‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Reflects on Crazy Tie-Breaker

It’s rare but totally possible to see two “Jeopardy!” contestants end the final round in a tie, requiring a tie-breaker question.

That’s exactly what happened during the “Jeopardy!” National College Championship on Friday, Feb. 18. Going into the “Final Jeopardy!” round, Liz Feltner from Northeastern University and Kristin Donegan from Carnegie Mellon University both had $11,000. They each wagered all of their money and answered the clue correctly, putting both of them at $22,000.

It came down to a tiebreaker question, with “The Fine Arts” as the category. Host Mayim Bialik explained that the first person to buzz in and answer correctly would advance to the National College Championship finals.

The clue read, “A 1920s trip to France inspired him to compose ‘An American in Paris.’” As soon as Feltner heard and saw the question, her hand flew to her mouth as she gasped. She immediately buzzed in and said, “Who is Gershwin?”

The correct response catapulted Feltner into the “Jeopardy!” National College Championship finals. She’ll compete against Jaskaran Singh of Texas University and Ryan Goslow of Kennesaw State University. The finals take place this coming Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. EST.

In an interview with News@Northeastern, Feltner explained how it felt to even be part of the tournament in the first place.

“I was just excited for the opportunity and the experience to be on the set and to even play the game,” Feltner said. “It was fully a dream come true.”

On Friday night, Feltner took to Twitter to share a video of her classmates and friends celebrating her victory at a “Jeopardy!” watch party.

“I am so effing lucky!!!!!!!!!” Feltner wrote. We’re not sure if she’s referring to answering the tie-breaker correctly or having such wonderful friends to celebrate with.

What Happens Next in the ‘Jeopardy!’ National College Championship?

After several games, 36 contestants have narrowed down to three. Those three finalists will compete in one last match on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. EST. The winner will walk away with $250,000 in cash, a spot in the upcoming Tournament of Champions, and insane bragging rights.

In addition to Liz Feltner from Northeastern University, Jaskaran Singh of Texas University and Ryan Goslow of Kennesaw State University will compete for the top spot. Any one of them could walk away with the prize. The second-place winner also receives $100,00, while third place earns $50,000. Not bad for a trio of college students.

The fourth semifinalist, who won their round but didn’t earn as much money as the other three, will not compete in the “Jeopardy!” National College Championship finals. But, executive producer Michael Davies has now introduced the Second Chance Tournament for players to return and try their luck again. So far, the only competitor who we know will compete is that fourth semfinalsit, Isaac Applebaum from Stanford University.