“Jeopardy” has only rarely needed tiebreakers in its competitions, especially in tournaments where scores are often cumulative. Xie and Koolik had earned their scores over two days, soundly beating third-place finisher Cooper Lair (who took home $31,200).
In a “Jeopardy” tiebreaker, both contestants are given a clue and the first to ring in with the correct question is declared the winner.
“I knew that I had to get the Final Jeopardy clue right, and when Alan also gave the correct answer, my jaw dropped because I knew we were tied,” Xie says in a statement released by the game show. “When the tiebreaker category — The Civil War — was announced, I was excited because history is a strength of mine. When I saw ‘Shiloh,’ I knew the answer, and the rest, quite fittingly, is history.”
The 17-year-old student from New Jersey plans to spend the money on “taxes, travel and college,” and later hopes to become an astronomer who competes on “Dancing with the Stars.”