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University of Missouri Senior Competes on "Jeopardy!"

Journalism student Laura Myers advances to semi-finals in the College Championship series

May 7, 2009

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, (573) 882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Senior Laura Myers had a busy week: finishing her final project for her senior capstone course, studying for a final exam, turning in her senior portfolio, and appearing on the television show "Jeopardy!" Myers was one of 15 students to compete in the College Championship series, which aired the first of three episodes last Monday. In the Los Angeles filming, Myers beat students from the Ohio State and MU's biggest rival: the University of Kansas.

"It's been completely surreal," said Myers, who is from Richmond, Va. "It has definitely been fun. I'm glad I can represent Mizzou in such a great way."

Last October, Myers took an online "Jeopardy!" test. A week later, she received an email invitation to come to Chicago for a second audition. There, she took a 50-question written test and went through several practice "Jeopardy!" sessions. A few months later, she was informed that she had qualified for the show.

With her busy class schedule, Myers said she didn't have as much time to prepare for the competition. However, she practiced by playing a "Jeopardy!" board game and watching the program in her spare time. The question she was asked most frequently when she told friends and family she was to appear on the show was "What kind of sweatshirt are you going to wear?"

Donning a gold, hoodless sweatshirt with "MIZZOU" stamped across the front, Myers went head-to-head with a student from KU, beating him in the final Jeopardy! challenge. The victory earned her $10,000. Myers now advances to the semi-finals, which will air 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 12 on ABC. While the filming for the series has already been completed, Myers can't reveal her standings in the competition. The grand prize is $100,000, followed by $50,000 for the second place contestant and $25,000 for third place. Semifinalists receive $10,000. Winners also receive a replica of the College Championship trophy. The series will air through Friday, May 15.

Myers is a senior magazine journalism student at the University of Missouri, where she will graduate summa cum laude at next week's commencement ceremonies. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, the journalism honors society. She was a member of the service organization Little Sisters of the Gold Rose. Last year, she studied abroad in London as an intern for Dow Jones Newswires and Currently, Myers works for the Tiger Calling Club, raising money for the Mizzou annual fund.

MU is the largest and oldest university of the state's major public, land-grant research institutions. Its mission is to provide all Missourians the benefits of a world-class research university. Tightly interlocked missions of teaching, research and service benefit all Missouri citizens. Students work side by side with some of the world's best faculty to advance the arts and humanities, the sciences, and the professions. Scholarship and teaching are driven by a sense of public service-the obligation to produce and disseminate knowledge that will improve the quality of life in the state, the nation and the world.

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