Laura Rigge ’14 Represents Wellesley on Jeopardy! College Championship

May 9, 2013

This long-running national quiz show’s iconic format features answers to which contestants must provide questions.

The question: What is Jeopardy!?

Laura Rigge ’14 will compete in the Jeopardy! episode airing May 10 on the show’s “College Championship.” The winner of the College Championship receives $100,000 and an opportunity to compete as part of the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Rigge’s competitors include students from schools ranging from nearby Tufts University to Washington University in St. Louis and Georgia Tech.

Besides having the vast compendium of knowledge and facts required of any Jeopardy! contestant, Rigge is a skilled computer scientist, having co-developed (with Karishma Chadha ’14) the Wellesley College interactive campus map. The Russian major from Emmaus, Pa., is also tech director of WZLY radio at Wellesley, and a member of the Guild of Carilloneurs.

Rigge recounts trying out for the game show in her teens, but not making it past the second round. Lately she figured it was worth trying the online test again. “I was shocked when they told me I had made it onto the show,” she said. “It was pretty surreal.”

She traveled to California in April for taping. “I was more nervous than excited on the flight over,” said Rigge, “but by the time I got to L.A., it was hard not to just relax and enjoy the sunshine. I had an extra day before the taping, so I went to the Richard Nixon Birthplace (I'm a presidential history nut and last summer I saw a house for every president) and then to the beach. By the time filming started, I was less nervous and more excited.”

Rigge has been featured on local news outlets in preparation for her appearance, including The Morning Call and the Lower Macungie Patch. Leigh High Valley Live described Rigge’s progress from applicant to contestant, which included two 50-question tests, an in-person audition, mock games, and interviews.

She appreciated all the encouragement she got along the way. “It really meant a lot to me knowing that I had so many people rooting for me back at Wellesley. I'd like to thank everyone for their support.”

You can join Rigge for a viewing party in Collins Cinema on Friday, May 10, starting at 6:30 p.m.