john avila jeopardy

John Avila , right, poses with “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek during the taping of the show last September. Avila became the show’s champion on Monday --- his first night on the show --- but on Thursday, after three straight wins, he was defeated, finishing in second place. (Photo courtesy of “Jeopardy”)

North Attleboro native John Avila remains the champion on "Jeopardy."

Avila, 30, a 2005 Bishop Feehan graduate, won in his third appearance on the popular game show Wednesday night.

Avila, a Washington, D.C. attorney who now lives in Arlington, Va., faced some stiff competition from Aaron Ellis, an Indiana physics teacher, and Sherri Cohen, a Brooklyn writer and editor.

His challengers started off strong, but Avila came on as the show moved along, answering a series of questions correctly on subjects ranging from Disney characters and food to authors to sports.

He knew "Dumbo" was a 1941 Disney character, the history of stew, about "The Natural" baseball story, but he didn't answer one about Boston's "Freedom Trail." After being tied with Ellis, Avila took the lead with an answer about Steinbeck's "Red Pony" and knew Martha's Vineyard was named after a ship captain's daughter.

After getting answers correct about The Four Horsemen, Pike's Peak, Block Island, Braille, and oysters, Avila's take stood at $14,800, with Ellis right behind and Cohen with just $700.

"A very close one," host Alex Trebek remarked before the final question, which was on U.S. history. Nobody knew that a 1787 gathering of delegates took place in a tavern in Dover, Del.

Ellis bet $12,000 and wound up with only $1,600, but Avila, who wagered $12,401, ended up with $2,399. Avila went into the game having earned $38,201.

Tune in Thursday night at 7:30 on channels 4 in Boston and 12 in Providence to see if Avila continues his reign.

STEPHEN PETERSON can be reached at 508-236-0377 or at

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