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Jeopardy! player Maya Wright holds back tears after comeback win as she heads to tournament finals in thrilling moment

Jeopardy! player Maya Wright holds back tears after comeback win as she heads to tournament finals in thrilling moment

JEOPARDY! contestant Maya Wright was shocked in the best way when she won Tuesday’s High School Reunion Tournament semifinals episode.

The Emory University senior was the only one correct on Final Jeopardy, booking it from last place to first and inching closer to $100K.

ABCMaya Wright was trailing all the way into Final Jeopardy on Tuesday[/caption]

ABCBut she was the only one correct and bet it all, scoring the last spot in the special’s finals[/caption]

ABCMaya couldn’t believe it and fans posted online: ‘Love this for her’[/caption]

Mayim, 47 is hosting the last lash of the 14-episode High School Reunion Tournament.

Maya from Peachtree City, Georgia faced Tim Cho, a senior at Columbia from Champaign, Illinois, and Caleb Richmond, a sophomore at Georgetown from Bedford, New Hampshire.

27 former Teen Tournament contestants who first duked it out in 2018 and 2019 have competed, and tonight’s game was the end of the semi-finals.

The other finalists are Jackson Jones and Justin Bolsen, waiting in the wings to compete tomorrow and Thursday.

The finalists will face off for $100,000 and a slot in the 2023 Tournament of Champions.

While all three of tonight’s remaining semi-finalists had their game faces on, it was Maya who won out in perhaps the most exciting third act in months.

Caleb – who dominated his first game last week – dropped a huge chunk of change on a Daily Double in the second round – as did Tim.

By Final Jeopardy, Caleb just slightly led with $9,582 while Tim had $8,800 and Maya $7,800 so it was still anyone’s game.


Final Jeopardy under “Names in the bookstore” read: “This man made lists, perhaps to cope with depression; a set of lists he published in 1852 made his name synonymous with a type of book.”

Maya was in last place so she showed her hand first – and she was correct with “Rogett” – adding an extra T for Peter Mark Roget, still acceptable.

She then revealed she wagered everything – $7800 – and shot to the lead as the crowd roared.

And in the lead she stayed as the other two contestants were wrong as their scores dropped – Maya just held her hands to her face in disbelief.

Mayim declared: “Maya Wright congratulations you are advancing to the finals!” – the crowd just went insane, as did fans online.

“Helluva game of Jeopardy tonight. Wow,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Yesss love when the girlies win” wrote another.

“YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY~~ beat those guys!” posted a third as a fourth wrote: “fire clutch performance. Love to see it. S/O to her for not giving up.”

“Why am I crying at the #Jeopardy high school reunion rn???” wrote a fifth.

Over on Reddit in a game thread a user gushed: “Yaaaaaaas Maya! Slow and steady wins the race.”

Another wrote: “So Maya is the only previous finalist to make it back to the finals. Love this for her.”

“These reunion games have been so close and unpredictable. Love it!” applauded a third.

“I wanted to see a Maya & Claire [Sattler] rematch in the finals but still looking forward to the finals looks to be a fun 2 day event,” wrote one more.


Caleb then chimed into the thread: “Hi guys! Popping in once again to say there’s no better person to lose to twice than Maya!

I’ve never felt more adrenaline than I did during that Double Jeopardy round, and the loss was especially bitter because Roget was my blind guess after hearing the category but I second-guessed myself and panicked because of nerves.

But as I said, Maya is a fantastic person to lose to, and it’s very funny to say I have lost twice to someone 16 inches shorter than me.”


Maya, a human health and Spanish double-major and president of the Emory Quiz Bowl team, told Emory.edu about how she was feeling after filming the special.

Maya, Claire Sattler, and fan-favorite Emma Arnold (sadly absent from this special as she is at Cambridge) faced off in the finals in the 2018 Teen Tournament.

Claire, who won in 2018, lost last night so seeing Maya advance from the ever-enjoyable girls’ club of that event probably meant even more.

Maya told the outlet of her 2018 tournament pals: “We have a group chat, and if any of us travel through a city where we know the other ones live, we’ll meet up and go to lunch. We knew each other for less than a week and we became best friends.”

She also said on being back five years later: “It was surreal. All of us were staying in the same hotel, and the night before we started filming, we ate dinner.

It wasn’t real to us even though we had all flown to LA. It didn’t hit me until we had to practice with the buzzers, and they played the intro music. When I was standing on the stage, that’s when it hit me.”

Maya and her other finalists will duke it out in two-night finals and if she wins, she’d be a welcome addition to the 2023 Tournament of Champions which – in contrast- is currently only men.

Regular episodes and Ken Jennings, 48, are returning on Friday, March 10 when it concludes.

Ken will host until April 28 at which point Mayim will finish out the season which ends this summer.

The co-hosts began filling in for the late, great Alex Trebek in 2021 and so far fans and contestants have made it no secret they prefer the 74-time champ’s hosting style to the actress’ lack of flow.

ABCMaya, Justin Bolsen, and Jackson Jones will now duke it out for a 2023 Tournament of Champions slot and $100K[/caption]

ABCKen Jennings will switch in for Mayim Bialik for regular episodes on Friday and until May 1[/caption]

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