UCLA Magazine

July 2007
Updated 09/5 — RSS Grab our RSS Feed

Best Bets at UCLA Women's Soccer vs. Ill

09/07 - Sports: Women's Soccer vs. Ill
09/08 - Sports: Football vs. BYU
09/08 - Lectures: Journalism, Public Relations, and Fund Raising
09/09 - Lectures: Writers Faire
09/14 - Sports: Men's Soccer vs. Ohio State

Listing by Happenings


"My comments are in response to the article titled 'Life Preserver' in the April 2007 issue of UCLA Magazine. Both current and past medical staff as well as all alumni might be amused to discover that graduation ceremonies for all students in the classes of 1950 and 1951 were actually held in the Hollywood Bowl..."   More »

Print Friendly

Best, brightest college students beaten by UCLA's

By David Landau


Copyright © Photo courtesy of Jeopardy!

In USC's brand-new, self-proclaimed sports Mecca, amid thousands of screaming Trojan fans, one Bruin carried the day for UCLA. Cliff Galiher, a sophomore pre-history major, mopped the floor with the best and brightest college students from across the nation, including one from USC, winning $100,000 in the 2007 "Jeopardy! College Championship."

"I thought it was a huge cosmic joke when I found out I'd be playing for the championship at [the USC Galen Center]. And after the show's coordinators warned me, specifically, about potentially hostile crowd reactions, I was more than a little apprehensive. It didn’t help to have a replica of Tommy Trojan staring right at me through every match. But it was still a great experience, and winning there was icing on the cake," said Galiher.

To qualify, he had to out-perform 1,000 fellow Bruins in Ackerman Grand Ballroom, answering a pre-test, an exam-length follow-up test and a personality test, and finally prove his merit in a simulated episode. Obviously, he was the right pick for UCLA representative, eventually walking away with the title.

How did he do it? Like a good Bruin, he studied: "I only found out I was chosen for the show about ten days before the episodes were taped, so I had to take a crash course in everything! My biggest resource was www.j-archive.com, which displays clues from past episodes, and which taught me a lot about everything from common categories to wagering strategies for the Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy."

"It all took up a lot of my time, but it definitely got me into fighting shape!" he added.

Winning took a lot more than just study, though. Says Galiher, "There's a world of difference between playing onstage and playing at home. At home, I always shout out the answers before the end of the question. One thing I had to get used to was waiting for the end of the question, and definitely being quick on the signaling device."

All of his studying definitely paid off, though — literally — landing him $100,000, a trophy, bragging rights and the begrudging admiration of the Trojans in attendance to boot. "The [members of the crowd] were ... good sports. Even some USC grads and students came up and congratulated me," said Galiher.

Published Jun 18, 2007 12:05 PM

Print Friendly