Portland, OR, high-schooler Avi Gupta wins $100K ‘Jeopardy!’ Teen tournament

Portland, OR, student Avi Gupta, a recent graduate of Catlin Gabel School, has won the 2019 "Jeopardy! Teen Tournament."

Gupta claimed the $100,000 top prize after finishing in first place in the two-day finals.

Eighth-grader Ryan Presler of Sioux Falls, South Dakota finished second and won $50,000. Junior Lucas Miner of Miami placed third ($25,000).

Gupta is from Portland, Oregon, and graduated from high school recently, although he was still a high schooler when the program was pre-recorded several weeks ago.

"It still feels unreal, and I honestly can't express how grateful and fortunate I feel to have had this opportunity," Gupta said after the win. "'Jeopardy!' has always been a huge part of my life and my family's life; it's a special bonding connection with my grandma, who is a huge fan."

He advanced to the finals after needing to win a tiebreaker in the semifinal game. "Since I had the advantage of having just played a brutal semifinal round going into the finals, my strategy was just to keep up the momentum," he says. "Even though my knowledge base hadn't changed, the semifinal experience was invaluable, and I felt like a better, more experienced competitor."

He beat out three other Indian American teens in the contest, which featured a total of 15 students.

During the show, he told the host, Alex Trebek, that people questioned the value of accumulating a trove of trivia when they could be googled. But he said that building a wide range of knowledge was important because arguments and ideas can be built only on facts.

He'll plan to use some money for college (at Columbia University) and "I also hope to donate to Project32, which is a student-run nonprofit that I founded in 2016. It provides underserved youth communities worldwide with dental hygiene education and supplies."

The “Jeopardy!” 2018 College Championship, which also carried a prize of $100,000, was won by Dhruv Gaur.

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