October 30, 2002
Whitworth Freshman One of 15 Collegians Nationwide Chosen to Compete in "Jeopardy!" College Championship
When the popular - and challenging - game show "Jeopardy!" broadcasts its annual College Championship tournament Nov. 11-22, Whitworth freshman Katherine Orphan will stand at the podium, ready to ask questions that could win her $50,000 in cash, a 2003 Volvo, and the chance to appear in the "Jeopardy!" Tournament of Champions. The cash prize for the winner of that annual tournament is $1 million.
Asked before the tournament what she was doing to prepare, Orphan said, "I'm not really doing anything specific. I'm just trying to keep up with school and read 'Entertainment Weekly' regularly, because pop culture questions are generally a weak point for contestants on 'College Jeopardy.' Orphan's friends at Whitworth also contributed to her tournament preparation. "There are a few people in my residence hall who like to randomly come up to me and ask questions to keep me on my toes," she said.
Orphan, who says, "Being on 'Jeopardy!' has been a dream of mine since elementary school," is a religion major from Reno, Nev. She was one of a group of 15 of the country's brightest collegians - most of them juniors and seniors - who took part in the tournament, taped Oct. 5-6 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
In the first week of the tournament broadcast, each player will appear in a series of five shows. The winners of each of these shows, along with the next four highest money earners, will go on to the semifinals. In the second week, the nine semifinalists will compete in three shows for a place in the two-game final match.
In addition to the $50,000 winner's prize, the second-place contestant is guaranteed a minimum of $15,000, and third place pockets a minimum of $10,000. Semifinalists receive $5,000, and players eliminated in the first week receive $2,500.
The winnings of the first-, second-, and third-place contestants will be matched by Volvo and earmarked for student scholarships at their respective schools. The "Jeopardy!" contestant search team auditioned more than 2,000 students across the country for the championship tournament. The selection process included written exams as well as mock games that allowed screeners to assess each candidate's abilities and to narrow the contestant pool to the final 15.
Katherine (Katie) Orphan, student, Whitworth College, (509) 321-2466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or email@example.com.
Terry Rayburn Mitchell, managing editor of publications, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Ritter, publicist, "Jeopardy!," (310) 325-4767 or email@example.com.