2013
29

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH OPRAH, HE FINALLY ADMITTED TO USING PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS TO WIN THE TOUR DE FRANCE

Reveal Response

WHO IS LANCE ARMSTRONG?

Show Clue
  • Colby Burnett
    Chicago, IL
  • David Gard
    Jamaica Plain, MA
  • Stephanie Jass
    Milan, MI
  • Jason Keller
    Highland Park, NJ
  • Dave Leach
    Atlanta, GA
  • Dan McShane
    Brooklyn, NY

Colby Burnett Chicago, IL

Current Town: Chicago, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $350,000

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

After the show had wrapped, fellow TOCers Stephanie, Ashok, Monica, David Menchaca, decided to head down to Santa Monica to play in a shark-tank bar trivia competition, frequented by former champs living in the area. First, I decided not to chip in for a cab. I took public transportation from Hollywood to Santa Monica, because I had already paid for the pass! I think it was at that point that I realized that money hasn't changed the person I am at all. Also, despite our best efforts, a team of five champs (plus Stephanie's very bright husband) managed to finish second after losing a tie-and-heart-breaker. It's good being at this level of celebrity, with enough parents saying "hey, it's the 'Jeopardy' guy". But, overall, I'd very much the same person.

David Gard Jamaica Plain, MA

Current Town: Jamaica Plain, MA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $90,700

Since Appearance:

Wishing I had won enough money to retire, but remain working, selling plants and dispensing plant and gardening advice.

Anecdote:

As a horticulturist, my winnings helped increase the garden budget, affording us a new white picket fence, a large awning for the potting bench, and a lot more plants. Oh yes, we also bought a new car. Random customers, more than a year later, stop me with a quizzical look and say, "Weren't you on Jeopardy!?"

Stephanie Jass Milan, MI

Current Town: Milan, MI
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $159,270

Since Appearance:

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 :)

Anecdote:

I have bought an amazing Chevy Volt, and am building a garage to house it and its charger. I am also having my own cabaret show at a local theater next March, something that I expressed as my dream job when Alex asked me about that. Being a J! champ has opened my world tremendously -- offers are there that were not there before, and people recognize me in a positive way. It's been a year since my audition, and what a year it has been! The money isn't even the best part (although it's nice...) -- I've had experiences and met people I would never have expected, and they just keep coming! I've tried to keep track of things that have sprung from being on J!, and it's a long and interesting list. (I'm pretty sure that my recent paid trip to Tokyo to help with a conference is due in some part to my appearances on J, for example.) So, thanks for the opportunity, and I'd love to do it again!!

Jason Keller Highland Park, NJ

Current Town: Highland Park, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $225,900

Since Appearance:

My life hasn't changed too much. I have been tutoring and trying to take the competitive Scrabble world by storm. I had a phenomenal run at the National Scrabble Championships and I will be looking to make the step up into the money positions this summer. I am also making a bid to represent the US at the World Scrabble Championships this fall. Personally, I have lost 50 pounds and am looking to lose 30 more. I have started a running program and hope to be able to complete a 5K by the end of the summer. I have an idea for a collection of short stories based on my own experiences with education that I would like to entitle "50 Grades of Shea."

Anecdote:

Unfortunately, I think what I remember most is how I lost, and I'd like to forget it. What better way than to get back on the show and have some new stories to tell? The company that I work for advertised special opportunities to have tutoring sessions online with me. I have run Jeopardy!-style events as evening entertainment at Scrabble tournaments. Some people specifically attended the Boston Area Tournament, one of oldest and biggest Scrabble tournaments around, because I was going to be there. One of my friends has tried to be an unofficial agent on my behalf and get me a gig hosting local bar trivia. I co-host a yearly Scrabble event to raise money for the Arc of Monmouth, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I am featured in promotional materials standing at my champion's podium with my regular season winnings on the screen. The best thing that I've done with my winnings didn't cost me very much. I joined Weight Watchers Online, and I've lost 50 pounds so far. I have another 30 or so to go, and by the time that I return to shoot for the Decades Tournament, I'm going to look and feel like a new-and-improved Jason.

Dave Leach Atlanta, GA

Current Town: Atlanta, GA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $110,054

Since Appearance:

Growing the board and card game retail business that we started with my Jeopardy! winnings

Anecdote:

Every "Jeopardy!" champion is smart, but not all of them are as savvy and strategic as me. I know how to play the game better than most people who step on the stage. I came within just $200 of earning a spot in my Tournament of Champions finals. With one more chance to shine, I know I can make it all the way - and nobody's going to have more fun getting there than me!

Dan McShane Brooklyn, NY

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $74,001

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

I got my current job after being on this year's TOC. My current boss saw me on TV and thought I'd be a good candidate for this position, so he e-mailed me out of the blue and asked if I was interested in coming in for an interview.

  • David Menchaca
    Long Beach, CA
  • Kristin Morgan
    Huntsville, AL
  • Paul Nelson
    Iowa City, IA
  • Joel Pool
    Oakland, CA
  • Ashok Poozhikunnel
    Wheaton, IL
  • Patrick Quinn
    Chesterfield, MO

David Menchaca Long Beach, CA

Current Town: Chestnut Hill, MA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $120,503

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

I can't begin to describe how thrilling it was to find out about the Decades Tournament! The chance to return to the Jeopardy stage is unbelievably exciting. I've been keeping my brain sharp since you last saw me, and I know that if given another shot, I could be a match for the best players the show has to offer. In the Tournament of Champions, I was narrowly defeated by the eventual tournament winner, and my five-win run in regular play was brought to an end simply by a "go big or go home" wager. And now, I'm (slightly) older, wiser, and I've had time to learn another thing or two. There's a lot of random knowledge stored in my brain, and my appearances on the show didn't even test some of my best categories! My time on Jeopardy was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Don't let it end! For me, and for all those fans who turned my name into a Tumblr hashtag, give me another chance at Jeopardy glory!

Kristin Morgan Huntsville, AL

Current Town: Huntsville, AL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $69,002

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

Because when's the next time you'll see a girl who works for NASA, welds bug sculptures, and has read the Epic of Gilgamesh?

Paul Nelson Iowa City, IA

Current Town: Pensacola, FL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $66,900

Since Appearance:

I joined the Navy, graduated OCS, and began life as an Ensign in Pensacola, FL. Right now, I'm in the first stage of Navy flight school.

Anecdote:

  1. The 2013 Tournament aired during my third week of OCS. As much as I tried to keep it under wraps, my Marine Corps Drill Instructor found out about my ToC appearance when another instructor's mother watched my first game. He was thrilled to name me "Officer Candidate Jeopardy!," and the nickname followed me through to graduation. He also mandated that my new name get put onto my class shirt.

  2. I just bought my first-ever car (a 2010 Toyota Prius) with some of my winnings. License plate? "JPRDY".

  3. Of all the moments I remember from Jeopardy! (and there are SO many life-changing ones), I will never forget the feeling of anticipation that hits during those 15 seconds of silence before the theme music begins. All the excitement builds to a peak, and that's when the "what the HECK am I doing here??" really sets in. That moment is awesome.

Joel Pool Oakland, CA

Current Town: Oakland, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $122,800

Since Appearance:

Finished our 2nd project -- restoring a 1909 office & restaurant on the Oakland, CA waterfront -- a former brothel/bar that author Jack London used to write about. We added skylights, exposed the bricks & beams, put in a techie workspace with a slide & game room; kept the pub authentic.

Anecdote:

Bought my Mom & Dad a new Cadillac.

Ashok Poozhikunnel Wheaton, IL

Current Town: Wheaton, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $69,098

Since Appearance:

About to quit my job and go to med school :)

Anecdote:

Alright America, I fell about 70 episodes short of Ken Jennings' record, but if you'll have me back, I'm ready to test my wits against some of the best and brightest Jeopardy! contestants that have come along in the past three decades. Some of these people probably were on the show long before I was born, but that's not stopping me from asking for your support as I try for a return to the hallowed podium of Trebekistan.

Patrick Quinn Chesterfield, MO

Current Town: Chesterfield, MO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $105,000

Since Appearance:

Still teaching high school and expecting our first in August. I'll be in Gottingen, Germany this summer for a teacher program.

Anecdote:

I'm thrilled that I'm still in friendly contact with so many of my fellow contestants from the Teachers Tournament. Although most of the winnings went in the bank, we did spend a bit to visit friends in China and do some home improvements.

  • Jason Shore
    Plano, TX
  • Monica Thieu
    Dallas, TX
  • Keith Whitener
    Charlotte, NC

Jason Shore Plano, TX

Current Town: Fort Worth, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $97,200

Since Appearance:

I just finished my second year of medical school, and in July I will be doing my Commissioned Officer Training course for the Air Force

Anecdote:

When a classmate found out that I was returning for the Tournament of Champions, he asked me if I would throw a party for our class, since I was now rich with "Jeopardy money". I told him I would do so if my total Jeopardy winnings exceeded $100,000, which he agreed to. However, since we had already taped the ToC, I knew that I would fall just short of that mark, with $97,200. I told him later that I had tricked him, but he took it in good humor. Still no party, though.

