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Riverside man proud to finish second on ‘Jeopardy!’ — and win $223,000

By in Press Enterprise on December 3, 2017

By Amy Bentley

Riverside resident Alan Lin has realized two lifelong dreams.

Not only did he appear on the top-rated TV quiz show “Jeopardy!” but he won $223,000 and finished second in the Tournament of Champions.

Lin, 26, said he’s watched “Jeopardy!” for years and has always wanted to be a contestant. To get there, he took a short online test and passed an audition in Los Angeles.

Lin’s winnings in April hit $123,000 and he was invited to the Tournament of Champions. Buzzy Cohen, a 32-year-old music executive from Los Angeles, won the $250,000 grand prize. Lin, a software engineer and graduate student studying writing at UC Riverside, earned $100,000 for his second-place finish in the tournament that aired in mid-November. Austin Rogers, a 38-year-old bartender from New York City, placed third and won $50,000.

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Lin studied for three months to prepare for the championships. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and has been working for five years as a software engineer in Santa Barbara. He used his earlier winnings to buy a house in Riverside and now attends UCR while working part-time remotely for his Santa Barbara employer. He hasn’t yet spent his new $100,000 prize.

“If you’ve watched ‘Jeopardy!’ a lot you know some categories come up a lot of the time, like they’re obsessed with Shakespeare,” Lin said. “You can study for the things you know are going to come up.”

Lin, who said his strongest categories are science and Literature, said he read books on categories in which he wasn’t as strong, like older movies.

“I started participating […]    

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