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Minnesota substitute teacher wins 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions

Sam Kavanaugh is a native of Carlton, Minnesota.

Located in the upper midwest, this U.S. state is known for its "nice" accent — and producing the winner of Jeopardy!'s 2021 Tournament of Champions.

If you answered "What is Minnesota?", you would be absolutely correct. 

On Friday, Sam Kavanaugh — a Carlton native and now a substitute teacher based in Minneapolis — seized victory in the annual tournament, which pitted 15 previous Jeopardy! winners against each other for a $250,000 grand prize.

He previously appeared on the gameshow in 2019, winning five games in a row and taking home $156,202. He made the finals of the 2021 tournament this past week. 

According to Pine Knot News, the COVID-19 pandemic left Kavanaugh jobless, so when he got the opportunity to appear on Jeopardy! again, he went full "Olympic mode" to train for his return.

Now, with victory — and prize money — in hand, he has big plans for the summer:

In a post-game interview, Kavanaugh said he'll be doing some traveling and using his winnings to help out with a summer camp he runs.

And Minnesota is proud of Kavanaugh, if Gov. Tim Walz's tweet congratulating him is any indication:

Another Minnesotan, Nibir Sarma, was also competing in the Tournament of Champions this year. The Eden Prairie native, who is a junior at the University of Minnesota, took second place in the quarter-final match, winning $12,199. He won enough money to earn him a spot in the semifinals as a wildcard but came in third place in Wednesday's episode with $201.

Sarma appeared on Jeopardy! last year, winning $100,000 and being named the 2020 College Champion

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