Monica Thieu Dallas, TX

Current Town: Dallas, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $105,000

Since Appearance:

Thanks to J! I was able to pay for the tuition to transfer from UNT to Stanford, and I've been enrolled starting as a freshman in fall 2012. I'm the director-elect of my a cappella group, the Stanford Harmonics, and a research assistant in the Wagner cognitive neuroscience lab on campus

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! gave me more than college tuition and a corny conversation starter--it gave me the courage to try for the unlikely (even the near impossible). After being selected for and winning the college tournament, I've taken so many more positive risks (academic and extracurricular) because I said to myself, "Hey, what's there to be scared of?"-- exactly the sentiment that helped me win the first time around.

Keith Whitener Charlotte, NC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $248,597

Since Appearance:

Working, spending time with my wife

Anecdote:

My friends are in a sketch comedy group in New York and they played some clips from my appearances during one of their shows for my 30th birthday. I was recognized a few times, at bars, in line to vote, on the bus, etc. My office loved it. They sent out tweets and newsletters and everything.

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2011
28

HE WON THE 100 & 200-METER DASHES IN LONDON, THE FIRST TO DO SO IN CONSECUTIVE OLYMPICS

Reveal Response

WHO IS USAIN BOLT?

Show Clue
  • Roger Craig
    Newark, DE
  • John Krizel
    Oceanside, NY
  • Tom Kunzen
    Orlando, FL
  • Paul Kursky
    San Francisco, CA
  • Erin McLean
    Danvers, MA
  • Brian Meacham
    Anchorage, AK

Roger Craig Newark, DE

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $480,200

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

My first tape day and breaking Ken Jennings's single game record are very memorable. I also remember the Tournament of Champions, making new friends and all the jokes and good times that come from hanging out at the Studio for 4 days with the fellow contestants and the contestant coordinators. I used my winnings to take care of student loans and to start my own business. Winning on Jeopardy! literally changed my life, I give invited keynotes on my experiences on the show, and in general I have an icebreaker for the rest of my life!

John Krizel Oceanside, NY

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $112,204

Since Appearance:

I've written two plays for the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC, and am pursuing a Master's in Secondary Education at the George Washington University.

Anecdote:

I still get recognized from Jeopardy! My sad movie blog (tastemysad.com) got thousands of hits after mentioning it during the ToC, and the picture of my Final Jeopardy answer ("What is I have no idea") from the ToC went viral last year, getting over 37,000 likes on Tumblr.

Tom Kunzen Orlando, FL

Current Town: Altamonte Springs, FL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $139,402

Since Appearance:

Since my airing, I've entered public service as an engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation. Jeopardy hasn't ended my quizzing career. I participate in LearnedLeague, an online trivia league, I attend weekly local bar trivia games with friends, and I've participated in trivia championships around the US with my TOC buddies. All 15 of us keep in contact on our own private Facebook group.

Anecdote:

The thing I remember most is right after my second game with the solo Final Jeopardy round, and it started to sink in about how much of a big deal that was! I've wanted to be on Jeopardy since I was a little kid. Now, it's something I can look back on and be proud of! With my winnings, I put a down payment on my house, bought a sweet new car, and made a few trips across the country. Most of it is in the bank or in investments right now.

Paul Kursky San Francisco, CA

Current Town: San Francisco, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $115,411

Since Appearance:

Since my appearance, I've married my fiancee, Melissa. We traveled to Belize for our honeymoon and had an amazing trip, spending time both in the jungle and on the beach. We continue to live in San Francisco and are looking to buy our first home. I still perform improv regularly with my theater company, Un-Scripted Theater Company. We now have our own permanent theater space and since Jeopardy! I've directed my first improv show, History: The Musical, a fully improvised musical that spanned time periods encompassing all of human history over 17 performances. Though I've switched companies since my appearance, I still work in marketing for a tech company.

Anecdote:

I remember so many things from my Jeopardy! experience. The morning of my first taping day, I dropped the shirts I brought to wear in the studio garage and didn't realize it until I was in the green room. (Corina was nice enough to hunt them down for me.) I remember rushing to change between two tapings and doing a shoddy job with my tie, resulting in a knot so big it looked on air like it was going to swallow my head. I remember joking around on set with Maggie, who turned me into a Sopranos-like character named Pauly because she found out I'm from New Jersey. With my winnings I took Melissa to Hawaii, bought her an engagement ring, and am still planning to try for business school. Being a Jeopardy champ has had such a positive effect on my life. People now assume I know what I'm talking about because I won on the show. Random strangers stopped me on busses and in museums and congratulated me. And my coworkers now only call me Jeopardy Paul.

