EStem student wins $75,000 in Jeopardy! Teen Tournament


Photographs by Courtesy Jeopardy Productions

EStem senior Leonard Cooper is pictured with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek in this photo provided by the popular quiz show.

— A senior at Little Rock's eStem Public High Charter School has won the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament, earning a $75,000 grand prize.

Leonard Cooper, 17, on Tuesday joined several dozen classmates at Gusano's in downtown Little Rock to watch the premiere broadcast of the tournament finale over pizza and sodas. He traveled to California in November to compete, but the results were secret until the shows premiered.

Cooper said he will use the prize money - which comes in the form of a check and not as a scholarship - toward college, music equipment and "maybe a car, possibly."

EStem student wins Jeopardy! Teen Tournament

A student at Little Rock's eStem Public Charter High School won the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament. Leonard Cooper, 17, won in an episode filmed last year but aired for the first time on Tuesday, his 17th birthday. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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Speaking shortly after the episode aired and taking a break from high-fiving his peers, Cooper said the whole experience was amazing.

"Oh man, I've been watching Jeopardy! for so many years, I've been wanting to be on the show for awhile," he said on Tuesday, his birthday. "Actually being on and being able to win a tournament, that was the icing on the cake."

In episodes that began airing in late January, Cooper advanced through the quarter- and semi-finals to make the two-episode final round.

Cooper won $37,000 in the final episode Tuesday, adding to his $3,000 from Monday and besting the other two finalists for first place. Cooper led the way into Tuesday's Double Jepoardy! round, racking up $5,800 by answering questions about Pac-Man, Chile and geography.

During Double Jeopardy!, Cooper risked a whopping $18,000 on a Daily Double question, answering correctly the question about the play 12 Angry Men.

Cooper said he knew the answer immediately.

"Seeing the clue come up was the most relieving part of the entire trip," he said. "I knew I had to do something if I wanted to win, so betting $18,000 was kind of nerve-wracking. But when I saw the clue, I was happy."

Heading into Final Jeopardy!, Cooper had earned $37,000. The category "Military Men," Cooper incorrectly guessed, but wagered nothing, which proved to be the right choice as he finished with the highest two-day total of $40,000 to win the grand prize of $75,000.

Cooper, one of 15 students from across the country who took part in this year's tournament, said he hopes to go to Brown University.


BigK says...

Way to go. Love the hair.

Posted 12 February 2013, 12:14 p.m. Suggest removal

PenLR says...

I Love that big booming voice.

Posted 12 February 2013, 12:30 p.m. Suggest removal

Populist says...

Way to go! What an accomplishment!

Posted 12 February 2013, 12:44 p.m. Suggest removal

eejames_ualr.edu says...

So proud i remember when he was born!

Posted 12 February 2013, 12:44 p.m. Suggest removal

djigoo says...

Woo hoo!

Posted 12 February 2013, 12:46 p.m. Suggest removal

Garycmillerlawgmailcom says...

Awesome! Maybe wait on the car.

Posted 12 February 2013, 2:13 p.m. Suggest removal


I hope this young man goes far. Great job.

Posted 12 February 2013, 2:42 p.m. Suggest removal

lakridge says...

Great job..hope this young man goes far!

Posted 12 February 2013, 2:53 p.m. Suggest removal

RaylanGivens says...

Great job; hope he gets the chance to go to Brown like he wants!

Posted 12 February 2013, 3:09 p.m. Suggest removal

CrispyCrittr says...

Congratulations and great job, Leonard! But, it is questions to answers, not answers to questions.

Posted 12 February 2013, 4:25 p.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

He makes all of Arkansas proud! Maybe someday he'll run for governor!!!! And that $5,800 question was AWESOME!

Posted 12 February 2013, 4:46 p.m. Suggest removal

jgraves says...

Congrats but I wonder if Leonard realizes that if the Nilai kid got the answer correct and bet the max, he would have lost. He could have wrote that "I just won $75,000" and actually lost. That would have been embarrassing...

Posted 12 February 2013, 6:49 p.m. Suggest removal

jimmyjames says...

Leonard representing!!!! Nice tie bro!!! love the hair too!!!! That freak flag was flyin HIGH! way to go man!!! Leonard vs. the establishment and Leonard WON. Why? Because good will triumph over evil in the end...always!!!! Somewhere up there a guy that plays a right handed guitar upside down is smiling!!!! Leonard vs. the establishment and you tore that mofo DOWN!!!! I have a guitar I would like to give to pass on to you...

Posted 12 February 2013, 7:32 p.m. Suggest removal

NoCrossNoCrown says...

Black male who sometimes wears a hoodie, wins $75,000.00 in Jeopardy Teen Tournament!!!

Posted 12 February 2013, 11:10 p.m. Suggest removal

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