MC Graduate Gail Flemmons Wins Jeopardy Contest
February 5, 2009Mississippi College graduate Gail Flemmons emerged a big winner on TV's "Jeopardy" show.
With this unexpected windfall from her knowledge on a variety of subjects, the Hillcrest Christian School history teacher will give ten percent of her earnings to Parkway Baptist Church in Clinton. She will also pay off a car and buy furniture. Anything left will go into savings.
A Clinton resident, Flemmons was a contestant on the nationally syndicated shows taped in Los Angeles in November. The programs aired on WAPT-16, the ABC affiliate in Jackson this week.
When word got around town following Wednesday's show that Flemmons won at least $26,001, a former Hillcrest student sent flowers. Dr. Edward McMillan, a Clintonian who is her former Mississippi College history professor and advisor, called to offer his congratulations. Hillcrest students and faculty colleagues treated her as a celebrity on the South Siwell Road campus in Jackson. Her new two-day earnings total is $46,399. Flemmons will be back on the show on WAPT-16 Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Flemmons, who received her bachelor's degree at MC in education in 1976 and returned for a master's degree in social science in 1979, was well-prepared before appearing on the show. A coach of Hillcrest's Quiz Bowl team, she read extensively to get ready. During the broadcast airing Wednesday, she was tested on a variety of subjects, from poetry to music to veterans benefits.
A fan of "Jeopardy" for decades, the Mississippian began watching the show when Art Fleming served as the host. Alex Trebek has hosted the nationally syndicated program for the past 25 years. "He was very, very nice," the MC graduate said.
Being a contestant on "Jeopardy," Flemmons said, "was very exciting. It was something I wanted to do my whole life. It was a dream come true."
In their responses, contestants are required to give an answer in the form of a question.
With her ability to think quickly on her feet, Flemmons would be perfect for another shot at national fame on a similar TV quiz program. But under an agreement with "Jeopardy," she cannot do another nationally televised game show for another year.
Photo: Gail Flemmons pictured with Alex Trebek