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Terrill advances to ‘Jeopardy!’ finals

by Feb. 13, 2012, 5:14 PM

Zack Terrill (image courtesy of Jeopardy!)

UPDATE: Terrill finishes third in Jeopardy! College Championship

Vanderbilt senior Zack Terrill has advanced to the finals of the Jeopardy! College Championship. He will compete Feb. 13 and 14 against Sarah Bart of Goucher College and Monica Thieu of the University of North Texas for a best-of-two-day total to determine the $100,000 grand prize winner, who also is guaranteed a spot in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

The second place winner will earn a minimum of $50,000, and the student finishing third will get $25,000.

The episodes will air at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, and Tuesday, Feb. 14, on WUXP-TV, Comcast/Xfinity Channel 14.

More than 12,000 undergraduate students across the country competed for just 15 slots in Jeopardy’s 24th College Championship.

“The whole experience has been phenomenal,” Terrill said in an interview leading up to the finals. “It’s one of those things where I can definitely say that the other 15 people (who I competed against) are going to be my friends. If nothing else out of this whole experience, I made 15 great friends.

“This is the only Jeopardy! where you get to represent something else besides yourself,” he continued. “To play for Vanderbilt – it’s a great place, a great school. It puts a little bit of pressure on you – you don’t want to go back and you let your school down. So as long as I made it to the finals, that’s a relief.”

Terrill, 21, of Winter Springs, Fla., is a double major in chemistry and philosophy. He will graduate in the spring and has a job lined up to teach math in Nashville.

Since 1989, more than 150 colleges and universities have been represented in the tournament, with nearly $3 million in cash prizes awarded to students.