Long-running TV game show Jeopardy! and its annual teen tournament has been going strong for years. However, nothing could have prepared host Alex Trebek for one of the cockiest tournament winners of all time in 17-year-old high school senior Leonard Cooper.
Cooper, a student at Little Rock, Ark. charter school eSTEM Public High was the darling of his hometown after a special gathering of friends to watch the taped tournament Tuesday (February 12) night reported Arkansas Online. Sporting an afro and a casual demeanor, Cooper snagged the grand prize of $75,000 large in the two-day tourney – all without even getting the Final Jeopardy! answer correct. Compared to his fellow contestants, the Brown University hopeful struck an air of flippancy but showed extreme confidence down the stretch.
The Final Jeopardy! answer was “On June 6, 1944 He Said, “The Eyes Of The World Are Upon You” and only second-place winner Barret Block answered Dwight D. Eisenhower correctly. It was Cooper’s answer, however, that caused Trebek and the entire studio audience to erupt into laughter. Cooper wrote “WHO is some guy in Normandy But I just won $75,000” after coasting to a comfortable first place lead. Trebek took to the joke well, remarking on Cooper’s sense of humor while congratulating him on the win.
Back home (and on his birthday no less), Cooper said he intends to use his money towards college, musical equipment and a vehicle. Although his brashness on the show may put off some, the bubbling Internet sensation showed measurable humility after having a pizza celebration with friend’s last night.
“Oh man, I’ve been watching Jeopardy! for so many years, I’ve been wanting to be on the show for a while,” Cooper shared. “Actually being on and being able to win a tournament, that was the icing on the cake.”
Check out Leonard Cooper’s win in the video below.
Photo: Jeopardy Productions