Erin McLean Danvers, MA

Current Town: Saunderstown, RI
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $110,000

Since Appearance:

Finishing up my degree at BU, graduating with honors in Marine Science and cum laude in English. I'll start graduate school this fall, working on a Ph.D. in Rhode Island.

Anecdote:

My favorite part of being a Jeopardy champion are all the people I've met and stayed friends with. I go down to Virginia every year to spend time with Amanda Ray from my college tournament, had lunch with Joon Pahk recently in Harvard Square, and even met Jay Rhee and his wife for dinner when we were all in Prague at the same time. My winnings mostly went to financing my study abroad experience (4 months living in Dresden, Germany) and of course, paying off my student loans.

Brian Meacham Anchorage, AK

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $90,000

Since Appearance:

Became a father for the second time, raising our kids with my wife, training for the New York City marathon, preserving film like mad before film stops being made, getting ready to move back to the East Coast to take a new job in the Film Study Center at Yale University.

Anecdote:

Thanks to my first-round whiff, I only really enjoyed the TOC after it was over, hanging out with the other competitors and getting to know them in the intervening years. We bought a car and traveled to Europe and ostensibly put money away for our daughter's college fund with my winnings.

  • Tom Nissley
    Seattle, WA
  • Joon Pahk
    Somerville, MA
  • Jay Rhee
    Annapolis, MD
  • Mark Runsvold
    Moscow, ID
  • Justin Sausville
    Baltimore, MD
  • Christopher Short
    Crawfordsville, IN

Tom Nissley Seattle, WA

Current Town: Seattle, WA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $335,405

Since Appearance:

I left my job as a books editor at Amazon (thanks to the Jeopardy windfall) to start a career as a writer. I've been working on the novel I talked to Alex about at the ToC, but my first book will be nonfiction: A Reader's Book of Days, an almanac of stories from writer's lives and works, that Norton is publishing in November.

Anecdote:

As I say everywhere else on this page, winning on Jeopardy totally changed my life, by giving me (and my wife) the opportunity to do the kind of work we had been wanting to do for years. As far as the experience goes, as I'm sure my whole ToC class will say, I've been amazed at how close we've stayed ever since. And what I remember best is the fun of hearing from friends and family across the country rooting for me as each show aired, and the sheer fun of playing (and yes, winning) the game itself.

Joon Pahk Somerville, MA

Current Town: Somerville, MA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $211,000

Since Appearance:

Still teaching at Harvard. (It really hasn't been that long!) Watching Jeopardy!, of course. Solving and constructing crosswords and other puzzles.

Anecdote:

As promised on the show, we gave away half my winnings to charity. My favorite thing about being on was the chance to connect or reconnect over the internet with some friends I hadn't talked to in a while. Facebook was really, really fun for a couple of weeks there!

Jay Rhee Annapolis, MD

Current Town: Annapolis, MD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $114,203

Since Appearance:

Traveling to Europe, installing sump pumps, refusing to buy Chanel bags. Pretty much the usual post-J! experience. I bought a tuxedo, which may be a bit dressy if I am invited back on the show.

Anecdote:

I am fast friends with many other of the 2011 TofC participants, and that has been an ongoing joy. They are great players but more importantly great people. I think you should bag the whole Legends Tournament idea and just have a 2011 TofC reunion show, like "The Bachelor."

Mark Runsvold Moscow, ID

Current Town: Moscow, ID
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $153,800

Since Appearance:

I've been finishing school, managing a restaurant, playing soccer, and taking care of a cat and a bunny.

Anecdote:

I was in such a daze while taping my episodes, I wasn't totally convinced they'd actually happened until I saw them on air. We brought a TV into the restaurant I work at, so I was able to watch with friends and well-wishers (and a handful of people who didn't know who I was or what was happening). That was probably my favorite experience. Well, that and meeting the other ToC contestants. We've stayed in touch, which is a gift that keeps on giving.

Justin Sausville Baltimore, MD

Current Town: Newark, DE
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $144,000

Since Appearance:

I've been practicing urology, raising my two sons, settling into our new home in Delaware, and serving in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Anecdote:

One memorable part of my Jeopardy! experience was realizing about halfway through my first game, "Holy [cow] -- I actually might win this!"

