Remember the name of Nilai Sarda. The 13-year-old won $26,400 on the teen version of “Jeopardy!” this week that featured a surprising answer from the teen who eventually won.
(The video here reveals how first place finisher Leonard Cooper, a senior at eStem High Public Charter School in Little Rock, Ark., delighted the audience with his cool performance and his final answer. He didn’t know the final question but he bet wisely.)
At the time, Nilai described a study regimen that included 45 minutes on weekdays and two to three hours on weekends. Nilai said he created computer profiles for every country in the world.
I expect Nilai will win a lot more top prizes before he finishes high school. (I wouldn’t be surprised to someday read about his perfect score on the SAT someday.)
Here is the official statement from the “Jeopardy!” show:
Nilai Sarda, a freshman at Atlanta’s Westminster Schools, won $26,400 with a third-place finish in the “Jeopardy!” Teen Tournament in an episode that aired today.
“I was just amazed I was able to make it on,” said Sarda, who at 13-years-old was the youngest contestant in the tournament. “I thought that because I was 13 they’d probably take someone older who had tried out before instead.”
Sarda missed the tryout for “Jeopardy!” Kids Week last year and took the online qualification test for the Teen Tournament for the first time this year, his first year of eligibility. He hoped his relative youth would be an advantage over his competitors and relied on his knowledge of the show to succeed.
“I watched the show a lot and looked at the archives,” Sarda said. “I was bouncing around the board, trying to find the Daily Doubles.”
Sarda plans to pursue a career in science and is already scouting universities like MIT, Caltech or Stanford. . “I’m probably going to save some of the money for college, or maybe invest it,” Sarda said.
Leonard Cooper, a senior at eStem High Public Charter School in Little Rock, Ark., won the tournament and Barrett Block, a senior at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., placed second.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog