“It’s pretty surreal, honestly. I’ve been kind of overwhelmed by how supportive people have been,” Feltner, a fifth year senior, said in a telephone interview Saturday evening.
“I was excited about it — I’ve been a ‘Jeopardy!’ fan for forever,” she said. “Even making it past the quarterfinals and now even to the finals, I’m just so surprised and so happy to see how many people are being supportive,” she said.
Heading into Final Jeopardy!, Feltner was tied with Carnegie Mellon University student Kristin Donegan, with $11,000 each. Emmey Harris from the University of Minnesota trailed not far behind, with $10,800.
“This is a very close game!” Jeopardy host Mayim Bialik said.
Then came the Final Jeopardy category: Historic Structures.
The clue: “In 1100 the Bishop of Durham became the first prisoner here &, after plying his guards with wine, became the first to escape.”
All three correctly answered, “What is the Tower of London?” Each bet all of their winnings, doubling their amounts. And Feltner and Donegan were tied yet again with $22,000.
“We have a tie for first place!” Bialik said.
The host explained the game winner would be determined by a tiebreaker. “The first one of you to ring in and respond correctly” will advance, Bialik said.
The category was The Fine Arts.
The clue: “A 1920s trip to France inspired him to compose ‘An American in Paris.’”
Buzzing in fast enough to answer “Who is Gershwin?,” Feltner was declared the game winner.
“As soon as it came up, my hands flew to my face. That was me realizing, ‘Oh, crap, I know this, there’s a chance I win this,’” Feltner said. “It was insane.”
The Jeopardy! National College Championship final is scheduled to air on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC. (WCBV-TV in Boston)
She’ll go head-to-head against Jaskaran Singh from the University of Texas at Austin and Raymond Goslow from Kennesaw State University. Each will vie for the $250,000 grand prize and the title of Jeopardy! National College Champion.
The three were among 36 students from 36 colleges who competed in the special two-week tournament. The pool was narrowed to quarter finalists and semi-finalists until the 3 studentswith the most earnings moved onto the finals.
Feltner said it’s been a “crazy few weeks” since the tournament started airing on Feb. 8. Her family, friends and fans were eager to see how things all played out. She’s now ready for the final buzzer.
“I’m honestly just excited to share it with everyone and to get some conclusion on all of this,” Feltner said.