Summer 2020

Titan of trivia

Nibir Sarma with “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek
Courtesy U of M College of Science and Engineering

Nibir Sarma watched his first episode of “Jeopardy!” the night before auditioning for the popular game show. Little did he know that he would soon be behind the podium, winning first place and $100,000 in the 2020 "Jeopardy!" College Championship.

A veteran of high school Quiz Bowl—a trivia competition—and the University of Minnesota Quiz Bowl club, the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) sophomore took an online test and traveled to St. Louis for an in-person interview and audition. Sarma was one of 15 students nationwide selected for the annual “Jeopardy!” college competition.

In February, he flew to Los Angeles to film the tournament. He had to keep the results secret until the episode aired in April.

“It definitely feels awesome to have won the tournament,” says the CSE Procter and Gamble Company Scholarship recipient. “Once I hit the last Daily Double in the second day of finals, that was when I was thinking to myself, ‘Yep, that's it. Game over.’”

Sarma says scholarship support has lightened his financial burden and allowed him to participate in activities such as intramural volleyball and Quiz Bowl. “Getting financial support from the U was a big factor in me choosing to come here for college,” he says.

Hear more from Nibir Sarma about the importance of scholarships and competing in the 2020 "Jeopardy!" College Championship: