Southern Adventist Student Takes Third Place
in Jeopardy! College Championship Finals
 Hans von Walter wins $25,000; Boston U. student took top prize
 
Hans von Walter, the first Southern Adventist University student to appear on the Jeopardy! College Championship, finished the televised competition in third place, winning $25,000.

Erin McLean, an 18-year-old marine science and English major at Boston University (BU), took first place—earning $100,000 in cash winnings—and became the university's first-ever champion. McLean outscored 14 undergraduates from across the country during the two-week competition. Sam Spaulding, a sophomore at Yale University, finished second in the competition, winning $50,000.

Fighting back from a tremendous deficit – von Walter, a junior, ended the first game of a two-part final with $0 after scoring a negative $6,000 during regular play – Hans went on in the second part to earn approximately $17,000 including a win of $4,000 on a “true daily double” where he doubled his winnings at that point. The final prize awards are established by show rules: the top scoring contestant gets the $100,000; second place gets $50,000 and third place $25,000.

 
PRIZE-WINNER: Hans von Walter, a junior at SAU in Collegedale, Tennessee, won $25,000 for his third-place finish on the “Jeopardy!” College Championship. [Photo: Courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc.]
“Even though I ended up in third place, I was so proud of myself for recovering from the dismal first game and ending on such a good note,” von Walter wrote in a blog entry on the Jeopardy!  Web site. “I was so ecstatic for Erin, my fellow quarterfinalist, and Sam, my fellow Raleigh auditione[r], that the fact that I’d lost never once registered in my mind. I was, frankly, more of a winner for being given the opportunity to meet these amazing people and being able to live out a lifelong dream than for any dollar amount I won.”

His performance in the first half of the final match was disappointing, von Walter conceded: “whatever Sam and Erin had decided to do was just better. In my first game, we all laughed off an early triple in-the-hole moment, but somehow, I was just never able to recover. As I watched Sam and Erin speed away from me while I sat there in the hole, I grew more and more tense; I was slowly forgetting to relax, and how that had helped me tremendously in the semifinals. With an epic score of negative $6,000, I watched in pain as Sam and Erin missed a ‘Final Jeopardy!’ [question to which] I knew [the answer] before Alex had finished reading [it].”

He then wrote about finding a solution to the dilemma: “Something about that game slapped me in the face with a little dose of, ‘Hans, you’re never going to play this game again. HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE.’ And with that, I entered the final game, rather ironically, in high spirits, despite sitting on a $0 subtotal. I felt myself once again loosening up and just plain having fun.”

Von Walter is the first representative of his school to appear on Jeopardy!, (http://www.adventistreview.com/article.php?id=3929). Jeopardy! is the winner of 28 Emmy awards since its debut in 1984, and was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most awards won by a TV Game Show. The series is the number 1-rated quiz show in syndication with nearly 9 million daily viewers. Jeopardy! is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company.
                                                                                                                                     -- Reported by Adventist Review staff.
 




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