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University Beat

'What Is Third?' USFSP Doesn't Win On 'Jeopardy,' Savors The Experience

Norine Noonan said she'll never forget that "Discovery" wasn't just the name of the third space shuttle, but also the name of a TV network.

That's because that was a question that tripped up the USF St. Petersburg professor of Biological Sciences when she appeared on an episode of the game show "Jeopardy!" that aired Thursday night.

Noonan finished third out of the three contestants on the show, taped in California earlier this year.

At a watch party at the Tavern at Bayboro on the USF St. Petersburg campus, she said seeing herself compete was a surreal experience.

"I just remember the intensity of the game and how all the contestants, the three of us, were just completely focused on the game - you don't even know the studio audience is there," Noonan said. "It was really interesting and I'm glad that I got a few answers right."

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Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News
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WUSF 89.7 News
Noonan correctly replied to this "Daily Double" clue under the category "Hyphenated Answer" with the question "What is cro-magnon?"

While she flubbed a question about country singer Miranda Lambert, Noonan correctly answered a "Daily Double" question about cro-magnon man.

And the Final Jeopardy! answer, "Originally an electronics word for an output signal returning as input, today it means 'criticism' or 'evaluation'," elicited her response of "What is backspace?"

That incorrect answer - "What is feedback?" was the correct reply - left Noonan with $1,800, far behind the winner, defending champion Katrina Mundinger. The musician from Minneapolis, MN, finished with $14,600.

But Noonan said she was still happy she got to fulfill a longtime dream and check one item off of her "bucket list."

"It was an honor to be on this program, and an honor to compete against people from all over the country who are just incredibly talented and very smart," Noonan said. "I'm happy to be one of the only 400 people who appear on "Jeopardy!" in any one year."

Next thing to do on Noonan's bucket list: a trip to Antarctica.