Finish strong

Catherine Hardee enjoys success

With her buzzer in hand, Liberty University alumna Catherine Hardee took on the opportunity to win big bucks Sept. 23 as she played her first round on the television game show, “Jeopardy!”

After exhausting all of the questions her first day, Hardee’s winnings came to $12,401 — a result of being the only contestant to answer the final jeopardy question correctly.

After stringing together a series of wins, Hardee tied for co-champion at the end of Friday’s episode Sept. 26, allowing her to return for the Monday-night showing
Sept. 29.

Hardee finally gave up the title of “Jeopardy!” champion Monday after winning four out of five shows. Her winnings from the show totaled $95,201.

According to Hardee, she plans on spending some of that money on a trip to New Zealand.

Hardee studied history during both her undergraduate and graduate years at Liberty, receiving her bachelor’s degree in 2012 and her master’s in May 2014.

According to Hardee, her time at Liberty helped to prepare her for her appearance in the nationally televised trivia contest. Hardee was also a member of the debate team during her freshman year and the Quiz Bowl team during her junior and senior years of undergraduate study. She participated in the Quiz Bowl team during her two years of graduate school as well.

“I know Liberty played a huge role in preparing me,” Hardee said. “Of course, all my professors in the history department also played a massive role, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Hardee described her experience taping the show, not forgetting to mention even the smallest details.

“‘Jeopardy!’ records five shows per day, two days every other week,” Hardee said. “I got to the studio at 8 a.m., in time to fill out some forms, get my makeup done and rehearse on the set. Then, the taping began. I ended up being on the second show of the day, which was great since I had the chance to watch one show being taped before I was on the spot.”

According to Hardee, she also prepared for the show by seeking advice from previous champions and studying past games in order to gain insight into the types of questions that would be asked and common topics that come up frequently.

Hardee said she was pleased with her success on the show.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh my word, I’m a “Jeopardy!” champion,’” Hardee said. “No matter what happens, I’m a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion.”

WEYANT is a feature reporter.

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