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UPDATED: UC Davis turns into game show superstar

By Cody Kitaura/Dateline on December 18, 2015 in University

UC Davis Beer Brewing Program Appears on 'Jeopardy!'

Updated Dec. 18 with a photo of Melissa Fiacco and her new car, after delivery..

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By Dateline staff

If UC Davis were a game show competitor, it might soon be in the running for the Tournament of Champions.

Jeopardy! is preparing two more episodes with campus clues (beer is the next subject, on Christmas Day), and a student recently won on a car on Let’s Make a Deal.

Beer is one of three subjects that drew the Jeopardy! Clue Crew to campus last spring. Results of those taping sessions appeared on the answer-and-question show Oct. 21 (a category of clues on veterinary medicine) and Nov. 12 (a category of clues on wine).

The UC Davis-Jeopardy! connection took hold at a holiday party last year. A UC Davis brewing program graduate had come to the party with a homemade brew; the Clue Crew’s Jimmy McGuire was there, and the two got to talking about the various disciplines at UC Davis.

“That one small conversation at a party opened this whole door,” McGuire said during the clue taping on campus. The crew spent one day each at the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory, the Teaching and Research Winery, and the School of Veterinary Medicine.

The veterinary medicine shoot produced two sets of clues. The second set, about horse health, is scheduled for Jeopardy! on Jan. 12.

Jeopardy! appears in Sacramento on ABC10 at 7 p.m. weeknights.

[View the story “UC Davis student wins a car on ‘Let's Make a Deal’” on Storify]

Undergrad makes a great ‘Deal’

Melissa Fiacco, a second-year applied math major, has received her new Scion xB — and she’s driving it home to Moorpark (Ventura County) for winter break.

She got the car and UC Davis got a little free advertising when she wore a pig onesie to a Let’s Make a Deal taping last July — the outfit being an ode to UC Davis’ agricultural prowess.

She had to keep quiet about her victory until the show appeared on television Dec. 1 — which she described as the longest five months of her life.

Fiacco said she was home for the summer and tagged along with a friend, who had an extra ticket to the taping. She figured her personality might give her a good chance of being chosen, but she wasn’t totally prepared for the spotlight.

“To be honest, I think I blacked out a little once I got chosen,” she said. “I remember my actions, but it was all such a blur so I didn't really remember what I was saying. Watching my episode was exciting because I finally got to see if I sounded intelligent and coherent!”

She also won a year of spa treatments, but the car is what she’s really excited about and what she says she needed most. “I have never had my own car, so having my own is just a dream!”

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Media contact(s)

Cody Kitaura/Dateline, Dateline, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu

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