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Local teacher gets out of 'Jeopardy' and into semifinals

Mountain View resident Trevor Crowell stages a comeback in TV quiz show's Teachers Tournament

Palo Alto High School Spanish teacher Trevor Crowell made a huge comeback on Tuesday's episode of the "Jeopardy!" Teachers Tournament.

The Mountain View resident had a rough start in the quarterfinals round when he quickly found himself in the red with negative $200 in a category that challenged the contestants to sort out anagrams. After a commercial break, he gained momentum by correctly answering questions under the "In the Principal's Desk" category, where the contestants were given clues to items typically confiscated from students.

Crowell shone the competition when he correctly answered all five questions about NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, the final category question being a video Daily Double where his $2,000 wager boosted him to $7,000.

In the second round, he showed off his knowledge about Central America, correctly identifying bananas and coffee as the region's most important fair trade crops in yet another Daily Double that raised his earnings to $11,200. Crowell showed off his chops in the classics category, where he secured his third Daily Double that asked for the book containing this Plato quote: "Democracy passes into despotism." (Answer: "The Republic.")

He incorrectly answered the Final Jeopardy question: "As a teacher, this woman regained her sight thanks to 2 surgeries in 1881 and 1882." Another competitor responded with the correct answer, Annie Sullivan, whereas Crowell wrote the name of Sullivan's well-known student Helen Keller. His $100 wager left him with $15,500 — enough to help his advance to next week's semifinals and a step closer to winning $100,000.

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