Lilly Chin ’17 Crowned Jeopardy! 2017 College Champion

by Julie Barr on February 24, 2017 · 11 comments

in Alumni Life

MIT senior Lilly Chin ’17 won Jeopardy! College Championship and claimed a $100,000 grand prize and a berth in the next edition of the Tournament of Champions. “My goal for the entire tournament was really just to make it to the semifinals. Everything else was just icing on the cake,” Chin told Jeopardy!. “I never expected to do so well and honestly, everything after that quarterfinal win just feels like a dream. After the competition, I actually had dreams where the Jeopardy! staff called me up and said there was a mistake and that I wasn’t the champion.”

Lilly Chin won the Jeopardy! College Championship, taking home the $100,000 grand prize

Chin told Jeopardy! that “getting an MIT education is like drinking from a firehose,” something that she says helped her under pressure. “Being part of the MIT Trap Shooting team also helped a lot. Coach always says to never keep score and to focus on one shot at a time. Similarly, I didn’t let a broken streak get under my skin too much and I stayed laser-focused on making sure that each buzz counted.”

Chin says she plans to save some of her winnings, and use the rest to pay off her student loans. “The extra money will definitely make my life as a starving grad student much more comfortable,” she said. She also said she would love to go to Denmark and do video game studies research.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Anu Sood February 24, 2017 at 9:37 pm

That’s awesome, but kind of a spoiler for us in other time zones like the West Coast.


Reid Sheftall MD February 24, 2017 at 11:26 pm

We are so proud of this lovely young lady making us number one again. Way to go Lilly!!


Frank A. Tapparo,'60 March 18, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Hope all is well. Are you still in PP?
Yes, Lilly did all we trivia freaks proud.


Anu Sood February 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I posted a comment yesterday about this story coming out before the episode aired on the west coast. Rejected by the moderator?


Anu Sood February 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Never mind, I see it now. A response would be appreciated.


Julie Barr February 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Anu, thank you for reaching out. We apologize if we spoiled the ending for you. We followed an embargo set by “Jeopardy!” and then joined in the excitement of the rest of the MIT community once the show aired and her success was posted by other outlets. Also, please know that we didn’t reject your comment, all of the blog comments go through a moderator first and we apologize for the delay in approving over the weekend.


Anu Sood February 27, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Thanks for answering, anyhow so proud of Lilly and MIT!


Leah February 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Especially as an MIT M.Arch. (’78) and successful J! contestant (decades back), I was thrilled to see Lily win. From personal experience, I know that good reflexes are a great advantage in the game. Her trap shooting and video gaming had to have helped her get a chance to use her wide body of knowledge.


Richard J Sternberg, 74 February 28, 2017 at 8:02 am

We’re all very proud. I especially appreciate that Lily wore an old school MIT sweatshirt exactly like the ones I word as an undergraduate and still wear. Changing the logo was one of the worst things MIT ever did.


Frank A. Tapparo,'60 March 18, 2017 at 3:29 pm

I was informed that my request for follow-up comments was not accepted, as I probably did not have the correct e-mail address. Should I use or


John K. Stenard '80 August 29, 2017 at 7:44 am

Nice job Lily! Way to go! Best wishes for the future!


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