He’s only 17 years old, but James Hill III is already a celebrity around campus. Wherever he goes, people congratulate him, point or smile, and even ask for autographs. The freshman skyrocketed into fame at Santa Clara University after making SCU history as the second Bronco to appear on Jeopardy!
After defeating two Ivy League students on Wednesday, Feb. 3, Hill was back on the show the following Monday. Friends and classmates gathered at Graham Residence Hall for a second time to cheer for him. Although the trivia whiz did well in the regular and double Jeopardy round of the show, a Washington University student ended up winning the final Jeopardy round, stealing Hill’s chance of advancing to the final round of the College Championship.
A collective ah echoed throughout the basement of Graham, but Hill graciously thanked everyone for their support and then encouraged them to be the next Jeopardy! champ.
For more information on becoming a contestant in next year’s college Jeopardy! Championships visit the website.
“I want to get as many students as I possibly can to take the test and get them into the audition,” Hill says.
Several people approached him after his first appearance, asking him how they can be a contestant.
“I don’t want another 12 years to go by before someone from SCU gets on the show. In fact, I want to see someone from Santa Clara on the show again before I graduate,” he says. “I have to get SCU into the finals or even better, to win.”
Bryan Stofferahn was the first Bronco to compete in Jeopardy’s College Championship in 1998. He, too, lost in the semifinal round.
While Hill plans to continue to encourage more students to try out for Jeopardy!, he also plans to organize a trivia club. It was an idea he intended to carry out last quarter, but learning the ropes of college life and becoming a Jeopardy! contestant forced him to put that mission on the backburner. Hill says the idea could become a reality in the spring or next fall.