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Every Winning Question from the National Geographic GeoBee

Since 1989, the annual National Geographic GeoBee challenges kids in grades four through eight to answer tough questions about history, earth science, culture, and geography. Here are the winning questions and answers from the last 30 years. See if you can get one right!

1989 National Geographic Geobee


Jack Staddon, of Great Bend, Kansas was the first champion of the National Geographic GeoBee. Since 1989 more than 120 million students from the United States and the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific territories have participated in this challenging academic competition. 

High Altiplano plateau, Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, Boliviasunsinger/Shutterstock



1990 National Geographic Geobee


Susannah Batko-Yovino from Altoona, Pennsylvania was just 11 years old when she became champion in 1990. This year's National Champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. Not bad for beating out the other 2.5 million students who participated this year.

Iceberg floats in Andord Bay on Graham Land, Antarcticajo Crebbin/Shutterstock




The answer may seem simple, but you'd have to know that "orographic precipitation" is "caused by the lifting of moist air over a mountain barrier." W. David Stillman of Craigmont, Idaho got this winning answer to become champion as an eighth grader. Still in the mood for a challenge? Check out these 30 geography facts people keep getting wrong.

Warm pink and orange sunrise light over Annapurna mountain range with beautiful clouds, view from Poon hill in Himalayas, NepalAivars Ivbulis/Shutterstock




The National Geographic GeoBee started in order to draw attention to geography as a subject in U.S. schools and to combat the idea that young people don't know geography. Champion Lawson Fite of Vancouver, Washington, and all the other top competitors throughout the years prove that kids know plenty about geography and related facts!

MANGONUIE, NZ - JAN 04:Fishing boat on Jan 04 2014.NZ exclusive economic zone covers 4.1 million km2,It's the 6th largest zone in the world and 14 times the size of NZ.ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock


Exclusive Economic Zone


The National Geographic Society has written over 29,000 questions for the GeoBee since it started. Noel Erinjeri of Swartz Creek, Michigan answered this winning question in 1993. The other two official languages, are English and Filipino, but the country also has an additional 21 regional spoken languages.

landscape of Coron, Busuanga island, Palawan province, PhilippinesSean Hsu/Shutterstock



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