Thursday was a big day for 16-year-old Ananya Nrusimha. The Williamsville East High School junior was recognized by the Erie County Legislature, and then she appeared on the “Jeopardy! Teen Tournament” at 7:30 p.m.
During the entire episode, Ananya was practically neck-and-neck with Alan Koolik, a senior at Pine Crest School in Boca Raton, Fla. The two vied for first place up until Final Jeopardy, at which point Alan clinched the title of semi-finalist, ending Ananya’s chance to move on. The third contestant on last night’s show was Kevin Huang, a recent graduate of Irvine California’s University High School.
Ananya started off the night by answering the first question, which asked what kind of a vehicle Marine One is. She correctly responded with “helicopter.”
She also knew that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected president a total of four times and that the name for the kind of architecture often associated with medieval churches is “Gothic.” She also showed her true Western New York colors by getting the one question related to hockey and the NHL correct: She knew the Ottawa Senators are the one other team, aside from the Washington Capitals, to be located in a capital city.
It all came down to the last question. Ananya was only slightly behind Alan going into Final Jeopardy, the topic of which was “Novel Words.” While the other two were able to correctly answer the question – “This word for a person without certain abilities has made it from the realm of fantasy to the OED” – with “muggle,” Ananya was unable to think of the term before the 30 seconds ran out. She ended up with $6,801, putting her in second place to Alan’s $31,001.