Sam Kavanaugh, a Minneapolis-based substitute teacher, will compete in the finals of the annual Tournament of Champions on "Jeopardy!"

The two-day contest airs 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday on KARE, Ch 11.

A 2013 Carleton College graduate from Carlton, Minn., Kavanaugh qualified for the tourney by going on a five-day winning streak in 2019, amassing more than $156,000. He will compete against Veronica Vichit-Vadakan, a librarian from Portland, Ore., and Jennifer Quail, a wine-tasting consultant from Dowagiac, Mich.

The finals almost featured two Minnesotans. Nibir Sarma, a University of Minnesota junior from Eden Prairie who was the 2020 "Jeopardy" college champ, made it to the semifinals, but came in a distant third during Wednesday's broadcast.

The finals, which will award $250,000 to the winner, will be emceed by Buzzy Cohen, who won the 2017 Tournament of Champions. Longtime host Alex Trebek died in November.