This final is in 'Jeopardy'
About 100 friends and family members cheered and clapped as they watched UND sophomore Stephanie Gagelin compete on the television game show "Jeopardy! College Championship" on Thursday evening at the UND Loading Dock.
Her parents, Jason and Connie Gagelin, grandparents, an aunt, UND President Robert Kelley and friends and supporters came to share the big moment with her.
"I wanted to be on 'Jeopardy' for so long, it's like a life dream has come true," she said following the televised show, as everyone gathered for a group picture to commemorate the event.
A fan of the show for most of her life, Gagelin is the first UND student ever to qualify for "Jeopardy! College Championship."
Other than her parents, no one at the Loading Dock Thursday knew how Gagelin had done on "Jeopardy" before the show aired. Some of her friends had been persistent about learning how she did and even had tried to trick her into revealing the outcome, she said.
Gagelin finished third in the contest, with $13,899. First-place winner Marshall Flores, representing Arizona State University, had $15,601, and second place went to Tim Relihan, University of Nebraska, with $14,800.
The "Final Jeopardy!" category was "The '30s," the correct question was "What is the Dust Bowl," and all three contestants had it right. Gagelin, 19, a clinical lab science major, came home from "Jeopardy! College Championship" with $5,000. Her score wasn't high enough to qualify her for the next round. But money wasn't the point, she said.
"I learned that if I want to try anything, I should just go for it," she said.
Gagelin cruised through the show's first round, answering questions about everything from botulism to the Puget Sound. She started "Double Jeopardy" as the leader, but Flores, who rang in with only one question in the first half of the show, came on strong in the second half.
Gagelin was born in Grand Forks and lived there until seventh grade, when she moved to East Grand Forks. Among her crowd of friends and admirers Thursday were her grandmother, Norma Messmer of Fargo; grandparents Walt and Verdell Gagelin and aunt Celeste Moltzan of West Fargo, N.D.