Baylor Senior To Compete In Jeopardy! College Championship

Sept. 1, 2000

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University senior Rob Schickler will be among 15 college students who will compete in the JEOPARDY! College Championship this month at the University of Washington's Meany Hall in Seattle.

The two-week tournament will be taped Sept. 15-16 and airs nationally beginning Nov. 8. JEOPARDY! is broadcast in Central Texas on KCEN-TV.

This summer, more than 3,000 undergraduate students auditioned for the show in 10 U.S. cities. Schickler, a business and journalism double major from Arlington, Va., as well as a member of Baylor's top-rated Model United Nations team, tried out during the show's Austin stop.

"They gave us a written test with 50 answers on a television screen and we had to come up with the questions," said Schickler, who also tried out for JEOPARDY! last year in New Orleans. "If you scored high enough on the written test, you then played a mock version of the game which was also a personality test."

Schickler received a phone call in August from a JEOPARDY! contest coordinator, informing him that he had been selected as one of the contestants. He will compete against students from Rice, Washington, Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Dartmouth, Delaware, Loyola-Chicago, Texas, Ursinus College, Wisconsin, Luther College and George Washington University.

JEOPARDY! spokesperson Laine Turner Sutten said all players will appear during the first week in a series of five shows.

"The winners of each of those shows, plus the four highest money earners go on to the semi-finals. The nine semi-finalists compete in three shows the following week, and the winners of those shows proceed to a two-game final match," she said.

The champion is guaranteed a $50,000 cash prize, a Volvo S60 and a place in the prestigious JEOPARDY! Tournament of Champions. The second place finisher receives $15,000 and third place takes home $10,000, or the best of their two-day final score. Volvo also is awarding scholarships of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 to the top three finishers. Semi-finalists receive $5,000, and players eliminated in the first week receive $2,500.

"It will be a great experience," said Schickler, who has been brushing up on his Shakespeare, as well as literature, geography and history. "I've been a big fan of the show and watched the high school and college tournaments. Hopefully, I'll do well, not only for myself but for Baylor."

JEOPARDY! was created in 1964 by Merv Griffin, who also composed the show's "think" theme music. The show debuted in syndication in 1984 and has ranked as the top quiz program in the Nielsen ratings for 769 weeks and as the second highest rated show in syndication for 55 consecutive sweeps periods. JEOPARDY! has won 19 prestigious Daytime Emmy Awards and is broadcast in 43 foreign countries and to servicemen and women throughout the world through the Armed Forces Radio and Television Services (AFRTS). JEOPARDY! is produced by Columbia Tri-Star Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company and is distributed worldwide by King World. Alex Trebek serves as host.

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