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Purdue Computer Science makes cameo on 'Jeopardy'


Final Jeopardy

The end of the Sept. 21 episode of "Jeopardy" after champion Seth Wilson (left) guessed "Computer Science" correctly.

What is awesome?

The Department of Computer Science got an unexpected shout out from one of the nation’s most watched and respected game shows.

The Sept. 21 episode of “Jeopardy” featured Purdue Computer Science in the clue for Final Jeopardy. Host Alex Trebek read: “Embracing the future and new technology in 1962, Purdue established the first college department in the U.S. for this two-word discipline.” The answer, er, question: “What is Computer Science,” of course.

The contestants were then two-time champ Seth Wilson with an impressive $61,000 in winnings so far and challengers Sharren Lee Gibbs, from Gainesville, Florida, and Sala Levin, from Washington, D.C.  

In this episode, Wilson finished in the lead with $12,800. Levin was next with $10,800 and Gibbs was in third place with $10,400. Wilson was the only one to guess Computer Science correctly.

Gibbs didn’t have a response. She lost her $10,000 bet and had $400 left.

Levin thought it was Digital Communications. That cost her $7,000. She finished with $3,800.

Wilson bet $10,000 so he won this match with $22,800. His three-day total was $83,800.

Purdue Computer Science has helped thousands of software engineers, web developers and cybersecurity experts over it’s 54-year history, and now it helped one of the storied game show’s biggest winners ever. Wilson went on to win nine more matches. He won $265,002 over 12 episodes. The Chicago native and theater PhD student is in fifth place in the "Jeopardy" Hall of Fame, based on consecutive wins, and will be back for the quiz show's annual Tournament of Champions.

Jeopardy champ

"Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek (left) celebrates with 12-time champion Seth Wilson.

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