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Colby Burnett
Colby Burnett.jpg
Name: Colby Burnett
Birth Hometown: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Former World History instructor at Fenwick High School
Known for: Jeopardy!
King of the Nerds

Colby Burnett is the first Jeopardy! contestant to have won both the Teachers Tournament and the Tournament of Champions, He is the second ToC winner from another tournament in history, following College Tournament Winner Tom Cubbage who won the 1989 ToC. Burnett, who at the time was a teacher at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois.


Burnett graduated from Fenwick High School. He then went on to get his BA from Northwestern University, double majoring in History and Political Science. Then he got his MEd in Reading Teacher Education from Dominican University.

Early life[]

Burnett grew up in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. He credits his mother with keeping him out of trouble, as well as enhancing his intellect by buying him an encyclopedia, which he has read from cover to cover. After winning Jeopardy!, Burnett bought his mom a new home in a better area of Chicago. When asked what the greatest accomplishment of his life was, the Jeopardy! champion stated, "knowing a duke of Sealand."

Game Show[]


Colby won the Teachers Tournament in November 2012. Later, in February 2013, Burnett won the show's Tournament of Champions, taking home the $250,000 grand prize. Governor Pat Quinn named December 18 as "Colby Burnett Day" in Illinois. He is the 2nd ToC winner from other tournaments and the 6th in terms of finalists.

In 2014, he appeared in the show's Battle of the Decades and reached the semifinals as wildcard.

In 2019, He teamed up with Pam Mueller and Alan Lin as representatives at the 2019 All-Star Games, finishing third behind Team Brad and Team Ken. In particular, the loss to Roger Craig in the 2014 tournament was also insulting. in the last FJ, the game was decided by wagering according to an Valjean's number in Les Miserables, but he showed a relaxed appearance until the end.

Other Shows[]

In 2015, he appeared on the third season of TBS's reality game show King of the Nerds and reached 7th place.

In 2016, he appeared as a challenger on ABC's 500 Questions on May 28, 2016. He was unable to eliminate Season 22 2-time champion William Lee, who defeated 3-time champ and Same Season ToC Winner Michael Falk in regular games.

Common with other champions[]

Francois Barcomb[]

  • Both won the Lock Game in the Teacher tournament final.
  • Both champions who competed between tournaments made it to the ToC. In Colby's case, Paul Nelson, who defeated 7-win champ Keith Whitener, won 5 in a row to advance to the ToC, and in Francois' case, Emma Boettcher defeated James Holzhauer, who had won 32, to advance to the ToC by winning 3 in a row.
  • Both of them competed against two men in the preliminary round before reaching the ToC final, and one man and one woman in the semifinals.
  • The opponents who made it to the ToC final had previously competed together[1].


  • As mentioned above, he is the second tournament winner to win the ToC in history, and it is the sixth record even if the scope is extended to the finalists. Later, S35 Teacher Tournament winner Francois Barcomb made it to the final at the next season's ToC, becoming the 7th all-time Tatar Tournament winner to finish third.
  • After Robin Carroll (S16), Michael Falk (S22), and Vijay Balse (S26), he is the fourth player in history to win the ToC season.
  • Then at the ToC, Ben Ingram, who participated in the same season (S29), won, making it one of three cases to produce two ToC winners in one season[2].
  • S32 ToC winner Alex Jacob is from the same hometown.


  1. Of these, Keith Whitener became the first champion to play a two-man rematch in the ToC, as she battled Kristin Morgan in the qualifying round.
  2. The other two cases are S22: Michael Falk (S22) and Celeste DiNucci (S24) and S35: James Holzhauer (S36) and Sam Kavanaugh (S37).