The Jeopardy! College Championship finished up last week, and Lilly Chen became the first MIT student to win the $100,000 pot. However, she grabbed the world's attention not just because she won, but because how she did it.
Headed into "Final Jeopardy!," Chen had a large enough lead she was able to do basically anything at all and maintain her lead. It turned out, that's the exact position she hoped to be in all along. She wanted to make host Alex Trebek say something absurd, kind of like the old "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches on Saturday Night Live. She had a big enough lead that she did just that.
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With a Final Jeopardy! answer about a famous astronomer's epitaph, Chen bet $0 and responded with the question, "Who is the spiciest memelord?" It turns out, that was the correct answer in our hearts, even if the producers believed Johannes Kepler was the correct answer in the game.
Chen joined a proud tradition of Jeopardy! nerds who get a whole lot of pleasure from hearing a 70-year-old man saying things most people his age aren't generally caught saying. Like when he recently recited rap lyrics or that time a woman made the SNL sketch come to life by making Trebek say "Turd Ferguson."
With the win and her glorious final answer, Chen qualified for the Tournament of Champions on the show, as well as the annals of the best contestants ever.
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