Penn Hills ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant felt support of hometown |
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Dillon Carr
Carrie Blazina, 26, a 2010 Penn Hills graduate, smiles with 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek.

A Penn Hills native walked away with $2,000 after she finished in second place on her “Jeopardy!” debut.

On the Dec. 20 episode, Andrew Kung, a graduate student from San Francisco, earned the title of champion with $21,000 in winnings. He ended lawyer Jackie Fuchs’ four-night winning streak.

Runner-ups do not take home prize money — they are awarded consolation prizes. Carrie Blazina, 26, of Cambridge, Mass., got $2,000 for placing second. Fuchs got $1,000.

The 2010 Penn Hills graduate answered 15 questions correctly and missed two, one of which was the Final Jeopardy clue: “Composed in 1791, the year he died, and last in the Kochel catalog of all his works, K. 626 is this work.”

She risked all but $1 on the final question, knowing it was mathematically impossible to surpass contestant Kung who went into the final question with $25,200.

None of the contestants wrote the correct question, which was “What is Requiem (in D Minor)?”

Blazina’s $1 earning meant she topped contestant Fuchs of Los Angeles, Calif., a defending champion who had won $87,089 in her last four games. Fuchs risked all of her $8,600 in Final Jeopardy.

“I’m really proud of myself,” Blazina said. “Mostly, I just wanted to go in and not embarrass myself. I would have been thrilled to win, but I’m glad I got good answers in.”

After the first commercial break, the show’s host, Alex Trebek, mentioned an unusual fact about Blazina she had provided producers. Blazina recently had learned how to ride a bicycle, something she had avoided because of fear of falling off.

She said there are similarities between learning to ride a bike and being on “Jeopardy,” a personal lifelong goal.

“Maybe it’s too intimidating to do or challenging if you’re not too familiar with it. But if you try it, and as long as you don’t fall over and embarrass yourself, it’s not so bad,” Blazina said.

Overall, Blazina enjoyed the experience and has loved interacting with friends and family from home throughout the process.

“I had the impression that the whole town of Penn Hills was watching and rooting for me. I heard from former teachers who were watching and said they were really proud,” she said. “It’s great to have the support from back home.”

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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