"Maya had just been on fire on the buzzer throughout the tournament," she said in a statement. "Looking at my competition, I was really prepared for third and I was okay with that."
Maya, a senior at East Coweta High School, said pep talks from her dad and advice to "just have fun" from her mom helped her get to the semifinals.
“I recently realized that I might have forgotten to thank my parents while I was on stage,” she said in the news release. “This haunts me because I am exceedingly grateful for their love and support, which has allowed me (to) pursue dreams like this one.”
She joins the ranks of metro Atlanta contestants, such as: a stay-at-home dad and lawyer, an Atlanta librarian who knows her Kendrink Lamar trivia, a Georgia Tech student who retweeted his haters, the chairman of the DeKalb County GOP and an archivist at the Breman Museum.
The show hosted by Alex Trebek is in its 35th season.