Bates history lecturer Ian Shin took home second-place winnings on Tuesday night’s episode of “Jeopardy!”

The episode, which was filmed Aug. 30, found Shin competing against returning champion LaKedra Pam and new contestant Sarah Woodring on topics including Robert Seigel, holiday songs and poetry.

Pam stood victorious at the end of this episode, as well, but Shin was just happy that he didn’t get any of the history-related questions wrong.

“That would have been embarrassing,” he said.

After the first round, he said his nerves went away and he figured out the buzzer a little better and was able to stay pretty even with Pam through most of the episode.

Woodring spent a lot of the time in the red but rallied toward the end of the game.


Shin had a viewing of the episode with about 50 students, staff and faculty Tuesday night, and said they turned it into a little cheering party for Woodring to get out of the red.

The topic that most took Shin by surprise was the holiday song category because even though it was airing in December, the show was filmed in August.

“I didn’t anticipate it,” he said.

One category Shin really mastered was Robert Seigel, senior host of NPR’s award-winning evening newsmagazine “All Things Considered.”

“I owe that to my husband, Peter,” he said.

Shin said he never listened to NPR before they met, and Peter introduced him to it.


“We wake up to the ‘Morning Edition,'” he said. “Even though I hate to fulfill the stereotype of a professor listening to NPR.”

When asked if he would go on the show again, he replied, “In a heartbeat, absolutely.”

Shin said the two categories he had the toughest time with were poetry and the anagrams of state capitals.

He said they were all impressed by Pam, who was able to untangle the anagrams very quickly.

Shin took home $2,000 as the second-place winner. He said he didn’t have any big plans for the money right now; he’ll probably save it.

He said knowing the outcome, that he didn’t win, he didn’t want to over-hype the episode to people.


After the viewing, he said a friend told him he should have read up on game theory.

“If I hadn’t bet anything on Final Jeopardy, I could have won,” he said. “But now I’ll never forget what Dunkirk stands for in Flemish.”

The Final Jeopardy category was French cities and the answer was: The name of this city in the Département du Nord comes from the Flemish for “Church of the Dunes.”

Shin said he didn’t have high expectations going into it, thinking it would just be a cool cocktail story.

“My thinking was, ‘Let’s have fun and see how this goes,'” he said.

“It’s a show people are for some reason still into, and I’m glad I’ll be able to talk about it now,” he said.

Shin said that having made a career of teaching, there’s something special about celebrating knowledge.

“I’m happy to participate in this part of American culture,” he said.

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