Updated April 25, 2019​ 

Sri Lanka Express

American of SL descent becomes Jeopardy Champion

  L-R: Emmett Robinson, Nilanka Seneviratne, Joanne Huether
SLE Features
April 23, 2017
Nilanka Seneviratne, an American of  Sri Lankan descent,  presently  an international development nonprofit professional in Washington, D.C., emerged as the champion on the April 20th episode of “Jeopardy” beating Emmett Robinson (champ from previous episode) and Joanne Huether.

Emmett finished the second round in the lead with $17,500, Nilanka was next with $14,400 and Joanne was in third place with $3,800.

None of the contestants got the final Jeopardy question right which was in the category Actresses : Forbes says Jennifer Lawrence was the highest-paid actress in 2016; this alliterative woman was second. Correct response: Who is Melissa McCarthy?

Joanne couldn’t up with a response, lost her $2,500 bet, and was left with $1,300.  Nilanka answered “Who was Amy Adams?” and lost $6,799, finishing with $7,601.  Emmett also couldn’t come with a response and lost $11,301, which landed him  in second place making Nilanka the new Jeopardy! champ.

On the next episode, Nilanka’s opponents were Meghan Phillips and David Rigsby.  At the end of the second round Nilanka was in the lead with $12,100. David was next with $10,200 and Meghan was in third place with $5,400.

Again, none of the contestants came up with right question in the category “19th Century Europe”: Published in L’Aurore on January 13, 1898, it caused its author to be convicted of libel. Correct response: What Is “J’accuse!”?

Meghan said “Dangerous Liasons”  and lost  her $5,001 bet, leaving her with $399. David came up with  “Madame Bovary.”  He only bet $2,000 so he had $8,200 left.

Nilanka was close with “the Dreyfus Affair,” but what was needed to clinch the win for a second day was the title of the celebrated open letter, “J’accuse" ("I accuse"), written by Emile Zola to the president of the French Republic in defense of Alfred Dreyfuss, a Jewish officer accused of treason by the French army.

His  bet of $8,301 cost him the game.  He was left him with  $3,799 and David who bet frugally moved to first place.

According to the website, Nilanka was born and raised in Columbia,   He  studied psychology at Clemson.  After graduation, he came back to Columbia, took some classes at the University of South Carolina and also volunteered in Sri Lanka before settling in Washington, D.C., in 2005, according . He is now a deputy director at PartnersGlobal, which he said builds local nonprofits around the world.