September 24, 2014 : By Drew Menard
UPDATE – 9/29/2014:
After four "Jeopardy!" championships, Hardee's fifth appearance on the popular show marked the end of her run. She finished in second place on Monday night, earning her another $2,000 and bringing her final winnings to $97,201.
UPDATE – 9/27/2014:
In her fourth appearance on Friday, Hardee rallied to a tie in Final Jeopardy to win $36,400, bringing her total to $95,201. She will appear again on Monday's show at 7:30 p.m. on CBS.
UPDATE – 9/26/2014:
With an accumulated $58,801 in winnings, Liberty University alumna Catherine Hardee once again advanced on the popular quiz show "Jeopardy!" During her third appearance on the show, Hardee, a former Quiz Bowl champion at Liberty, earned $30,801 en route to another victory. Her fourth appearance — third as a Jeopardy champion — airs tonight at 7:30 p.m. on CBS. Liberty will be hosting a viewing party, open to all students, in the theater at the Hancock Welcome Center.
UPDATE – 9/24/2014, 8:45 p.m.:
Alumna Catherine Hardee, former Quiz Bowl MVP at Liberty, advanced in tonight's episode of "Jeopardy!" This brings her total winnings to $28,000. Her third-straight appearance on the popular quiz show will air Friday at 10 a.m. on CBS.
|Liberty University alumna Catherine Hardee with "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek.|
Liberty University alumna and former Quiz Bowl champion, Catherine Hardee, outperformed all other contestants on last night’s episode of “Jeopardy!” She won $12,401 on the popular quiz show, while the two other competitors finished with $200 and $0 in the final earnings. Hardee will appear as a Jeopardy champion and challenge two more contestants tonight at 7:30 p.m. on CBS.
“I was so nervous,” Hardee said of her first episode. “My heart was beating so loudly. I’ve had a lot of experience (at Liberty) performing under pressure to be able to still use my brain even when I’m nervous. I am thankful for that preparation.”
Hardee, who visited campus this week, was recognized during Convocation this morning in front of more than 10,000 students.
While at Liberty, Hardee was a three-time Quiz Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) and helped lead the team to two Big South Conference championships and its first national tournament appearance. Her involvement in Quiz Bowl, she said, helped prepare her for the show.
|Hardee was recognized in front of a crowd of over 10,000 students during Convocation on Wednesday.|
Hardee graduated from Liberty with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2012 and completed her master’s in history in May.
On Tuesday, Hardee watched the prerecorded episode with Liberty’s Quiz Bowl team after attending a practice session and offering advice to current team members.
“She is where they want to be,” Liberty Honors Program Director and Quiz Bowl Coach Dr. Jim Nutter said. “They were captivated with her.”
Hardee joined the team in the fall of 2010, by which point the team had won four Big South championships in the span of five years.
“Her depth of knowledge and lightning-fast quickness was something we had never seen before, and she instantly improved our team at both the regional and national levels,” Nutter said.
Hardee explained that five shows are filmed in sequence during each night of production for “Jeopardy!” Directly after finishing the first game, Hardee began preparing for her next appearance on the show.
“As I was (preparing), I was thinking, ‘Oh my word, I’m a Jeopardy champion. No matter what happens, I’m a Jeopardy champion,’” Hardee said.
Hardee said the categories presented an invigorating challenge to her knowledge. During her first game, the categories included “Physics,” “Common Ponds,” “All 5 Vowels in One Word,” and “Celebrity Origins.”
“Even if there is one category that you are not really good at, there will be another one that you are good at,” Hardee said. “You just have to make sure to ring in when you know it and don’t ring in when you don’t know it, because that is what kills you.”
Hardee earned the chance to compete on “Jeopardy!” after completing two 50-question tests, an in-person audition, a personality interview, and a three-person simulation game. She will receive her total earnings 120 days after her show’s airdate. Hardee plans to use the prize money to travel.
“Catherine set her goal of appearing on ‘Jeopardy!’… and in true Catherine fashion, she not only competed, but by the show's conclusion, she was a ‘Jeopardy’ champion,” Nutter said.
Liberty will show Hardee’s second “Jeopardy!” appearance tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the theater at the Hancock Welcome Center. Hardee will be in attendance.