Jim Coury, a sophomore at Georgetown University, has been down before and come back strong.
He will appear for the second time on the Jeopardy College Tournament tonight. The scores from Thursday and tonight will be added together to determine the winner.
None of the contestants Thursday were big winners by the end of Final Jeopardy.
Trevor Walker, a sophomore at MIT, was in first place with $11,000. Kristen Jolley, a senior at Georgia Institute of Technology, was in second place with $10,000. And Coury was in third place with $8,600.
No one correctly guessed the answer to the Final Jeopardy question.
The category: 20th Century Presidents.
“I wasn’t thrilled with the category, but I wasn’t terrified either,” Coury said. “It took me a minute to realize I had no clue.”
The answer: “These two men followed each other consecutively as vice-president and later, in reverse order, as president.”
He knew the question he wrote down wasn’t correct, but he wanted to write something.
Coury: “Who are Roosevelt and Taft?”
The correct question: “Who are Nixon and LBJ?”
“There was a pit in my stomach,” Coury’s father, Michael Coury, said of watching the live taping of the show. “We kind of felt good about that category for him, and when he didn’t get it, we were certainly very concerned.”
Luckily, the family didn’t have to wait long to see how Coury would do in the second round of the finals. With only 20 minutes between tapings, they knew the answer rather quickly, but they can’t give anything away.
“There is definitely suspense,” Michael Coury said. “Tune in to see if Jim can come from behind to make up that deficit. That was actually the question we were asking ourselves. He definitely created good drama for us.”
Of course, that wasn’t Coury’s intention.
“The first half (of the finals) was less intense,” Coury said. “I knew they were both very good, but none of us were terribly competitive with one another, at least not openly.”
Going in to the second half of the finals, Coury said he was nervous.
“At that point, I felt sort of like it was just starting,” he said. “The scores were all really close, and I knew I had some catching up to do. I wanted to come out and do what I did yesterday (Wednesday) and take care of business.”
Win or lose, Coury will walk away with some money after tonight’s episode.
Third place earns a minimum of $25,000. Second place earns a minimum of $50,000. And first place earns a minimum of $100,000.
“This was day one of two days, so it’s not a decision-making day,” Michael Coury said, teasingly.
Contact Christina Jolliffe at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.