Being a Jeopardy! champ has been great for me professionally; I've had patients seek me out because they remembered me from the show.

The most significant effect Jeopardy! has had on my life is through the people I met in the Tournament of Champions -- they went from being opponents to being some of my and my wife's closest friends.

Christopher Short Crawfordsville, IN

Current Town: Crawfordsville, IN
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $101,752

Since Appearance:

I had a son in November 2012! His name is Maxwell, and... well, he takes up a fair amount of my time, as you can imagine.

Anecdote:

I still get recognized from time to time, since I live in a small town where everyone was rooting for me. The money did come in handy - we built the G. Alexander Trebek Suite in the second floor of our house. What better way to make room for our growing family? Of course, I also still keep in touch with all the other competitors from my TOC. I can't wait to see them at the Decades Tournament!

  • Kara Spak
    Chicago, IL
  • Charles Temple
    Okracoke, NC
  • Buddy Wright
    Fort Worth, TX

Kara Spak Chicago, IL

Current Town: Chicago, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $95,401

Since Appearance:

I had a baby! I was 4 months pregnant during the 2011 Tournament of Champions and my wonderful daughter was born in March 2012. I still live in Chicago and now explore this beautiful city from the perspective of someone less than three feet tall.

Anecdote:

After the Jeopardy 2011 Tournament of Champions, I went viral.

"What is a threesome?", a question I gave to a clue during my quarter-final game, was an Internet sensation that resulted in hilarious coverage in Entertainment Weekly, Deadspin, Comedy Central, MSNBC and various other publications and TV programs. It now has more than 2 million hits on YouTube.

I received a lot of feedback on this response. About 90 percent of people who contacted me said that they yelled out that same answer at home.

While I think most people remember me for saying "What is a threesome?", I will always be grateful that, through "Jeopardy!," I got the opportunity to publicly thank all the people that contributed to my education and helped develop my curiosity.

Charles Temple Okracoke, NC

Current Town: Okracoke, NC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $105,000

Since Appearance:

Traveling, teaching and directing plays. Also, as my school's athletic director, I've been spending time with team schedules--the calendar in one and and a tide table in the other. Problems with the ferry channel that is the only access to the island meant that boats could only run at high tide, so we had to schedule games according to the tides. The Coast Guard occasionally helped, ferrying teams and officials from the next island up.

Anecdote:

This is a small town, with very few celebrities of any kind, so it got to the point that I couldn't run to the store for eggs in fewer than 45 minutes. Also, tourists on the island like to ask where I live. My girlfriend is a bartender, and now when she gets asked if she knows me, she says she "knows of me." The price of fame. When my tournament aired, the whole town packed into a spots bar/restaurant that belongs to a good friend, and we all watched my smiling face on 25 or 30 TVs. The last night of the tournament was prom, so we brought the high school to the restaurant, then took them back to the dance.

Buddy Wright Fort Worth, TX

Current Town: Fort Worth, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $138,804

Since Appearance:

We bought a house with the Jeopardy! money, so I've spent most of my spare time on landscaping, yardwork and fix-it projects. Keeping up with 2 kids under 5 years old is also a full-time job.

Anecdote:

I have become great friends with all of competitors in our ToC. We have a Facebook group where we converse near daily, and we've all been trips to see one another on several occasions. Becoming friends with this group of incredible people is the greatest thing to come out of the Jeopardy! experience.

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2010
26

STARTING SEPT. 17, PART OF LOWER MANHATTAN WAS OCCUPIED 24/7 BY THE PROTEST GROUP "OCCUPY" THIS

Reveal Response

WHAT IS WALL STREET?

Show Clue
  • Vijay Balse
    Chatham, NJ
  • Joey Beachum
    Homewood, AL
  • Dave Belote
    Woodbridge, VA
  • Justin Bernbach
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Ryan Chaffee
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Stefan Goodreau
    Los Angeles, CA

Vijay Balse Chatham, NJ

Current Town: Chatham, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $332,400

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

Here's a JEOPARDY!-related anecdote:

The Saturday immediately after the conclusion of the Tournament of Champions broadcast in May 2010, I was crossing the street at a signal in downtown Summit, a neighboring town, when a police officer on a bicycle was apparently going to make a right turn after I had gotten out of the way. However, I saw out of the corner of my eye that she had made a U-turn instead, and was following me on the sidewalk.

I heard her calling out to me. So, I stopped and turned around, and she said something along the lines of, "Can I ask you a weird question?" Figuring out what was likely coming, I took off my sunglasses, and waited patiently. The next thing out of her mouth? "It IS you, isn't it?"

