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LR teen advances in Jeopardy! tournament

By Lisa Burnett

This article was originally published July 29, 2014 at 3:29 p.m. Updated July 29, 2014 at 5:08 p.m.

cooper-lair-a-16-year-old-little-rock-christian-academy-student-watches-himself-play-in-the-jeopardy-teen-tournament-semifinals-on-tuesday-at-his-watch-party-at-jims-razorback-pizza-in-west-little-rock

Cooper Lair, a 16-year-old Little Rock Christian Academy student, watches himself play in the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament semifinals on Tuesday at his watch party at Jim's Razorback Pizza in west Little Rock.

LR teen advances in Jeopardy! Teen Tournament

Cooper Lair, 16, of Little Rock, advanced Tuesday afternoon in Jeopardy!'s Teen Tournament. The finals will air Thursday and Friday at 2 p.m. on ABC. (By Lisa Burnett)
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A crowd of classmates and family gathered Tuesday afternoon to watch Cooper Lair, a junior at Little Rock Christian Academy, compete in the semifinals of Jeopardy!’s Teen Tournament.

The 16-year-old, sporting a blue Jeopardy! T-shirt, held a watch party at Jim’s Razorback Pizza on Cantrell Road.

Lair answered “Who is Venus?” for the final question in Tuesday’s show, “This Spanish and French word for Friday comes from Latin of 'day of' this goddess.”

This response left Lair with $44,200, making him the winner in Tuesday’s Final Jeopardy round and causing the crowd at the restaurant to erupt in applause and cheers.

Lair said even though he knew what would happen, it was still nerve-wracking to watch himself on television.

“The game play was really fun when you get into a groove and answer questions really fast,” he said.

Craig Lair, Cooper Lair's father, said the show was taped in March and the Lair family has had to keep his son's results a secret ever since.

Though Cooper Lair couldn’t elaborate on what ultimately happens in this Teen Tournament, he said if he does end up winning, he plans on saving his winnings for traveling and college.

“I’m not sure [where I want to go to college] yet,” he said. “I’m still looking at a lot of different schools."

Lair will advance to the finals, which will air Thursday and Friday at 2 p.m. on ABC. He’ll compete against two other semi-finalists in the finals.

“You get $10,000 if you lose in the semi-finals, finalists get $15,000 minimum for third place, $25,000 minimum for second place and $75,000 minimum for first place,” Lair said.

Another watch party will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Jim’s Razorback Pizza to watch Lair compete in the finals.

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