University of Texas Senior Jaskaran Singh Wins Jeopardy! National College Championship
- The finance and economics double-major will now compete in the Tournament of Champions.
University of Texas senior Jaskaran Singh has won the Jeopardy! National College Championship. Singh, a finance and economics double-major at the McCombs Business School, was crowned the winner on Feb, 22. He won $250,000 and now gets to compete in Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.
Singh won the two-game, hour-long primetime final on ABC with a cumulative score of $51,700, news reports said, “nearly $5,000 clear of Kennesaw State’s Raymond Goslow’s runner-up total of $46,999.” 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.”
Singh said the best part of the experience wasn’t “showing off his smarts or winning prize money” but meeting all of his fellow contestants. “I met so many cool people from all over the country, it was a really great experience. He gave a special shoutout to his family and friends back home as well.
Summing up Singh’s performance in the Feb. 22 final game, the 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 University of Texas lit its tower on Feb. 22 night to recognize Singh’s victory.