Anyway, we chatted about the clue about BEN-HUR in my last game, and I joked with her that it was the first time I had been stopped by a cop for a good reason.

Joey Beachum Homewood, AL

Current Town: Homewood, AL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $105,000

Since Appearance:

After my last appearance, I have been working as a digital communications consultant in marketing and public relations while also working on the next Great American Novel and traveling the South in search of the perfect BBQ. (No really, I am writing a book and I love BBQ).

Anecdote:

After my first appearance in the 2008 College Championship, I remember receiving a fat envelope chock full of newspaper clippings gathered by a very sweet old lady in my college's hometown of Starkville, MS. She said she was "very proud" of me and wanted a "nice young man" to have what "the papers were saying" about me. I was very touched. Being a Jeopardy! champ has affected my life by giving my boss a pretty cool icebreaker to use with potential clients.

Dave Belote Woodbridge, VA

Current Town: Woodbridge, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $146,801

Since Appearance:

Between my regular-season run and my TOC appearance, I retired from the Air Force and took four months off to recharge my batteries. After the TOC aired in May 2010, I was recruited to come back to the Pentagon in a senior executive civilian position, working for the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, where I created a process and office to site wind and solar projects as close as possible to military bases while protecting the military mission. After 27 years of public service, I finally figured out how to pursue my twin passions of environmental stewardship and national security through energy independence in the private sector: I'm now a vice president of a Virginia-based renewable energy company, overseeing development of wind and solar projects for military bases and other Federal customers.

Anecdote:

I was touched by a number of veterans of Korea and Vietnam and their families who wrote to say how much it meant to them to see the uniform so proudly represented. One spouse wrote to tell about her bedridden Korea-vet husband who brightened every evening as Jeopardy! aired with Colonel Dave, and a Vietnam vet painted a poignant contrast between the alienation he felt returning to the US in the early 70s and the pride he felt seeing me in uniform on the Jeopardy! set night after night. I responded to each of them personally, by snail-mail or e-mail, to thank them for what they'd done to build a foundation for my success. I was touched by the few magical moments Alex spent with my autistic son, Drew; when Drew came onto the set after my final regular-season appearance, his eyes grew big as saucers as he said "it's Alex Trebek--I'm inside Jeopardy!," and his most prized possession remains the autographed photo of the three of us. Finally, I'm transported to a different plane of contentment every time I go to our little slice of heaven on North Carolina's Outer Banks: we used my winnings as the down payment on a beach house we call "Inn Jeopardy!"

Justin Bernbach Brooklyn, NY

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $167,001

Since Appearance:

I'm still living in Brooklyn and still a lobbyist, although I have changed jobs and apartments since last appearing on Jeopardy! I'm currently working at HNTB, an engineering company specializing in transportation infrastructure. My wife, Valerie Lewis, and I have two kids: Lindsay, 7, and Gavin, 4.

Anecdote:

I got to talk Jeopardy! with one of the greatest celebrity contestants of all time,Isaac Mizrahi: My wife is the head of a youth chorus in Brooklyn and Isaac redesigned their uniforms. We were both at a fundraiser for the organization and spent a good chunk of the cocktail hour swapping Jeopardy! war stories.

I proved that being a Jeopardy! champion can help you get a job: I was recently looking for a new job and asked a lot of people whether I should mention Jeopardy! on my resume. I got some different opinions. I went with my gut and put it in. Jeopardy! came up in every interview I did either as a great icebreaker at the beginning of the interview or, in the case of the job I accepted, as a lighthearted moment at the end of an otherwise intense interview.

I helped demonstrate that Jeopardy! ability and bar trivia ability is not necessarily the same thing: Last year, I got together with a couple of former Jeopardy! champions to go to a bar trivia night in the East Village. The three of us we had won more than $450K combined. We decided to "slum it," sneak in, dominate a trivia contest then reveal our secret identities. Unfortunately we finished second to some regulars.

Ryan Chaffee Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Santa Monica, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $97,900

Since Appearance:

Since my appearance on Jeopardy! I have continued to tutor professionally (I get to do my dream job!) while writing screenplays and playing music recreationally. I play competitive trivia in some way, shape, or form on a daily basis, and I know from playing online Virtual Jeopardy! games against former TOCers that I am as strong as I've ever been, and I'm capable of going toe-to-toe with the best!

