‘Jeopardy!’: Three Tournament of Champions Contestants All Hail From One State

by Halle Ames
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Is one state a Jeopardy powerhouse? Well, three contestants from the Tournament of Champions all hail from the same one. 

Might we add that three contestants out of 15 are from this lake-loving state and are competing for the grand prize of $250,000? Now, we aren’t math people, but according to our calculations, that’s five percent of the Tournament of Champion contestants are coming from the same place. 

Can you guess which state it is? 

What is… Michigan.

Jeopardy Hotspot For Contestants

Jennifer Quail is the first Michigan native, more specifically, the Dowagiac area. She is a wine tasting consultant and is known for more than just her expert palate. Quail is also one of the most successful contestants in “Jeopardy” history, winning $228,800 during her eight-game run in December 2019. She is the second highest-winning female contestant ever in regular play. 

However, don’t overlook the other Tournament of Champions contestants. 

Ben Henri is a 7th through 12th-grade vocal music teacher from St. Clair Shores. He secured his ticket to the exclusive tournament after winning the “Jeopardy” Teachers Tournament last June, taking home the $100,000 grand prize. 

And finally, Andy Wood resides in Ann Arbor. He works as a comedian but isn’t here for any funny business. Wood was a four-time “Jeopardy” champion last November, earning $91,999.

Although, if the three Michigan natives are looking to compete against each other, they must all make it past the first round. Quail’s quarterfinal game airs this Wednesday, May 19. Henri’s game occurs on Thursday, May 20, and Wood will be on this Friday, May 21.

Furthermore, four wild card players with the highest scores will all advance to the semis beginning on the 24th. 

The First Round of the Tournament

In the first round of last night’s tournament, Ryan Bilger, a graduate student from Macungie, Pennsylvania, won his game last night with $32,405. He beat out Jason Zuffranieri, a math teacher from New Mexico ($18,800), and Sarah Jett Rayburn, a writer and stay-at-home mom from Texas ($0). 

Tonight, Karen Farrell, a political consultant from Virginia, takes on Nibir Sarma, a junior at the University of Minnesota, and Steve Moulds, a playwright from Louisville. 

You can meet the competition on Jeopardy’s website. Check your local listing here, so you don’t miss a second of the action. 

Buzzy Cohen As Host

Last night Buzzy Cohen made his hosting debut for the Tournament of Champions. With his quirky, yet charming personality, Cohen has already become a fan-favorite among Jeopardy faithfuls. Even after just a single episode, many fans of the show are deeming him their favorite of all the hosts. 

Could Buzzy be in contention for the permanent position? 

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