The Monday night appearance of Sheldon Lewis II of Buffalo on the syndicated series "Jeopardy! College Championship" started out very well but ended badly.
The first answer in the competition with Stanford's Josie Bianchi and University of Central Florida's Hannah Sage favored the Western New Yorker: "The Cave of the Winds Tour provides an up close look at these falls in Upstate New York."
Lewis, a sophomore at RIT, correctly answered with a question, "What is Niagara Falls?" and earned $200.
He was in second place heading into Final Jeopardy! with $11,200 when the topic was 20th century presidents. Hannah was in the lead with $19,000 and Josie was third with $2,300.
The answer was: "He took the oath of office twice 14 months apart."
Josie had the correct question – who is Lyndon Baines Johnson? He first took the oath after the assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, and took it a second time 14 months later when he was re-elected. She wagered $2,250 and finished in second place with $4,550.
Lewis had a different assassination in mind. He picked Theodore Roosevelt, which host Alex Trebek said was a good guess. Roosevelt first took the oath of office on Sept. 14, 1901, at Buffalo's Wilcox Mansion after President McKinley died and took the oath a second time in 1905 after he was re-elected in 1904. Lewis wagered $7,000 and finished in third place with $4,200.
Sage answered Grover Cleveland but only wagered $2,000 and finished first with $17,000.
Doing the math, if Lewis had the correct question he would have won with $18,200.
Technically, Lewis wasn't disqualified since the four highest-scoring non-winners over the first five nights move on to the next round. However, he would appear to be a longshot since Josie already is ahead of him and $4,200 isn't a very high figure.
The competition continues tonight and runs for two weeks. The grand prize is $100,000 and a slot in the next edition of the "Tournament of Champions."