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Danvers native wins "Jeopardy! College Championship"

Posted by Sean Teehan  November 22, 2010 10:55 AM

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A 2009 Danvers High School graduate became the first Boston University student to win "Jeopardy! College Championship."

Erin McLean won three rounds, beating out opponents from Yale University and Southern Adventist University in Tennessee in the final round, which aired Saturday night. The contest was taped last month.

"I couldn't even believe it," McLean said in an interview.

After missing the Final Jeopardy question, McLean was unsure of where she stood in the contest, she said.

"If you watch the show, it looks like I didn't know whether I won or not," McLean said.

The victory tops the excitement McLean already experienced when informed of her acceptance as a contestant on the show.

In mid-September, while getting a quick sub sandwich for dinner before marching band practice, McLean's phone rang. Thinking it was a freshman band member asking her what time practice was, she was ecstatic when the voice on the other end of the phone was a woman telling McLean that she was selected to be on the "Jeopardy!"

"I was trying not to be too obnoxious," McLean, who wanted to jump up and down shouting. "I still had to pay for my food with my dignity intact."

Determined to earn the ultimate bragging rights for trivia junkies, before the show McLean expressed her desire for the coveted trophy.

"I told my friends, 'I want that trophy, I want that trophy, I want that trophy,'" McLean said.

The trophy now sits on her desk where, McLean said, it will probably remain since her room lacks the space to put it elsewhere.

While the victory is sweet in and of itself for the Boston University sophomore who has watched the show since childhood, the cash prize of $100,000 is no small detail.

"I'll be able to graduate debt free from BU, which is pretty amazing," McLean said.

After paying off student loans, McLean said she plans on buying a MacBook laptop to replace her current "sub par" computer. She is also rewarding herself with a spring break trip with friends.

 

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