Claire Bishop in Jeopardy Teachers Tournament Championship

Tates Creek High School Latin Teacher Claire Bishop advanced to the finals of the “Jeopardy!” teachers tournament Tuesday night.

The University of Kentucky graduate will compete in the two-game finals Thursday and Friday against Monday night’s winner, Steve Mond, a 9th and 10th grade math teacher from Midvale, Utah, and the winner of Wednesday night’s final semi-final game.

Bishop survived a tense semi-final game of her own Tuesday, primarily doing battle with Rachel Niegelberg, and elementary school special education teacher from Trumansburg, New York. At the end of the first two rounds, only $100 separated the two front runners going into Final Jeopardy.

The last category seemed to set up great for the Latin teacher and classics major at UK who also has a masters in world languages: U.N. Languages. As it turned out, everyone got the correct answer to the question: Of the six official U.N. Languages, it is the one that is written in cursive form only. Answer: Arabic.

Turned out, Bishop bet everything she needed to guarantee a win with a right answer, and finished with $31,801.

Niegelberg came out strong, mechanically plowing through answers in the first half of the Jeopardy round. But Bishop caught up with answers including AC/DC (the band) and one you had to guess the classics education helped with: In the B to Y category (answers begin with B and end with Y), a medieval book of animals. Answer: What is a Bestiary?

Then she got the first round Daily Double, wagered $3,000 and correctly identified the similarly named characters in “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There”: Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

In the Double Jeopardy round, Bishop came out strong in categories such as Kings English and Mysteries & Thrillers, but went on a bit of a glide late in the game, as Niegelberg hung in and New Jersey English teacher Judy Tymkiw caught up. But Bishop held the lead and finished on top.

Making the finals, Bishop is guaranteed at least $25,000. The tournament winner is guaranteed $100,000, with $50,000 for second and $25,000 for third, unless they win more than those totals in the actual games.

“Jeopardy!” airs at 7:30 p.m. weeknights on WKYT-TV 27 (Spectrum Ch. 9).

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