WASHINGTON (May 26, 2004)—Fourteen-year-old eighth-grader Andrew Wojtanik, from Lakewood Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas, took top honors at the 2004 National Geographic Bee, held in Washington, D.C., today. He won a $25,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a week at one of SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Adventure Camps. Second-place winner was 13-year-old eighth-grader Matthew Wells of Montana, who received a $15,000 college scholarship; third place and a $10,000 college scholarship went to 12-year-old sixth-grader Eric Liaw of Hawaii. The 2004 National Geographic Bee was sponsored by ING.
Fifty-five state and territory winners took part in the preliminary rounds yesterday. The top 10 contestants met in today’s final round, which was moderated by “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek. The seven other finalists were Yangbo Du of Illinois, Mattias Gassman of Iowa, Thimal de Alwis of Louisiana, Gautham Senthilkumar of Ohio, Christopher Chesny of Oklahoma, Cory Sweers of Washington and Bo Sun of Wisconsin.
The winning question was:
Peshawar, a city in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, has had strategic importance for centuries because of its location near what historic pass?
Answer: Khyber Pass
Nearly 5 million students take part in the National Geographic Bee each year.