Matt Olsen on Jeopardy!

Well, Berkeley native and Stanford sophomore Matt Olson lost in the semifinals in Jeopardy Friday night despite going into the final round with a commanding lead.

The final question was: When Byzantine emperor Justinian competed Hagia Sophia, he declared, This King, “I have surpassed thee.”

Olson’s answer was “Who is Ozymandias?”

The correct answer was “Who is Solomon?”

None of the three contestants got it right. Olson went into the round with $13,200 but he bet aggressively – $10,401. So when he didn’t get the answer, his earnings went below that of another contestant, eliminating him from the game.

Olson, 20, did win $5,000 for making it to the semifinals.

And Olson got lots of publicity for his appearance, including articles on Berkeleyside, in the Stanford Daily, Daily Cal, and East Bay Express. And he got more Twitter love.

Berkeley 20-year old advances to Jeopardy! quarterfinals [02.08.12]
Berkeley resident competes on Jeopardy! [02.06.12]

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...