’04 Grad Shows Broad Knowledge in Exciting Jeopardy! Appearance

Aaron Rodgers and Erin Merrill shared the Jeopardy! set during a show that aired in April.
[Jeopardy Productions, Inc.]

Jeopardy! watchers may have noticed Erin J. Merrill ’04 blazing through the categories during the April 5 episode of the game show.

Merrill beat fellow contestants to the buzzer with correct responses about knives (oyster, Bowie, Ginsu), French phrases, geographic locations, and more.

In the clever category of “Before and BAFTA” – looking for a mashup of a pop culture staple and the name of a BAFTA-awarded movie – Merrill deduced that a comic strip about a red-haired adoptee plus a movie starring Diane Keaton was Little Orphan Annie Hall. And she netted a Daily Double by figuring out that a TV show about zombies plus a film starring Robin Williams as a teacher was The Walking Dead Poets Society.

Merrill had an easy rapport with fellow contestants and the show’s guest host, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. She racked up 14 correct responses and missed just one, but didn’t dislodge the episode’s returning champion.

Merrill, who lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, majored in American studies with concentrations in theater, education, and history.

She has taught middle school social studies for 16 years and was among three winners nationwide of the American Civic Education Teacher Award in 2020. This year, she won the Virginia Education Association’s Award for Teaching Excellence – the “teacher of the year” award – and will advance to consideration for the national title.

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