After first heading to Washington D.C. and then to Mount Vernon, seventh-grader Dominic Pino has placed second in the first ever Middle School National History Bee.
The first place winner, Tajin Rogers from McLean, VA, won by beating the buzzer with this question:
- “What rock band was fronted by Freddie Mercury and is known for the songs...”
Before celebrity host Al Roker could finish the question, Rogers buzzed in with the correct answer, "Queen."
However, Sussex's local middle schooler isn't discouraged. According to an email his mother Lisa Pinto sent to Templeton social studies and reading teacher Alan Schneider, Dominic isn't giving up.
"Hopefully, we can do it again next year," Lisa Pinto said. "Dominic would like one more try at that grand prize now that he got that close."
Hamilton School District Spokeswoman Denise Lindberg first revealed the details about Pinto's success before his television debut. The final round of national competition was televised live from Mount Vernon, and the grand prize was a $50,000 college bond.
"(Pinto) competed, and while he is not able to tell us exactly how he did because he signed a confidentiality agreement not to reveal the final results, he was able to tell us that he was one of 16 finalists who will appear on the nationally-televised program to air, Friday, June 1 beginning at 7 p.m. CST on the History Channel," Lindberg wrote in an email in May.
Pino and Sean Durian advanced to March 15 after having the top two scores at Templeton where all students took an 80-question, multiple-choice written test. Pino and Durian then completed an online competition and qualified to advance to the National History Regional Bee March 15 at Marshall Middle School.
Pino was one of 33 students throughout the country who won his regional National History Bee, competing in three rounds that covered U.S. history, world history up to 1945 and world history 1945 to present. Pino won two of the rounds outright and was one point away from winning the third round.
The national champion will win a $50,000 college bond.
Before the big competition, Pino was busy preparing for the national competition by reading history books and working with Templeton social studies and reading teacher Alan Schneider. He also met with Hamilton High School history teachers to prime for the big event.
The founder and executive director of the National History Bee and Bowl is David Madden, a 19-day champion on Jeopardy! who was the captain of his high school’s quiz bowl team. The idea for the National History Bee came to him while studying to become a history teacher. Madden moderated the regional championships and will moderate the national competition.