UNION, NJ – Once again, Burnet Middle School teacher Jason Sterlacci defeated his two competitors in the Jeopardy! semi-final game of the Teacher’s Tournament that aired Wednesday night.

Heading into final Jeopardy!, Sterlacci had a healthy $16,200, more than $10,000 over his nearest competitor.  Sterlacci was the only contestant to get the correct question to the final Jeopardy! answer in the category “State Songs”.  Betting $0 in final Jeopardy!, Sterlacci’s final total was $16,200.

“I'm incredibly excited to have made it to the finals,” said Sterlacci.  “Cory and Lauren were great competition and have become great friends. I was sad to have to face them both because they are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.”

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The final Jeopardy! Teacher’s Tournament shows air Thursday and Friday evening.  The contestant with the highest cumulative total over the two days wins $100,000.  Second place wins $50,000 and third place $25,000.

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. 

“This will be a school-wide after-school program, at least for the pilot program, which will begin in May,” said Sterlacci, a 6th grade English teacher.  “We’re going to take student writings that are exemplary, creative and interesting and go through the editing and revising process.  We’re going to use the grant money to publish these writings in book and eBook forms.  I’d like it to be a real hands-on experience of the book publishing business.”

JEOPARDY! airs locally on WABC at 7 p.m. ET.  For more information about the JEOPARDY! Teachers Tournament, please visit Jeopardy.com.