Very many congratulations to the Balliol team on winning University Challenge 2016/2017. In an exciting final on 10 April 2017, they beat Wolfson College, Cambridge, 190-140. Afterwards they were presented with the winners’ trophy by Professor Stephen Hawking. Balliol competed in the final in 1963 - the first final after the series began in 1962 - and again in 1974, but it is the first time that a Balliol team have won the contest. The winning team were (left to right) Joey (Daniel) Goldman (Captain), Benjamin Pope, Freddy Potts and Jacob Lloyd. You can see the final on the BBC iPlayer.
Below is a joint statement from the team:
‘We are incredibly proud to have won the University Challenge trophy for Balliol and grateful for all the support we have received from the whole of College. It is humbling to think we are the first Balliol team to go the full distance. It was also pleasing to break the three-year retention of the trophy by Cambridge teams.
‘We knew each other a little beforehand, but we have become great friends over the course of this adventure. Our camaraderie formed the basis of the teamwork which saw us through.
‘We had enormous fun throughout, from meeting Jeremy Paxman, to hearing our names called out by the voice of Roger Tilling to having the trophy presented by Professor Stephen Hawking, which was the highest honour of all.
‘As a team composed equally of JCR and MCR members, we always hoped to do justice to Balliol’s great tradition of intellectual excellence. We wanted to make the College as proud of us as we are of it.
‘All the teams that took part exemplified the love of learning which is at the heart of the show. We met a lot of great people, especially our opponents in the final, Wolfson College, Cambridge, whom we now count as friends.’
Updated 24 April
Below: the winning team after a screening of the final in Balliol’s MCR at Holywell Manor.