Arkansas 'Jeopardy!' Champion One of Five Fan Favorite Candidates for Decades Tournament

Friday, October 11, 2013
Shane Whitlock in his University of Arkansas sweatshirt. Left: During his 1996 Jeopardy! appearance. Right: In his 2013 Battle of the Decades nomination video.

Shane Whitlock in his University of Arkansas sweatshirt. Left: During his 1996 Jeopardy! appearance. Right: In his 2013 Battle of the Decades nomination video.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Alumnus and 1996 College Jeopardy! champion Shane Whitlock was recently selected as one of five 1990s fan favorite candidates for the upcoming Battle of the Decades tournament. The candidate receiving the most online votes will compete in the tournament celebrating 30 years of television’s popular trivia show.

Selected from more than 350 former Jeopardy! champions to collect “Fan Favorites” votes in an online competition, Whitlock represents the University of Arkansas, as well as his former hometown of Benton.

To help Whitlock earn his place in the tournament, supporters may vote via Jeopardy.com and the Jeopardy! Facebook page. Voting is also available via Twitter by tweeting Shane #JeopardyVote. Voting will close at 6:59 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (8:59 a.m. Central) Monday, Oct. 14.

“I remember how supportive everyone in the community was when I competed in College Jeopardy! and hope I can count on that support once more as I collect votes in the Fan Favorites competition,” said Whitlock. “I would love to represent Arkansas again on the show.”

Whitlock was 20 years old when he bested contestants from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, Yale and Princeton Universities to take the title of Jeopardy! College Champion. Now 38, he is prepared to once again battle for top honors.

 “I love playing Jeopardy!,” said Whitlock. “I love trivia – the competition, the people you meet. It’s fun.”

To compete, Whitlock must have the most votes among the five candidates representing the ‘90s. Supporters may place votes daily at each of the three websites. Votes will be calculated for voting on Jeopardy.com and Facebook by counting one vote per IP address per platform per day and calculated for Twitter voting by counting one vote per username per day. "One day" in the voting period is defined as 7 a.m. to 6:59 a.m. PDT on the following calendar day.

In his original Jeopardy! appearance in 1996, Whitlock won the College Championship while representing the University of Arkansas. He remains the only student from the University of Arkansas to have competed in the annual college tournament.

He was also recognized by then-President Bill Clinton, who commended him for being “an inspiration to [his] fellow Razorbacks and for people across America.”

Whitlock appeared twice more on the show. His second appearance was also in 1996, placing as a Tournament of Champions semi-finalist. His third appearance was in 2005, when he placed as a quarter-finalist and member of the “Elite 18” in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, competing against 145 players, including celebrated multi-time Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings.

Now a radiologist living in Little Rock, Whitlock is received a bachelor of science in microbiology from the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences in 1997. When he’s not taking in college football and cheering for the Razorbacks, Whitlock may be found on the local trivia scene. He often plays with his wife, Lee-Ann, in Challenge Entertainment trivia games and has competed six times in the group’s Midsouth Trivia League regional competition in Memphis. The Whitlock’s 5-year-old son, Declan, gets in on the game, too, participating in Saturday games at his favorite pizza place.

In addition to voting, supporters who want to keep up with Whitlock’s Battle of the Decades tallies may follow his progress at fan sites on Facebook or Twitter. His nomination video may be seen on You Tube.

Contacts:

Darinda Sharp, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, dsharp@uark.edu

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