Jul 29, 2014
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Wheaton Native to Compete in 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions

Ashok Poozhikunnel of Wheaton will compete in the Jeopardy! tournament of champions Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Wheaton Native to Compete in 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions

Ashok Poozhikunnel, a 20-year-old underwriter from Wheaton won $69,002 on a four-game Jeopardy! streak last month and will attempt to win $250,000 more when he returns to the show for the Tournament of Champions, according to a press release from the show.

Poozhikunnel will try to best 14 of his fellow winners in a two-week intellectual showdown airing nationwide Feb. 13-26.

“Aside from the prestige and high stakes inherent to the Tournament of Champions, the sense of familiarity with the contestants is what makes this event unique among our various tournaments,” Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek said in a statement. “It’s a welcome opportunity for me to catch up with returning players, a treat for our viewers to see their favorites return to the stage, and a challenge for the contestants, some of whom have watched their competitors’ shows and know what they’re up against.”

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The tournament field consists of the players who won the most games since the last Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions in November 2011. In addition to the top-scoring multi-game winners, two Teachers Tournament winners and one College Champion earned automatic berths by winning their respective specialty tournaments. The rest of the contestant field and their previous winnings include:

  • Colby Burnett, a high school World History teacher from Chicago, $100,000
  • David Gard, a retail horticulturist from Jamaica Plain, MA, $84,700
  • Stephanie Jass, a history professor from Milan, MI, $147,570
  • Jason Keller, a tutor from Highland Park, NJ, $213,900
  • Dave Leach, a game merchant from Atlanta, GA, $98,054
  • Dan McShane, a bartender from West Islip, NY, $62,001
  • David Menchaca, a law student from Long Beach, CA, $115,503
  • Kristin Morgan, a NASA strategic analyst from Huntsville, AL, $69,098
  • Paul Nelson, a senate staff aide for Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) from Iowa City, IA, $54,900
  • Joel Pool, a real estate developer from Oakland, CA, $116,800
  • Patrick Quinn, a high school German teacher from Chesterfield, MO, $100,000 
  • Jason Shore, a medical student from Plano, TX, $85,200
  • Monica Thieu (college champion), a psychology student from Dallas, TX, $100,000
  • Keith Whitener, a research chemist from Charlotte, NC, $147,597

Jeopardy! airs locally at 2:30 p.m. on WLS-TV (ABC Chicago). For other markets, please check your local  listings for air times.

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