MIT Senior Lilly Chin Wins “Jeopardy!” College Championship

Published in MIT News on February 24, 2017, by Elizabeth Durant, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education

Chin takes the $100,000 grand prize, surpassing 14 on-air contestants and thousands of applicants from colleges around the U.S.

Let’s be honest: Even the most disciplined college students don’t pay attention all the time during their classes. The temptations of a hushed conversation with a classmate, a daydream, or any number of digital distractions can be hard to resist.

But one could argue that senior Lilly Chin had an excellent excuse for tuning out during one of her comparative media studies classes last October: She was taking a 10-minute online test to qualify for the popular TV quiz show “Jeopardy!” It was only offered on one specific date, at one specific time — which happened to be during class — so she had little choice. “I was trying not to get caught by the teacher while I was answering the questions,” she later confided to a “Jeopardy!” film crew, barely suppressing a giggle.

In the end, it was worth the risk. Chin went on to become a contestant on the show, made it to the finals, and walked away with the college championship title and the tidy sum of $100,000. Sworn to secrecy since the show’s January taping, Chin was able to savor the victory tonight at a final episode screening held in Room 4-237, where she was cheered on by dozens of friends and other fans from the MIT community...