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Allison Babka Burney

January 6, 2006

SLU Alum's Reign as "Jeopardy" Champ Ends

Tom Kavanaugh
Photo by "Jeopardy"/Sony Pictures Television

Saint Louis University alumnus Tom P. Kavanaugh ended his nine-day run on the trivia show "Jeopardy" with more than $140,000.

Kavanaugh's reign as Jeopardy champion came to a close with the Jan. 10 episode, on which he lost by less than $1,000 during the "Final Jeopardy" segment of the game.

A 2001 graduate of SLU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Kavanaugh answered difficult questions about word origins, science, religious leaders, geography and more.

Kavanaugh's total earnings place him at No. 5 on Jeopardy's list of non-tournament, big-money winners.

Kavanaugh, who resides in south St. Louis and graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School, first appeared on "Jeopardy" Dec. 29, when he won $28,000 to conquer two-day champion Rex Babiera.

SLU runs in the Kavanaugh family. Kavanaugh attended SLU under the eye of his uncle John Kavanaugh, S.J., professor of philosophy. Brother John and father Tom also are SLU alums.

On the Jan. 2 episode of "Jeopardy," host Alex Trebek asked about Kavanaugh’s philosophy degree and revealed that he, too, had majored in philosophy while at the University of Ottawa.

"Jeopardy" was created in 1964 and has won more Daytime Emmys than any other syndicated game show, including three "Outstanding Game Show Host" statuettes for Trebek.

"Jeopardy" airs at 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday on KSDK Channel 5 in St. Louis.

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