SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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October 17, 2013

Danvers 'Jeopardy!' champ vies to get back on the show

DANVERS — The answer: This 2009 Danvers High graduate and “Jeopardy!” college champion needs your vote online.

The question: Who is Erin McLean?

McLean is now a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island, studying biology and squid physiology, and she is vying to get back on her favorite TV game show as a contestant in the upcoming million-dollar Battle of the Decades Fan Favorites Tournament. This tournament involves past “Jeopardy!” winners from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s in which Alex Trebek has hosted the show. Fifteen winners in each decade will be picked to play.

“This is an amazing opportunity to be even considered a fan favorite,” McLean said. “I want to go back because I think I can win.”

Producers have already chosen the first 14 fan favorites in each decade, and McLean wants to be the 15th person to compete as a member of the 2000s decade.

McLean, now 21, has been an avid fan of the game since she was a kid. She won $100,000 in the College Championship in 2010, when she was a student at Boston University, and $10,000 in the Tournament of Champions in 2011. McLean said she got knocked out in the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions due to categories that included opera, which she had not studied at the time.

She’s studying them now, though.

To get back to fielding questions from Trebek, McLean must win an online contest against four other past “Jeopardy!” fan favorites from the same decade.

Fans of McLean can vote once a day. On Twitter, your tweet must include the phrase “Erin #JeopardyVote.” Only the first tweet will count, but the following tweets can be used to raise awareness through retweets.

You can also vote at http://www.jeopardy.com/minisites/battleofthedecades00s/, or on Facebook at facebook.com/Jeopardy. Voting runs through Monday at 9:59 p.m.

“Everyone has been so fantastic, sharing things on Facebook and tweeting,” McLean said, “even if they never heard of Twitter before.”

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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