You chose the last spot
  • Watch Tom Nissley's Video!

    Tom Nissley

    Winnings:

    • $236,405 - Season 27 8-time champion
    • $100,000 - Tournament of Champions (2011)

    Records/Stats:

    Tournament of Champions 1st runner-up

    Personal Message

    I had the strange and fortunate experience of finding out in the middle of life that I was really good at something, but something I might never get to do again. Like many people, I took the Jeopardy! tryout tests, and then arrived at the studio, just hoping to have fun and not embarrass myself. But in what seemed like no time, I won eight games and became the show's third all-time, regular-game money winner. And a year later, I won two more times, and finished second, in the Tournament of Champions. Jeopardy! helped my wife and I change our lives. I left my job to write books, and my first one is coming out in November. And three years after my wife sewed her first sparkly, vinyl handbag for herself, she sees women carrying her bags around Seattle almost every day. And we couldn't be more grateful. But like anyone who has ever played Jeopardy!, the one thing I want most is to play again. And that's all I ask now: one more chance to do one of the most fun things I've ever done, and to test myself against the greatest players in the history of the show.

  • Watch Ryan Chaffee's Video!

    Ryan Chaffee

    Winnings:

    • $92,900 - Season 26 4-time champion
    • $5,000 - Tournament of Champions (2010)

    Records/Stats:

    Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist

    Personal Message

    Why would you be fools to have the Jeopardy! Decades Tournament without me? In a word: SEX. No former Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions contestant delivers the blow-the-doors-off-the-hinges, pound-for-pound raw sexuality that I do. (And please note that since I am quantifying my sexuality on a "per pound" basis, I have to work that much harder to deliver the sex amounts, since I am so fat.) Also, getting the chance to return to Jeopardy! and compete in this tournament would mean *way* more to me than the word-count requirements allow me to express here (and if you are willing to listen to me pour my heart out about how much Jeopardy! means to me, please see my Jeopardy! Winners' Blog entry at http://www.j-archive.com/showplayer.php?player_id=6564). When I was originally on Jeopardy!, my first three games were lock-game runaways (and I bet $0 in each of my first three Final Jeopardy!s because I'm not greedy!), in my fourth game I set the Season 26 single-game record with $41,600 on an all-in Final wager, and in my fifth game I lost $20,400 to $23,200 against fellow future Tournament of Champions contestant Stephen Weingarten. I got the skills, I tell ya! And did I mention The Sexy?

  • Watch Kara Spak's Video!

    Kara Spak

    Winnings:

    • $85,401 - Season 27 5-time champion
    • $10,000 - Tournament of Champions (2011)

    Records/Stats:

    Tournament of Champions semifinalist

    Personal Message

    "Jeopardy!" is many things - fast, smart and intense. Most of all, "Jeopardy!" is really, really fun. That's why we've been watching Alex Trebek host it for 30 years, and why I originally auditioned for the show. I can run with the big dogs in this type of tournament. Despite playing the formidable Roger Craig in my quarter-final 2011 Tournament of Champions game, for instance, I advanced to the semi-final round. You can rest easy knowing I will put up a fight and, hopefully, emerge the victor. But I guarantee that I -- and you at home -- will have fun if I'm competing. If you've seen my previous appearances, you know I can joke with Alex Trebek about how I used a sticker from a ham company to affix his picture to my fridge or throw out "threesome" as an answer (though admit it, that's what you were thinking at home!). For a good time that's lots of fun, bring back Spak for the Decades Tournament.

  • Watch Erin McLean's Video!

    Erin McLean

    Winnings:

    • $100,000 - College Championship (Fall 2010)
    • $10,000 - Tournament of Champions (2011)

    Records/Stats:

    Fall 2011 College Championship Winner

    Personal Message

    I used to volunteer at the New England Aquarium and one thing I did there was clean fish poop. I was a novice marine scientist and I realized I picked the right career because I actually enjoyed cleaning fish poop. Not everyone would enjoy that. Only people passionate enough about their calling would be able to look past the gross, slimy, brown sludge and see it as a learning experience. Being on Jeopardy! is kind of like that. It's not easy, between the waiting and the studying and the auditioning and the stress, but it's worth it for the love of trivia. I loved everything: the competition, the people, and the knowledge. Winning the College Championship was great, but I wanted more. Being on the Tournament of Champions quenched that thirst, but only for a little while. I accepted that I'd probably go through the rest of my life wanting to go back. But, this Decades Tournament gives me the opportunity to do it all again and to do it right. I may be an underdog because I'm just a college champ, but I can win this. If I can enjoy cleaning fish poop, I can win this tournament.

