MARYLAND TEENAGER WINS FIRST PLACE IN
"JEOPARDY!" TEEN TOURNAMENT
Takes Home $75,000 Grand Prize
CULVER CITY, CALIF. (March 2, 2011) -- Raynell Cooper, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School from Rockville, Md., has won the "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament, earning the $75,000 grand prize.
Regarding his win, Cooper said, "It was unreal. I honestly didn't think I'd make it that far." He added, "I'm so happy that all my hard work paid off."
One of the major highlights for Cooper was seeing Alex Trebek in person. He said, "I don't get the chance to see celebrities often, so it was pretty amazing." He also enjoyed meeting his fellow contestants. "We all got along wonderfully. They were excellent players and incredible people."
Cooper, 16, hopes to attend George Washington University and will use his earnings towards tuition. He also plans to buy a car and donate to charity to help underprivileged youth in his community.
In his spare time, Cooper enjoys participating in his school's drama club. He is also captain of the academic team and student government vice president.
Kailyn LaPorte, a sophomore at Chamblee High School from Decatur, Ga., finished second in the tournament and won $42,600. Third place winner Raya Elias-Pushett, a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School from Aventura, Fla., took home $20,851. The two-week competition featured 15 students from across the country. Since the first Teen Tournament in 1987, more than $3.5 million in cash prizes has been awarded to nearly 400 teenage contestants.
"Jeopardy!," the winner of 28 Emmy awards since its debut in 1984, was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most awards won by a TV Game Show. The series is the #1-rated quiz show in syndication with nearly 9 million daily viewers. "Jeopardy!" is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Television International, both units of CBS Corp.
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