- The Sikh American became the first-ever primetime National College Champion this February, while he was a student at UT Austin.
Jaskaran Singh of Plano, Texas, winner of ‘Jeopardy! National College Championship,’ will compete in the quiz show’s Tournament of Champions on Nov. 4. Singh, now a consultant, became the first-ever primetime ‘Jeopardy! National College Champion’ this February, while a student at UT Austin. He won $250,000.
Singh won the two-game, hour-long primetime final on ABC with a cumulative score of $51,700, the show’s website said at the time. He entered the last round on Feb. 18, in a close second place, during a closely fought contest. The collegiate tournament, hosted by Mayim Bialik, brought together 36 of America’s sharpest undergrads.
“It feels pretty awesome,” Singh said in an interview after he was crowned the college champ. “It’ll definitely go a long way in paying my tuition and a lot more.” The Sikh American said he didn’t have any sort of special strategy going into the final round. “I just sort of just buzz fast and know things, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t think there’s much more to it.”
Summing up Singh’s performance in the Feb. 22 final game, Jeopardy! website noted that he gave “48 correct responses and 10 incorrect responses over the two games, and actually had the worst correct response percentage of the three finalists with 83 percent. He found all six of the Daily Double clues and answered five of them correctly. He buzzed in on 66 percent of the questions.”
For the final jeopardy round on Feb. 22, Singh wagered everything. In the category “Characters in Banned Books,” Singh was the only contestant with the correct response to the answer: “Introduced in 1928, this character has a disappointing affair with a writer before she begins a more satisfying relationship.” The question “Who is Lady Chatterley?” doubled Singh’s score, while both his opponents guessed, “Who is Madame Bovary?”
Singh had applied for the tournament once before. “I watched Jeopardy! when I was a little kid, and my mom had me apply when I was 13, but I didn’t make it past the audition stage,” he told his University newspaper. “She encouraged me to try again last year, saying, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ So much of this stuff is up to chance, but obviously, it worked out.”
The Tournament of Champions, which begins today, Nov. 2, includes 21 contestants, including “five super-champions, every contestant who won four or more games since the last tournament in 2020, the winners of the National College Championship and the Professors Tournament,” as well as “two winners of the first-ever Second Chance competition,” according to the show’s website. The first champion to win three games will claim the $250,000 grand prize.