Middlebury

Student winner of 2003 "Jeopardy!" College Championship to compete in game show's Tournament of Champions

September 15, 2004

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Keith Williams, 19, a sophomore at Middlebury College and a resident of Manchester Center, will compete on "Jeopardy!" when the national television game show airs the quarterfinals of its popular Tournament of Champions on Sept. 20.  Williams qualified for the tournament, which airs Sept. 20-Oct. 1, by winning the "Jeopardy!" College Championship in November of last year.  The Tournament of Champions was taped in late April in Los Angeles.  In the Burlington area, "Jeopardy!" airs on WPTZ-TV (NBC) at 7 p.m. on weeknights.   

"It's great to have a chance to go up against the best and the brightest," said Williams. "I've been watching the show since I was three, and playing in this tournament is beyond my wildest dreams."

According to the show's Web site at www.Jeopardy.com, which displays a photo of all the tournament participants with host Alex Trebek, Williams is guaranteed a minimum of $5,000 in prize money.  The first place winner will claim the title of "Jeopardy!" champion and receive $250,000.  The second place winner will pocket a minimum of $50,000 and the third place winner will take home no less than $25,000.  The six players eliminated in the semi-finals will collect $10,000 each and players knocked out in the first round will receive $5,000.

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

As the college champion last year, Williams won a $50,000 cash prize, a specially designed trophy, and a brand new Volvo S60R; in addition, Middlebury College received $50,000 for its general scholarship fund.

Williams first became a contestant last year 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.  Williams said his favorite subjects are geography, math and science.  

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