News Nearby: Fenwick Teacher Wins 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions, $250K
World history teacher Colby Burnett won $100,000 last year in the show's Teacher's Tournament and even more in its Tournament of Champions that finished airing Tuesday.
(This article originally appeared on Oak Park Patch.)
Fenwick High School teacher Colby Burnett won the $250,000 grand prize Tuesday in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.
Burnett, an AP World History teacher at Fenwick, won the show's Teacher's Tournament and $100,000 in prize money back in November and added to that total by beating the best of the best.
On Monday he built a big enough lead—$22,200 to the other contestants' $4,800 and $400—that he was able to coast on Tuesday. He got off to a poor start in the first round, but out of the commercial break we were reminded why we love him.
Host Alex Trebek brought up the fact that Burnett's mother worked three jobs ("Two and a half, but let's say three because she worked that hard," Burnett said) to help put him through school. Now he's a teacher and a coach on the quiz bowl team.
"I don't have a ton of money," Burnett said, "but the way I give back is by being an exceptional teacher and an exceptional coach."
When he won the $100,000 in the Teacher's Tournament, he told Patch he was using the money to buy his mother a condo in Oak Park.
Read more about his run:
- Final Jeopardy! Fenwick Teacher Builds Big Lead in Tournament of Champions
- Fenwick Teacher Going for $250K Prize on Jeopardy!
- Fenwick Teacher Talks About Jeopardy! Experience
A few answers he got right, such as identifying the hit show Breaking Bad or labeling the "Star Wars" holiday May the Fourth (be with you) showed his hip to pop culture as well as world history.
He trailed heading into Double Jeopardy, but a few correct answers in categories about New York mayors and athlete quotations in sports movies gave him the lead. He fell behind Kristin by $800 heading into Final Jeopardy, but she only had $400 to carry over from Monday. Burnett got the answer to the clue correct but didn't wager any money, securing his win.
(Full disclosure: Burnett is a fraternity brother of the La Grange/Western Springs editor.)
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