Loudoun student wins National Geographic Bee
The championship comes with a $50,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Galápagos with National Geographic's Lindblad Expeditions.
Rekulapelli beat out more than 4 million students, who originally competed in school-level bees across the U.S., according to National Geographic.
Last year, Rekulapelli took top honors at the Virginia Geography Bee at Longwood University. In that event, he bested 99 other local students to win first place.
The national competition, held in Washington, D.C., was hosted by television journalist Soledad O'Brien.
After winning his school bee in Ashburn, Rekulapelli advanced to a regional and state geography bee before he was invited to the national championship.
"My coach gives me tips and tricks, like about what questions they'll ask and how to respond," Rekulapelli told National Geographic. "Then I really try to get a good outlook on very big countries, like Canada and Spain. I also have to make sure I stay on top of the news, like by watching CNN and other channels, to make sure I know about changes."
Rekulapelli took home the championship after answering this question:
The discovery of a major shale oil deposit in the Vaca Muerta formation in 2010 has led to an expansion of oil drilling in the Neuquén province in what country?
The answer: Argentina.
To watch Rekulapelli win the championship, tune in at 7 p.m. Thursday on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD.