A junior from Florida State University from Oldsmar, Florida...

Lea Tottle

What will you do with your winnings?
With my winnings, I'd like to take a trip to Europe, hopefully going to Ireland and England and seeing different historical sites, and maybe do a few ghost tours!

What's more difficult, preparing for finals or for Jeopardy!?
Definitely preparing for Jeopardy!, because you are going to be on a national, uh, stage, which makes it a lot more nerve-wracking than your average final.

What do you hope to take away from this experience, other than money?
I am looking forward to making a lot of new friends from different colleges, and meeting Alex Trebek is a wonderful experience.

Where do you hope to be in ten years?
In ten years, hopefully I will have a family, and I will be located on the West Coast, and I hope to have written a history book!

2010-B College Championship wildcard semifinalist: $10,000 + a Nintendo Wii + the Wii Jeopardy! game.

First name pronounced like "LEE-ah".

Lea Tottle
Florida State University

November 17, 2010
I felt for every single one of my competitors, who I now considered my friends. We watched Ellen, Folake and Kyle. Marshall, Steph and Tim. Amanda, Katie and Sam. It was intense. By the end of the day, the winners had been determined and I saw my name as a wild card. Erin, Hans and I made it. I was happy and much more relaxed.

The next day, I told myself I had made it far enough and what happens, is meant to happen. I ended up playing against Sid and Sam, both intensely fierce competitors. I resigned myself to finishing in third, I was afraid of them and I admit it. However, something strange happened during the course of that game. I came out with a strong showing and had the chance to make it to the finals. I had to wager that they would answer right, so I decided to go big or go home, banking on the possibility that the Daily Double would be a softball. Welcome to the Big Leagues. I’m never going to Vegas, let me tell you.

College Jeopardy! has been an interesting experience. It has completely changed my conception of the show and I think it will be some time before I can watch it again. It is tough. I am so happy that I was able to meet fifteen of the coolest college students in the United States (Hey Leo!) and I hope that we will stay in touch. So far, it looks like we will. Winning $10,000 is also amazing. I have to buy a purse that I had been searching for and the rest will go into the stock market. This experience has given me something more priceless than money. It has given me the confidence to know that I can do anything, and that risks are worth taking. For someone who has struggled with this, I can’t ask for anything more.

November 9, 2010
It really didn’t hit me until I stepped out onto the Jeopardy! stage. This was it. The big moment. I don’t think I was prepared. I know I wasn’t prepared. How do you prepare yourself to play a nationally televised game show? Well part of the preparation I received when I arrived at the studio. I woke up very early, I met fifteen other sweatshirt clad, sleep deprived college students and we all took a bus to the studio. We were all silent as we listened to Maggie and were put through the rounds of station shout outs. Well, it’s pretty hard to appear cool after you messed up "ABC Action News Station” a few times. Soon we were noisier than a kindergarten classroom and we probably acted on the same maturity level. We were giddy, waiting for the impending game and trying to relax. It’s hard to relax when you’re practicing your "get-to-know-me” questions and having makeup smeared all over your face. We played a practice game to get used to the buzzers. Oh those buzzers! I failed miserably during that practice round and felt absolutely terrible going into the real game. I was praying I would avoid ending up in the negatives. We tried to distract ourselves by watching Monty Python. I don’t think I paid attention to the movie at all. My leg was shaking a mile a minute and my palms were sweating, despite the chill of the room. Soon, the first group was called. "Olivia, Sid and Steve.” They were the first, and perhaps the luckiest, as they didn’t have to wait around anticipating the unknown. We clapped and hollered for them as they made their way out, trying to reassure them. We could hear the audience and it was nerve racking. Soon, the door opened and three more names were called. "Erin, Hans and...Lea.” I was thankful I had already used the bathroom. I tried to reassure myself, I tried to stay calm. I couldn’t. I wanted to jump up in down or run a marathon or do something besides go behind the podium and answer questions. The game was a blur. I remember thinking the stage was bigger than I imagined. It barely registered that Alex Trebek was standing in front of me, I still felt like the Fourth Wall separated us. I do remember answering a question about Florida State and being insanely relieved that I wouldn’t return to my school in complete shame. I also remember slipping off the podium, overcome by the amusement I found in Eminem lyrics. I doubt anyone found it as funny as Erin, Hans and I did. By the time it was done, I was glad it was over. Jeopardy! is stressful. My neck still hasn’t recovered from the tension. I finished in second place, barely edging out Hans. I told both of them we would make it to the semi-finals before the game started, and with out high scores it looked like we stood a good chance. Now we had to wait in the audience, which was even worse than playing the game.

November 5, 2010
Hey everybody! My name is Lea Tottle. I am a twenty year old junior attending Florida State University (Go Noles!) I am from Oldsmar, FL which is a small town located between Tampa and St. Petersburg. The 'Olds' in Oldsmar is from R.E Olds, founder of Oldsmobile, and doesn't refer to the mean age of our population. At Florida State, I am majoring in political science. Studying politics has made me a bit jaded so I don't think I'll be running for public office anytime soon. I plan to go to law school, hopefully in a larger city. I would love to be a judge someday. I would also love to write the definitive history of the Spanish Hapsburgs, who I love to learn about. They were fascinating monarchs and I feel they aren't as popular amongst historians as they should be. Away from school, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, seeing movies and shopping. I have a bit of a shopping addiction so my prize money is very welcomed (by myself and Dillard's). I like reading and drawing as well as spending time with my family. I have three brothers, two nephews and a niece on the way. She's due to be born around my birthday and I am so excited to finally have another Tottle girl.

I have been trying to get on Jeopardy! since I was in high school. I tried out for the Teen Tournament in Nashville, but did not make it. My freshmen year of college, I was unable to make it to the online test in time. My sophomore year, I was hospitalized when they invited me to try out. As they say, third time's the charm. A few days before the call, I mentioned to my mom that those darn Jeopardy! people should be calling me soon. Sure enough, I pick up my phone after class to see a dozen frantic texts from my mom and a missed voice mail from Jeopardy! I knew what that meant so I started to call back and didn't get through to anyone. For a half hour. I tried to calm down but I couldn't stop grinning and when I finally got the news I was screaming like a banshee. I couldn't believe that I had made it on after all of these years.

I have been a bit nervous in anticipation of my impending game. I'm not quite certain what to expect. Despite being a pretty decent armchair player, I'm a bit scared to play with Alex for real. It seems like a totally surreal experience and I'm not sure how to prepare for that. I've been trying to watch the show as much as I can to get wagering hints and other strategies. I think I will just have to try my best and let the universe take its course. I'm just so happy to have this opportunity and the trip to LA didn't hurt. Hopefully Ill rise to the occasion and do my best.
Wish me luck.

Lea appeared in the following 2 archived games:
#6023, aired 2010-11-17 Sid Chandrasekhar vs. Sam Spaulding vs. Lea Tottle 2010-B College Championship semifinal game 3.
#6017, aired 2010-11-09 Erin McLean vs. Lea Tottle vs. Hans von Walter 2010-B College Championship quarterfinal game 2.

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