  • Watch Joey Beachum's Video!

    Joey Beachum

    Winnings:

    • $100,000 - College Championship (2008)
    • $5,000 - Tournament of Champions (2010)

    Records/Stats:

    2008 College Championship Winner, Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist

    Personal Message

    Since my untimely departure from the 2010 Tournament of Champions, I can't help but feel as though my not winning the tournament somehow messed up the course of human history, or put a kink in the space-time continuum - or at the very least, made my bank account sad. Now I have an opportunity - with your help - to put right these great wrongs and save the universe! (Or, again, my bank account.) I may just be a College Champion, a guy who took the Jeopardy! online test in the middle of a lecture about...I don't know, something to do with my degree, or whatever it was. But this is bigger than that. Now, I have a chance for redemption. For justice. For the opportunity to allow my friends and family to watch another Jeopardy! victory on TV - instead of me running around furiously burning every copy of my previous loss known to exist (not that I actually did that, of course...). With your help, we can make this right. Help me save mankind. And my aforementioned bank account. (I'm not above bribery; here's $5.)

  • Vijay Balse

    Vijay Balse

    Chatham, NJ

    Original Winnings: $82,400
    Original Appearance: 2010

    Vijay Balse Then
    Vijay Balse Now

    Vijay Balse

    Total winnings: $332,400

    TOC Appearance: 2010

    Life after Jeopardy!: I've been a consultant helping industrial clients answer two key questions about projects related to renewable energy -- Will it work? Will it make money?

    For recreation, my wife, Jayshree, and I have been getting away within reasonable driving distance for a few days every month or so.

    This year, for example, we've seen the inside of Whistler's Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery of Art, gotten a up-close look at "Enola Gay" and the Space Shuttle Orbiter "Discovery," crossed the Mason-Dixon Line on the way from Maryland to Pennsylvania, and toured such monuments to the Gilded Age as The Breakers and Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island.

  • Colby Burnett

    Colby Burnett

    Chicago, IL

    Original Winnings: $100,000
    Original Appearance: 2012

    Colby Burnett Then
    Colby Burnett Now

    Colby Burnett

    Total winnings: $350,000

    TOC Appearance: 2013

    Life after Jeopardy!: Leading a normal life (my students are taking the AP exam in fewer than 12 hours after writing this!). Still loving teaching at my alma mater, and I've just purchased my mother's home.

  • Roger Craig

    Roger Craig

    Brooklyn, NY

    Original Winnings: $230,200
    Original Appearance: 2010

    Roger Craig Then
    Roger Craig Now

    Roger Craig

    Total winnings: $480,200

    TOC Appearance: 2011

    Life after Jeopardy!: I moved to New York City and cofounded a business, a data analysis consultancy. It's been good, but I may transition to a regular 9 to 5. I've really been enjoying myself, but I'm looking to settle down pretty soon.

  • Celeste DiNucci

    Celeste DiNucci

    Philadelphia, PA

    Original Winnings: $83,601
    Original Appearance: 2006

    Celeste DiNucci Then
    Celeste DiNucci Now

    Celeste DiNucci

    Total winnings: $333,806

    TOC Appearance: 2007

    Life after Jeopardy!: I finished my Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania. After that, I started an arts nonprofit here in Philadelphia. I've done some traveling and plenty of volunteer work in the arts. And at the end of February, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so now I'm undergoing treatment for that.

  • Michael Falk

    Michael Falk

    West Allis, WI

    Original Winnings: $59,403
    Original Appearance: 2006

    Michael Falk Then
    Michael Falk Now

    Michael Falk

    Total winnings: $309,403

    TOC Appearance: 2006

    Life after Jeopardy!: Since my appearance, I bought a house with my wife, went back to school, became a teacher, and, recently, became a father. I host a trivia night fundraiser annually at my school, coach the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade academic team, and cook lots of spicy food.

