Arts & Entertainment

News from Nearby: Jason Sterlacci, Burnet Middle School Teacher, Wins First Place and $100,000 on Jeopardy!

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Jeopardy's Alex Trebek (left) and and Jason Sterlacci. Credits: courtesy Jeopardy! Productions, Inc.
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UNION, NJ – Answer:  The winner of the 2016 Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament.

Question:  Who is Burnet Middle School teacher Jason Sterlacci.

Sterlacci won the grand prize of $100,000 in the 2016 Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament on Friday.

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On the show, Sterlacci thanked his wife Rebecca and his parents for “encouraging me constantly with trivia” and thanked his coworkers at Burnet and professors at George Washington University.

The winner was determined by the cumulative total of both the Thursday and Friday final shows.  Sterlacci’s competitor’s included Kaberi Chakrabarty, an elementary bilingual teacher from Joliet, IL, and Jill Gilbert, a middle school English teacher from Des Moines, IA.

Going into Final Jeopardy! in Thursday nights’ game, Sterlacci had $19,800; his nearest competitor had $11,300. Sterlacci was the only competitor to get the correct Jeopardy! answer (category:  African Geography).  He wagered $2,801 and ended the game in first place with a total of $22,601.

In Friday nights game, Sterlacci had $20,800 going into Final Jeopardy!, more than twice Chakrbarty,’s total, his nearest competitor.  The final Jeopardy! question in the category of “20th Century Presidential Candidates“ proved difficult for all of the players, and no one could come up with the correct answer.  Sterlacci bet $0, and ended the game with a 2-day total of $43,401.  His actual winnings for the tournament totaled $100,000.

“I am grateful for all of the support I have received from my students, my co-workers at Burnet, and from the Union community at large,” said Sterlacci.  “None of this would have been possible without the many people cheering me on or without the teachers I had at Burnet and Union High School itself.”

The 2016 Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament is presented by Farmers Insurance, through its Thank America’s Teachers Program.  Farmers Insurance will present each of the contestants with a $2,500 educational grant to fund classroom projects.  Sterlacci, who lives in Somerset, said he plans on starting a creative writing program. 

 

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