RICHMOND- He dominated, he took the long road, he took off on the competition, and now he’s the last one standing.
Minnesota’s Nibir Sarma finished off a wild card run for the ages as he went from being the last name called to the semi-finals to the last man standing in the tournament.
The Minnesota Golden Gopher sophomore took down Indiana’s Tyler Combs and USC’s Xiaoke Ying to earn $100,000 and bring the title to the twin city state for the first time.
Sarma becomes only the fifth wild card to win the College Championship, and the first since Monica Thieu of North Texas in 2012.
Combs finished second and received $50,000 while Ying took third and is going home with $25,000. Sarma also got to take home a silver trophy while having his name engraved on a larger trophy that resides in the studio.
With USC’s loss, Stanford still remains the only school to have won the Jeopardy College Championship more than once (2001 and 2005).
With COVID-19 ceasing the production of future Jeopardy episodes, this tournament just may be one of the final episodes with an audience this season.
Coming into today’s game, Sarma had the lead at $22,195 to Ying’s $800 and Combs’ $200. But things could change. The scores were wiped to zero and off they went.
Combs found the Daily Double in Round 1 under “In the National Inventors Hall of Fame”. Leading by a small margin, Combs bet big and got it right to increase his lead.
Going into Double Jeopardy, Combs had the lead at $7,800 to Sarma’s $6,400 and Ying’s $3,200. One round is left to determine a lock or another chance.
Sarma took control when he found the first Daily Double in Round 2 under “World Capitals”. He bet it all, and sure enough, like yesterday, he got it right and never looked back,.
Sarma then found the second Daily Double in “Get Your Group On”. He bet $5. Hmmmm. He missed it but by then, it was too late for Combs and Ying.
That was the dagger. There was no possible way Sarma could lose the tournament unless he risked every single dollar and lost.
The only suspense was to find out who was going to take 2nd and 3rd place due to the scores from yesterday. So the game and the tournament went to the final clue.
The Final Jeopardy Category: Historic Figures. The Clue: In legend, this real European leader fielded an elite corps called the 12 Peers that included Oliver & Roland. The Answer: Charlemagne.
Ying got it right and only bet $1,600, bringing her score to $13,200. Adding to the 800 from Game 1, the score was only $14,000. Officially 3rd with $25,000.
Combs got it right and bet 5,200, bringing him to $20,000. Adding to the 200 from Game 1, the score was $20,200. Officially he would finish 2nd and get $50,000
Sarma had it right but crossed it out to say “Who da man”. Funny but wrong. He bet $2,020 to drop to $25,575. Adding to the 22,195 from Game 1, the two day score was $47,770. Enough to get bumped up to $100,000.
One of the most dominant performances in College Championship and in Jeopardy history. And a major win for the state of Minnesota, who had fallen in the Semi-Finals in two of their last three appearances.
Indiana puts forth their highest ranking while USC showcases why they are still a Jeopardy staple and should be for years to come.
That’s a wrap for the Jeopardy College Championship for 2020. Congrats Nibir on a great run and kudos to Tyler and Xiaoke for a fantastic finish.