  • Stephanie Jass

    Stephanie Jass

    Milan, MI

    Original Winnings: $147,570
    Original Appearance: 2012

    Stephanie Jass Then
    Stephanie Jass Now

    Stephanie Jass

    Total winnings: $159,270

    TOC Appearance: 2013

    Life after Jeopardy!: Rolling around in cash! I'm still teaching, but I've been doing a lot of local speaking appearances (every library and Kiwanis club in the county!) and enjoying the notoriety that comes with being a J! super champ :)

  • Ken Jennings

    Ken Jennings

    Seattle, WA

    Original Winnings: $2,520,700
    Original Appearance: 2005

    Ken Jennings Then
    Ken Jennings Now

    Ken Jennings

    Total winnings: $3,172,700

    TOC Appearance: 2005

    Life after Jeopardy!: I have written four books, most recently Because I Said So!, which debunks parenting cliches. I also write a bunch of weekly columns, including a trivia puzzle for Parade magazine, and do a fair bit of public speaking. We moved to Seattle and had another daughter, Caitlin, who is six. There are some gray hairs at my temple (but they are hard to see because I'm blond!) and even a few liver spots on my arms now. I get winded more easily and there's a lot of poochy skin and fat around the top of my jeans when I put them on. I also see a lot of fine "laugh lines" around my eyes. My gums are receding faster than my dentist says they're supposed to. So is my hairline! I never needed to get up at night to use the bathroom before but now it's like that four or five times a week. My knees are starting to go and sometimes my lower back hurts when I've been sitting down too long. I find myself thinking about this a lot, this slow decline, and what death might be like. What was it all for?

  • Vinita Kailasanath

    Vinita Kailasanath

    Washington, DC

    Original Winnings: $50,000
    Original Appearance: 2001

    Vinita Kailasanath Then
    Vinita Kailasanath Now

    Vinita Kailasanath

    Total winnings: $85,000

    TOC Appearance: 2004

    Life after Jeopardy!: My total winnings were $85,000 and a car. I went to law school, clerked for a judge in DC and am now an attorney in DC, doing a mix of technology and art law.

  • Tom Kavanaugh

    Tom Kavanaugh

    St. Louis, MO

    Original Winnings: $142.000
    Original Appearance: 2006

    Tom Kavanaugh Then
    Tom Kavanaugh Now

    Tom Kavanaugh

    Total winnings: $142,000

    TOC Appearance: 2006

    Life after Jeopardy!: What haven't I been doing?!! Three years ago I started personal training and I now run a fitness bootcamp. I started my own candy company "Ugly Candy Company" this past year, and I'm also working on producing my first full-length documentary "No Sweat" which will focus on sweatshop labor. I also sing jazz at some local restaurants and bartend a few nights a week. Some might say I have too much going on. Others might say I'd be more successful if I focused on one or two things. I say they're all probably right.

  • Larissa Kelly

    Larissa Kelly

    Richmond, CA

    Original Winnings: $222,597
    Original Appearance: 2008

    Larissa Kelly Then
    Larissa Kelly Now

    Larissa Kelly

    Total winnings: $323,597

    TOC Appearance: 2009

    Life after Jeopardy!: Since my last appearance on the show, I've completed a Ph.D. in Latin American history at UC Berkeley - which was a great feeling after spending far too many years as a graduate student! My husband Jeff and I also decided that we really enjoyed living in the Bay Area, so we've just moved into a house in Richmond, California. (In fact, I'm writing this while sitting in the middle of a bewildering assortment of boxes and bubble wrap.) We're thrilled to finally have a place of our own, and very grateful that Jeopardy! has helped to make that possible.

  • Dan Pawson

    Dan Pawson

    Brooklyn, NY

    Original Winnings: $170,902
    Original Appearance: 2007

    Dan Pawson Then
    Dan Pawson Now

    Dan Pawson

    Total winnings: $420,902

    TOC Appearance: 2009

    Life after Jeopardy!: My total winnings were $420,902 (plus $1000 for third in last game). Since my last tournament, I've moved from politics into something very different: global health consulting. I work to help get vaccines to kids in developing countries who need them, and to eradicate polio from the last few countries where it's still paralyzing children. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm thrilled to be part of it.

    Six days after my last regular episode aired, we had my daughter Rebecca, and two years ago my son Ben was born. Running after them has taken up most of the rest of my time.

