Sophomore Hannah Sage finished in third place at the Jeopardy! College Championship finals, collecting $25,000. Over the course of the weeklong competition, she defeated students from Darmouth College, Oklahoma University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Stanford University to advance to the finals.

“I never would have imagined I would’ve made it to the finals and was so happy that I did,” she says. “No matter what happened during those two matches, I was extremely excited about whatever the outcome would be and was just proud of myself for having accomplished so much.”

“I am very proud to be a Knight and to represent one of the few public universities in the tournament this year,” Sage says.

Representing one of only three public universities in the competition, Sage says she was thrilled to share her love for UCF on a national scale.

“I am very proud to be a Knight and to represent one of the few public universities in the tournament this year,” says Sage. “I am showing that no matter what school you go to, you can accomplish whatever goals you have and can even exceed them.”

The Road to Jeopardy!

An avid quiz competitor, Sage prepared by participating on the UCF Quiz Bowl team, which travels around the state battling other college teams. The Manatee County student also attributes her time at UCF to helping her prepare for the academic rapid-fire of the quiz show. An honors student majoring in math and minoring in art history, Sage has developed a wide range of knowledge for the competition. The National Merit Scholar also participates in UCF programs that encourage academic excellence and help develop leadership skills.

“The honors program has helped me prepare by allowing me to have a great education and diving further in depth on topics that interest me — and helped me grow my passion for learning and trivia,” she says. “LEAD Scholars has taught me about my own leadership style and given me my self-confidence to work toward my goal of being on Jeopardy!

Sage’s Jeopardy! journey began with an online test. She was given 50 questions with 10 seconds to type each response. Her high score landed her an invitation to an audition in Atlanta. After passing a second test, Sage participated in a mock game show with other hopeful students. Finally, she had a short interview with producers and was told they would contact her if selected for a show.

She received a call inviting her to compete last fall during final exams.

What’s Next

Since filming began over spring break, Sage admitted the hardest part of the experience was not being able to tell her friends the results. She enjoyed packing her friends into her room for a watch party for the finals, and receiving countless text messages from those watching from afar.

The College Championship consists of three rounds: a quarterfinal, a semifinal, and a two-day final event. With her winnings, Sage dreams of travel and further schooling. “I want to go to Italy to see all of the art in person, rather than the tiny photos in my textbooks,” says Sage. “Then I’d probably save a chunk of that for medical school — I want to be a dermatologist.”