A sophomore from Yale University from Wilmington, North Carolina...

Sam Spaulding

What's more difficult, preparing for finals or for Jeopardy!?
Definitely preparing for Jeopardy! I think Jeopardy! asks about so many different things, you don't really know what to study. Finals, at least you can follow the syllabus, follow the textbook, and, uh, you're pretty much set.

Are you going to put "Jeopardy! contestant" on your resume?
Oh, absolutely. I think that employers will think that being on Jeopardy! is a really cool thing.

Where do you hope to be in ten years?
Uh, ten years? Wow, I really don't know. Uh, I could see myself working some kind of tech job, uh, in grad school... I-I could go in any number of directions, I think.

2010-B College Championship 1st runner-up: $50,000 + a Nintendo Wii + the Wii Jeopardy! game.

Sam Spaulding
Yale University

November 19, 2010
Playing in the Finals was insane. Coming in, the Finals seemed so distant, and yet, here I was. Coincidentally, Hans and I were at the same interview site in Raleigh, and had sat next to each other at the same table. Now, we were standing next to each other at podiums in LA playing for $100,000. The two games went by even quicker than the previous two. I just remember buzzing as quickly as I could when I knew things, and sitting back and letting my competitors pick up points when I didn't. After the second Final Jeopardy! finished and I heard that crazy-catchy Think Music for the last time, I saw that I'd gotten second! Everyone descended onto the stage, pictures were taken, hugs were given, food was eaten, and we all said goodbye to the studio one last time. Playing Jeopardy! was an unbelievably fun experience, a chance of a lifetime, and the most enjoyable way to make money I've can imagine.

November 17, 2010
I started the next day similarly to the first, coffee, breakfast, bus, greenroom, makeup, etc. This time we could watch all the games, so we settled into the rows of the studio to watch and wait. I waited, thinking that since I was the last quarterfinal game, I'd be in an early semi-final game. I was, not for the first time during those two days, completely wrong. I was the LAST semifinal game. This game was nothing like the quarterfinal, Sid and Lea were both crazy fast on the buzzer, and I ended up making a ton of mistakes in "Plant Science" that put me behind. I managed to make it up, and thought I would be in the lead for Final Jeopardy!, when, on the last clue of " [adult swim] " Lea answered the $2000 question about "Squidbillies." As it turns out, that was a real stroke of luck, since Final Jeopardy! was a Triple Stumper. I made a conservative bet and ended up winning! I was so surprised, since I thought for sure, I'd blown it by answering so many incorrectly. I didn't have much time to think about the game, since the next round started in about 45 minutes, so I grabbed a quick lunch with the other finalists and tried to get ready for the next game.

November 5, 2010
Hi everybody! I’m Sam Spaulding, a sophomore Computer Science major at Yale University. I’ve loved Jeopardy! ever since I started watching it in high school but never tried out for the Teen version. Once I went off to school, a lot of my friends kept telling me I should apply to be on the show, so I took the adult test, but then noticed that the college test was about a week afterwards, so I decided to take that one too. I’d heard stories about how legendarily hard it was, but the first test didn’t really faze me, although I kicked myself afterwards for not being able to remember a few famous playwrights. About a month or two later, I got an email saying I had done well enough to get a follow-up audition in Raleigh. I live in North Carolina, so it was just a short 2 hour drive to get to the audition site. I nearly missed the start, since I thought I was arriving 35 minutes early, but actually only arrived about 5 minutes early! I took this second test, and played in the mock game. While I was up there, I didn’t think I was going to get called, since Maggie kept telling me to "be louder!” So I left the site, drove home, and didn’t think about it again for a few months. Then, in September, I was working at my student job, when my phone rang. Since we aren’t supposed to take personal calls at work, I shut my phone off and didn’t think about it. Only later, as I was headed to a discussion section did I listen to the voice mail and hear "Hey, this is Maggie from Jeopardy!” I was so surprised, I literally stopped in the middle of the street. Of course, I still had to go to discussion section for an hour before I could call back. Needless to say, I was pretty unproductive, I don’t even remember what we talked about, I was just thinking about Jeopardy! The first people I told were my parents, quickly followed by my brother and sisters. Since my parents are usually used to me only calling when something bad happens, I think they were a little worried, until I spilled the beans and told them. So I had four weeks before the taping. I didn’t do a whole lot to prepare for it, since I was already juggling a pretty full course load, but in my spare time I wound up playing a lot of quizzes on sporcle.com, especially geography, since that’s one of my weakest subjects. Hopefully, that’ll be enough to prepare me for Jeopardy!, I can’t wait!

Sam appeared in the following 4 archived games:
#6025, aired 2010-11-19 Erin McLean vs. Hans von Walter vs. Sam Spaulding 2010-B College Championship final game 2.
#6024, aired 2010-11-18 Erin McLean vs. Hans von Walter vs. Sam Spaulding 2010-B College Championship final game 1.
#6023, aired 2010-11-17 Sid Chandrasekhar vs. Sam Spaulding vs. Lea Tottle 2010-B College Championship semifinal game 3.
#6020, aired 2010-11-12 Amanda J. Ray vs. Katie Singh vs. Sam Spaulding 2010-B College Championship quarterfinal game 5.

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