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

February 11, 2020 — by Michael Wong and Amanda Zhu

Ryan Stoffers places second place in a tournament while a student at UCLA.


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




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