Northside Sophomore Wins Jeopardy!

3:36 PM, Feb 2, 2013   |    comments
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William Crouch, a sophomore at Northside High School in Warner Robins, won big to become a semi-finalist on Jeopardy!'s Teen Tournament.

Back in October, Lorra Lynch Jones surprised him at school to tell him he was one of only 15 students across the country to be selected to compete.

"He was learning state capitals by the time he was in elementary school," says his dad, Ric Crouch. "He's been driven since the day he was born," said mom Anita.

Crouch taped the episodes at the studios in Los Angeles, with his family in the audience in November. Friday, he got to watch his episode air on 13WMAZ at a party with family and friends after having to keep the results a secret.

Crouch hit his stride early, racking up big leads in the Chemistry and Disney categories.

Crouch says he was "in the zone," and was so focused on answering questions, it was hard to keep track of the score.

After the first break, during their contestant bios, Crouch told Alex Trebek a story about visiting his grandfather Edward Cleveland, who is full-blooded Navajo Native American and how he learned more about his culture. Cleveland was also at the party, and got teary eyed.

But things began to level off later the in game. Another contestant, Olivia, was on Crouch's tail, and overtook him in the second round.

But then, Crouch answered a Daily Double question about the Danube River to come within a few hundred of the lead going into the final.

Then came the Final Category -- Planets.  The crowd was shocked when William got the same wrong answer as the first contestant.  Then, the third contestant had a different answer.  But it turns out her answer was also wrong,  and since Crouch bet more conservatively, it was enough to put him over the top.

Crouch says it was experience he won't forget, and that he keeps in touch with many of the other contestant, including the girl who almost edged him out.

Crouch is the second winner from Middle Georgia. The other was Kelton Ellis from Central High Macon.  Both are in the semi-finals, and their episodes will air next week.

You can follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/tomgeorgewmaz

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