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

March 3, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Keith Williams, 19, a sophomore at Middlebury College and a resident of Manchester Center, will compete on "Jeopardy!" Friday, March 4, in the national television game show's Ultimate Tournament of Champions.  Williams qualified for the tournament, which began airing Feb. 9 and will continue for 15 weeks, by winning the "Jeopardy!" College Championship in November 2003.  The "Jeopardy!" show that airs March 4 was taped Feb. 9 in Los Angeles.  In the Burlington area, "Jeopardy!" airs on WPTZ-TV (NBC) at 7 p.m. on weeknights.   

"I didn't think I would have another shot from behind the 'Jeopardy!' podium," said Williams. "I'm thrilled to be going up against some of the best and brightest who have ever played the game."

According to the show's Web site at, 145 of the best "Jeopardy!" players of the show's past 21 years will play during the 15-week tournament, with the two best qualifiers competing in a three-day final match against 74-game champion Ken Jennings.  The winner of that match will receive $2 million and the title of "Greatest 'Jeopardy!' Champion Ever."  In the first round, Williams is guaranteed $5,000 and a minimum prize of $15,000 should he win.

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

As the college champion in 2003, 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 in 2003 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.  The March 4 appearance on "Jeopardy!" will be Williams' third.  He made a second appearance on the show in Sept. 2004 during "Jeopardy!'s" Tournament of Champions.  Williams plans to major in economics.  

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