Anecdote:

I grew up playing Jeopardy! with my dad, and it is something that has kept us connected over the years, so the highest high of my entire Jeopardy! experience was having my dad fly out from Minnesota and be in the audience for my first three wins. The one "big purchase" that I made with my winnings was an Alaskan cruise for me and my dad--his dream trip. My dad regularly rewatches my Jeopardy! appearances on his DVR and tells me how great I did. I know my dad is proud of me for many things I have done in my life, but the way he is proud of me for being a Jeopardy! champion is different, and I can't thank you all enough for giving that to me. Thank you!!!

Stefan Goodreau Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Arleta, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $136,870

Since Appearance:

I have taken my first trips abroad, going to Italy, Germany, and Austria with my choir; I flew to New York to take on Watson (and prevailed!); and I have taught kids how to say their names backwards.

Anecdote:

My Jeopardy! appearances threw me headfirst into Twitter, as I bemusedly observed (and occasionally interacted with) people who loved me or hated me.

I used my winnings to pay off the larger of my college loans, and to keep myself comfortable and unmotivated for three years. My most recent development is a small foray into the stock market, something I know little about.

My Jeopardy appearances have changed how I interact with people on the internet. I used to compartmentalize my online life, maintaining near-anonymity with people I didn't know in real life. Now, I have Jeopardy! friends on Facebook that I've never met, but would like to someday.

  • Terry Linwood
    Allen, TX
  • Liz Murphy
    Scranton, PA
  • Regina Robbins
    New York, NY
  • Andy Srinivasan
    Clayton, NC
  • Patrick Tucker
    St. Louis, MO
  • Christine Valada
    Walton, NY

Terry Linwood Allen, TX

Current Town: Allen, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $122,705

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Liz Murphy Scranton, PA

Current Town: Cambridge, MA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $133,302

Since Appearance:

I went to night school and earned a master's in arts management (I got the acceptance in the hotel room in California when I was out for the TOC taping, actually). Diploma in hand, I started applying for jobs. I found a very interesting one in the fall of 2012 as an arts producer at MIT, where I have been arranging all kinds of music and other arts programming for the new Center for Art, Science, and Technology there. Having a great time living in the same metro area as my sister for the first time since we were kids. Love being back in Boston! Ooh, and I beat Watson in one of the IBM sparring matches! In maybe the third-last week they were testing it with TOC types, I think. (A good solid win with me leading going into Final and no strange behavior from the machine.)

Anecdote:

Someone recognized me from my Jeopardy! appearance at the top of the Gateway Arch - in 2012! And someone else recognized me at the fish market on the Rialto in Venice (a really special trip with my mom and sister that Jeopardy! made possible).

A lot of my winnings went towards grad school and the excellent laptop that got me through it, but I was also able to take some wonderful trips - Venice as mentioned, Quebec City and province, Prague and Budapest, Iceland, a graduate study program in museum management in Berlin, and this upcoming trip to Peru. And when my old car finally broke down in the middle of the highway, my Jeopardy! winnings meant I was able to get a quality replacement.

But being on Jeopardy! has brought many intangible benefits to my life as well. I first appeared on the show at a time when I knew I needed to make some changes in my life but didn't really know how to go about doing so. I genuinely needed the confidence boost at the time, and still appreciate how the show reawakened my sense of the possibilities and opportunities available in life, and helped me make new friends to help along the way. I still think or talk about Jeopardy! almost every day.

Regina Robbins New York, NY

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $90,700

Since Appearance:

I have been working within the City University of New York system and writing plays.

Anecdote:

The production staff at Jeopardy! are all superstars and made the experience more fun than nerve-wracking. I remember feeling like my chats with Alex were all ridiculous, largely because I had nothing cool to talk about, so instead I told anecdotes about eating at McDonald's in Europe and having a really old teddy bear. I wish I could say I did something super exciting with my winnings, but it went primarily to three places: bills, savings and a brand new Macbook Pro (the first new computer I'd bought since college!).

Andy Srinivasan Clayton, NC

Current Town: Garner, NC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $75,100

Since Appearance:

My wife, Wendy, and I used the winning to travel. We also helped open a brand new high school which will have its first graduating class this year.

Anecdote:

Its been over three years but people still recognize me being on the show. My students still think I'm a bit of a celebrity. Whenever I state an obscure fact about something in class, they remind me that I am not on the show anymore. My favorite show memory was actually the day before the tournament. Wendy and I rented a convertible and drove all over L.A. looking at the sights. As I was going down Rodeo Drive, I reminded her to remember why she was in this car on this road, the next time she got mad about something I did.

