Saratoga High’s first 60 years: former Falcon turned College ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant in 2010

February 11, 2020 — by Michael Wong and Amanda Zhu

2008 alumnus Ryan Stoffers appeared on ABC’s College “Jeopardy!” from Feb. 1-5, 2010, placing second and taking home $50,000.

Then a mathematics and economics major at UCLA, Stoffers’s interest in “Jeopardy!” began in high school; he avidly watched the 7 p.m. show during dinner. History teacher Jerry Sheehy, who held trivia games every Friday during class, noted his aptitude for “Jeopardy!”-style trivia. He was also one of the editors of the 2008 Talisman yearbook.

Though he had posted qualifying scores on an online “Jeopardy!” test twice before, he was never invited onto the show until that year. Once he received the call, Stoffers said he spent hours preparing for the tournament, making flashcards and memorizing world capitals, works of literature and works of opera.

After two weeks of competing and winning on College Jeopardy, Stoffers reached the tournament final and was trailing Nick Yozamp of Washington University in St. Louis by $5,200. He answered correctly on the topic of Biblical Kings while Yozamp answered incorrectly, but Stoffers's $1,000 wager was too low to cover the difference.

Stoffers later graduated from UCLA and earned a masters degree in public affairs from Princeton University. He now works as a program examiner at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C.

This account is a summary of two articles that appeared in the Feb. 5, 2010, and Feb. 26, 2010, print editions of The Falcon. The original story was written by Robin Liu and Kevin Mu, while the follow-up was written by Brandon Yang. The original story can be found at second-place-college-jeopardy and its follow-up at




17 views this week

Add new comment

Prove that you're human:

Photo of the week

On March 27, members of the Air National Guard converted the Santa Clara County Convention Center to a temporary federal facility for about 250 coronavirus patients. The center is to house those who have tested positive for the virus, but don't require intensive in-hospital care. More information can be found through the local news. Photo courtesy of Randy Vazquez of the Bay Area News Group.


Do you like remote learning?


Falcon In Print

Prime time for Indian culture

Scanners streamline tutorial sign-ins

New quarantine policy enforced for coronavirus

Career Day returns to introduce professional paths