire country, and had to go through several elimination rounds to make it to the top 10.
During Wednesday’s competition, Ranjan and Buddhikot survived the 10 rounds of grueling geography questions before Ranjan was declared a winner.
But, there’s no time to rest for the best. When Ranjan was asked how he plans to celebrate, he answered, “I have to study for math finals."