Mark Petterson’s run in the “Jeopardy!” college championship ended in the semifinals after the airing of Wednesday’s show.
Though the Kansas University senior from Prairie Village performed well in the early rounds, amassing $11,600 after answering questions on topics ranging from “The Mentalist” to Carrie Nation, he lost most of his money in Final Jeopardy after he failed to correctly identify Thomas Jefferson and John Adams as two presidents who witnessed a balloon launch in France.
As a qualifying semifinalist, Petterson took home $10,000 in prize money from the show.
After the show aired Wednesday, Petterson said he intended to spend some of the money on a trip to South Africa to watch the upcoming World Cup soccer championship, and put the rest away for after graduation.
He said he enjoyed the experience, and that it was nice to gain some recognition.
“I never expected to go on a TV game show like Jeopardy,” he said.
Patrick Tucker, a student from Notre Dame, advanced to the final round over Petterson and Erica Greil from Princeton. Petterson earned a wild-card spot in the semifinals after qualifying as one of the top four non-winning money earners in last week’s preliminary rounds.
He earned $16,200 in that round, but lost to a student from the University of Missouri who advanced to the final earlier this week.
Petterson had a watch party at a local bar last week with friends and family, but a Spanish final precluded any similar event this time, he said.