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Pomona College student competes on ‘Jeopardy!’

Pomona College senior Lauren Rodriguez is making her school proud by competing in the highly competitive “Jeopardy!” National College Championship, running on ABC beginning on Tuesday and continuing through February 22. Rodriguez will be in episode 3 of the quarterfinals which will air Thursday at 8 p.m.

Moraga California native Rodriguez competes against New York native Matthew Downing, a senior at the University of Notre Dame majoring in marketing and applied mathematics, and Georgia native Elijah Odunade, a junior at the University of Georgia who is majoring in political science.

Rodriguez, a public policy and sociology major at Pomona College, is among 36 of America’s sharpest undergrads competing in the collegiate competition for a $250,000 grand prize and the title of  “Jeopardy!”  National College Champion, according to a news release. The battle of wits airs on ABC during weekdays and is also available to stream on Hulu.

Rodriguez said she decided to try out for the show while in quarantine in the fall of 2020.

“I used the extra time on my hands to study for the test. I’ve always really enjoyed crossword puzzles and trivia games, so this felt like a natural challenge to try my hand at, and I felt like I could make it on the show if I worked hard,” Rodriguez said.

Her hard work going through the rigorous process of tests and auditions over Zoom paid off when she got the call to compete on the show.

“I had such a blast competing on the show. Being part of the College Championship as opposed to regular ‘Jeopardy!’ made it so rewarding because I was able to meet 35 other college kids from all across the country and form friendships with them. We all embraced our inner nerd together and had a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

She also credits her experience at Pomona College with helping her prepare for the big competition.
“It has been an experience where I’ve learned so much about myself and the world. Being able to take such a wide breadth of classes in sociology, politics, media studies, chemistry and religious studies was absolutely crucial for building my base of knowledge for ‘Jeopardy!’,” Rodriguez says.

To learn more about Pomona College senior Lauren Rodriguez, check out the school’s Q-and-A styled story online at www.pomona.edu/news/2022/02/04-lauren-rodriguez-22-competes-jeopardy-national-college-championship.

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