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Middlebury College student wins "Jeopardy" College Championship

November 21, 2003

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Keith Williams, 18, a first-year student at Middlebury College and a resident of Manchester Center, Vt., won the "Jeopardy" college tournament Nov. 21 when he appeared as a contestant on the national television game show.  Williams beat two other finalists in a two-game final round that took place Nov. 20-21.  The show's annual college tournament began Nov. 10.  The shows were taped in New Haven, Conn., in early October.  In the Burlington, Vt., area, "Jeopardy" airs on WPTZ-TV (NBC) at 7 p.m. on weeknights.   

"I've been watching the show since I was three and I've always wanted to be a contestant," said Williams.  "It feels great to be the winner."

According to the show's Web site at, Williams is guaranteed a minimum $50,000 cash prize, a $50,000 scholarship to Middlebury, a specially designed trophy, and a brand new Volvo S60R.  In the first week, each player appeared in one of five shows. The winners of each of these shows, along with the next four highest money earners, went on to the semifinals. In the second week of the tournament, the nine semifinalists competed in three shows for a place in the two-game final match.

Contestants were restricted from discussing the outcome of a show prior to its air date.

The Web site also features contestant photos and interviews, and a virtual tour of the "Jeopardy" College Championship set on the Yale University campus.  The photo gallery includes several photos of Middlebury students in the audience displaying school spirit.

Williams became a contestant by signing up online.  He then took a test in New York City, and played a mock game against other contestants who had also passed the test.  According to Williams, producers selected the finalists for the shows at test sites in New York, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Los Angeles.  Williams said his favorite subjects are French, geography, math and science.    

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