  • Russ Schumacher

    Russ Schumacher

    Fort Collins, CO

    Original Winnings: $64,800
    Original Appearance: 2003

    Russ Schumacher Then
    Russ Schumacher Now

    Russ Schumacher

    Total winnings: $315,800

    TOC Appearance: 2004

    Life after Jeopardy!: Since appearing on Jeopardy!, I completed my PhD in atmospheric science and am now teaching and doing research on weather systems, severe storms, and so on, at Colorado State University. (Much of the reason for my late response to this request for information is that I've been out working on a field project in the Great Plains: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23295392/boulder-storm-researchers-were-near-tornado-hit-moore) I remember chatting with Alex about severe storms and tornadoes on my very first show!

  • Maria Wenglinsky

    Maria Wenglinsky

    Brooklyn, NY

    Original Winnings: $122,300
    Original Appearance: 2005

    Maria Wenglinsky Then
    Maria Wenglinsky Now

    Maria Wenglinsky

    Total winnings: $134,300

    TOC Appearance: 2006

    Life after Jeopardy!: Teaching school, watching my son grow up (I'm a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts)... and still working to improve the dog's knowledge of Latin commands.

  • Keith Whitener

    Keith Whitener

    Washington, DC

    Original Winnings: $147,597
    Original Appearance: 2012

    Keith Whitener Then
    Keith Whitener Now

    Keith Whitener

    Total winnings: $248,597

    TOC Appearance: 2013

    Life after Jeopardy!: Working, spending time with my wife

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Frequently asked questions

Vote to help decide who will compete in the battle of the decades

Jeopardy! is bringing back champions from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s to compete in a Battle of the Decades. This multi-level competition will begin airing in February 2014, and we’re asking YOU to help decide who will compete!

Show producers have already selected 14 champions from each decade, but the last spot in each tournament is up to you. Vote now for your Fan Favorite contestants. Or, to meet the 14 who have already been selected, click here.

When can I vote?

There are a total of three weeks of voting, but you have only one week to vote for your favorite contestant from each decade.

1980s voting 1990s voting 2000s voting

How do I vote?

There are three ways to vote for your Fan Favorite contestants online or from your mobile device: by visiting Jeopardy.com/minisites/battleofthedecades00s, by visiting our official Facebook page, or via Twitter.

  • Vote via Jeopardy.com
  • Vote via Facebook
  • Vote via Twitter
  • To vote on our website, choose your Fan Favorite from the pool of five nominees and click the "Vote Now!" button.
  • If you are a registered Facebook user, visit Facebook.com/Jeopardy to vote via the Fan Favorites Voting Tab. Choose your Fan Favorite from the pool of five nominees and click "Vote Now!"
  • To vote on Twitter, tweet the first name of your Fan Favorite contestant along with the hashtag #JeopardyVote.
How many times can I vote?

You can vote once per platform per day. That means you can vote for your Fan Favorite contestant on Jeopardy.com, Facebook AND Twitter daily during the appropriate voting period!

If you happen to tweet in favor of your Fan Favorite contestant more than once per day, only your first tweet using the correct format will be counted as an official vote.

Come back and vote daily to help your Fan Favorite contestant become a contender!

You can vote on the website, Facebook and Twitter

How do I know if my vote was counted?

When you vote on Jeopardy.com and on Facebook, you will receive a “thank you for voting message!” after correctly casting your vote. On Twitter, your vote will be counted if it includes the first name of your Fan Favorite vote along with the hashtag #JeopardyVote during the appropriate voting period.

Votes will be calculated for Online voting (Jeopardy.com and Facebook) by counting one vote per IP address per platform per day and calculated for Twitter voting by counting one vote per username per day using the hashtag #Jeopardyvote and the first name of a nominated Contestant from that decade (if there are multiple votes per day, only the first vote will count).

Any evidence of tampering with the Voting System including but not limited to "vote slamming" could result in disqualification solely at the Producers' discretion. Likewise, Contestants must not authorize, assist, encourage, permit, or facilitate others to tamper with the Voting System.

How do I find out the results?

Results will be announced on-air in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates!

I don't see my favorite champion represented! Can I write them in?

No. You must vote for one of the five nominated contestants from each decade. However, to catch up with all our past champions and see what they’re doing now, visit the Tournament of Champions Yearbook.

What are the Official Rules?

Click here to read the official rules.