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OSU student advances to “Jeopardy!” semifinals

Cody Cousino / Lantern photographer

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Cheers erupted as friends gathered around a crowded table in Woody’s Tavern Wednesday night to watch Ellen Eichner advance to the semifinals in the “Jeopardy!” college edition.

Eichner, a third-year in political science and communication, went into “Final Jeopardy!” leading the competition.

Eichner said she was “nervous” heading into the final round.

“I was only ahead by $200,” Eichner said.

But her nerves disappeared when Eichner saw U.S. presidents as the final category.

“This may sound arrogant, but I was really confident in that category,” Eichner said. “I’m a political science major and I love U.S. history.”

As Eichner awaited her turn to reveal her final answer, the crowd in Woody’s shouted “she knows the answer!” at the TV, because of the smirk on Eichner’s face.

Eichner only smiled as she watched the replay of her game-winning answer.

Friends and family say they’re proud of Eichner’s accomplishments.

“I think having OSU on the show is good for OSU and having her win is even better,” said Joel Pettigrew, a graduate student and co-adviser for Ohio Union Activities Board.

Had she lost, it would have been bad news, Pettigrew joked.

“We took the whole thing with a grain of salt, whatever happens, happens,” said Judy Eichner, mother of Ellen Eichner.

But now that the competition is a reality, the whole family is excited, Judy said.

“The phone has been ringing off the hook,” Judy said. “My friends, her friends, family members, everyone is very excited. We’re very proud of her and glad that she has this moment in the sun.”

With competition still in progress, Ellen is unable to comment on competition results.

“It is so hard. I’m not the best at keeping secrets but I’m doing a pretty good job with this one,” Ellen said.

Ellen received $10,000 for advancing to the semifinals. She has plans to use it for a London study abroad in January.

The “Jeopardy!” semifinals are on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. on CBS.

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