Feb 16, 2014
11:28 AM
Education

Connecticut Student Falls Just Short in JEOPARDY! College Championship Semifinals

Connecticut Student Falls Just Short in JEOPARDY! College Championship Semifinals

Courtesy of JEOPARDY!

Erika Sloan of Simsbury with JEOPARDY! host Alex Trebek.

Connecticut resident and Middlebury College student Erika Sloan fell just short of winning Wednesday evening (Feb. 19) in the semifinals of the JEOPARDY! College Championship. She came in second.

The winner of the semifinals Sloan competed in was Kevin Shen, a student from the University of California, Berkeley, and the third place went to a student from Harvard.

Sloan had reached the semifinals after she defeated Maria Khrakovsky from Ohio State University and Alex Sventeckis from Ball State University.

Here's the update posted by Middlebury College going into the semifinals, and below that our original story:

Erika Sloan, a Middlebury College sophomore, will advance to the semifinals of the Jeopardy! College Championship on Wednesday, February 19. On Friday, February 14, Sloan beat her two competitors in the first round of the championship. The semi-finals will take place Feb. 17-19. Middlebury College students, staff, and faculty may view the show at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19, in Crossroads Cafe in the McCullough Student Center. Jeopardy! airs locally at 7 p.m. weekdays on WPTZ-TV. For air times and stations nationwide, visit the show’s website.

Erika Sloan, a 2012 graduate of Simsbury High School and current sophomore at Middlebury College in Vermont, will make her television debut tonight (Feb. 14) as one of 15 students participating in the JEOPARDY! College Championship.

She will use her breadth of knowledge as a pre-med and classical studies major in an attempt to win the $100,000 prize and earn an automatic spot in the next Tournament of Champions.

Her road to the podium began last March with a 50-question online test. She traveled to New York City for an in-person audition, where she had to take another 50-question test and participate in a mock game.

She was told it could take up to a year for her to hear if she made it onto the show. It wasn’t until November, right before Thanksgiving, that Sloan was contacted and told she was chosen to be one of the 15 contestants.

“It was the strangest feeling,” Sloan said. “I hadn’t expected at all. I had almost forgot about it since it had been so long.”

She set off for Los Angeles in January to film the program. It took two days to film the two-week competition, an experience she called “exhausting but incredible.”

The college champion will receive a minimum $100,000 prize, the second-place winner will take home at least $50,000 and third-place comes with at least $25,000. Semifinalists receive $10,000 and players eliminated in the first week take home $5,000.

In the first week, all 15 contestants will appear in one of five shows. The winners, along with the next four highest earners, will move on to the semifinals. In the second week, the nine semifinalists will compete in three shows for a place in the two-game final match.

“The College Championship is one of the most competitive tournaments on our schedule,” said JEOPARDY! host Alex Trebek in a written statement. “Every JEOPARDY! contestant plays to win, but our college contestants have an added level of motivation: school pride. Every one of them wants to represent their college well, and this extra motivation makes for fun and exciting game play.”

Sloan couldn’t reveal the outcome of the competition, but said the 15 competitors from schools including Harvard University, Texas A & M University, Temple University and Vanderbilt University still keep in touch.

“One of the best things was going through the same kind of life dream fulfillment at the same time,” said Sloan.

The competition will conclude Feb. 21. For more information on JEOPARDY! visit the show’s website.

 

Connecticut Student Falls Just Short in JEOPARDY! College Championship Semifinals

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