Patrick Tucker St. Louis, MO

Current Town: St. Louis, MO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $105,000

Since Appearance:

Since my last appearance on the show I have changed careers. Previously, I was a graduate student in Public Policy at William and Mary. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis. During the past year I have presented papers at two major conferences.

Anecdote:

What I will remember about my time on Jeopardy is how much fun I had. In my day to day life I am an 85 year old in a 75 year old's body. While still a mystery to myself, the Jeopardy crew did the impossible and elicited a personality out of a rather dull 22 year old. For that, they deserve a Nobel Prize. Oh, and I also laughed after saying "Buttocks" on TV.

I did not spend my winnings on anything extravagant, but they did afford me to make a career change and not worry about starving.

Winning and losing on Jeopardy had two very important effects on my life. First, just being on the show (and winning) provided an immense level of confidence. Before my appearance I would go through weeks of anxious dread before a scheduled presentation or the prospect of meeting new people. Although I'm still an awkward oaf, I can now form a coherent sentence while speaking publicly. Second, losing on Jeopardy really forced me to reevaluate the direction of my career. Following the loss I had a deep feeling of "now what?" With new-found confidence in my abilities, I decided to pursue a career in academics and work toward a PhD. I am much happier because of that and I have Jeopardy to thank.

Christine Valada Walton, NY

Current Town: Northridge, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $68,703 plus $7,000 in consolation prizes

Since Appearance:

I still live in the San Fernando Valley, but we acquired a larger home and sold the rebuilt one that we lost to fire in 2009. I'm still working on rebuilding our library and art collection, but I've done a fine job replacing and expanding my cookbook collection (and my kitchen equipment.)

Anecdote:

The best thing about being on Jeopardy! was meeting so many people who love the game as much as I do. Besides keeping in touch with many of the members of my ToC group, I've met (or been in touch with via Twitter or Facebook) with many others who share the Jeopardy experience. I'm especially grateful for my continuing friendships with Bob Harris and Lisa Klink, who are regular members of the Sunday Super Supper Squad.

When I went for my first interview for the show, after passing the on-line test, I remember telling Maggie Speak that I felt like I lived in the Collyer mansion and any winnings would go to more space. It also went to 40 nights in the hospital for my horse, educational expenses for my son, and airfare for my sister and nieces to visit us.

People are generally impressed to meet a Jeopardy champion. I don't usually bring it up, but some people have recognized me from the show or the Nightline report on Jeopardy! in which I appeared, and my husband tends to mention it. He tells me Hugh Jackman was impressed with the information. Be still my heart.

  • Stephen Weingarten
    Portland, OR
  • Nick Yozamp
    St. Cloud, MN
  • Jason Zollinger
    South Dayton, NY

Stephen Weingarten Portland, OR

Current Town: Raleigh, NC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $96,290 + $5000 from the ToC

Since Appearance:

Besides shamelessly trading on my Jeopady! fame? I have moved to North Carolina to be closer to family, and my wife and I have had another baby, a little girl named Freya. I have also changed careers. I am now testing software used by mobile providers in their LTE networks

Anecdote:

My Jeopardy! run earned me the nickname "Hot Knife" among some of my friends for the way I slashed through my opponents, which is fun. And I am pretty sure I would not have landed the job I am in without having the title of "Jeopardy! Champion" listed on my resume. Also, when I was watching the 2010 Winter Olympics not long after my appearance and saw someone win the gold medal, I think I had an idea of what that feels like. I still have that feeling.

Nick Yozamp St. Cloud, MN

Current Town: St. Louis, MO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $110,000

Since Appearance:

Graduated from college and currently attending medical school.

Anecdote:

was recognized a few weeks after my ToC appearance at a cathedral in Monaco by a couple from New Jersey!

I used my winnings to pay for (part of) medical school.

Instead of Yozamp, people call me Yo-champ now.

My ignorance of biblical trivia is legendary.

Jason Zollinger South Dayton, NY

Current Town: South Dayton, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $249,404

Since Appearance:

I still work in the same factory, but I am no longer on the assembly line. I am working in Quality Control.

Anecdote:

Since the 5-game limit was lifted in 2003, I am one of only 17 players to have won six or more games. I am currently 13th all-time for regular-season winnings, not accounting for the doubling of clue values in 2001. I was the leading money winner for season 26. I made it to the finals of the 2010 Tournament of Champions, and I am the only player to finish higher than third in a TOC after losing everything the first day of a two-day final. I achieved this success on Jeopardy! despite lacking much formal post-secondary education. I am among the winningest players in Jeopardy! history without a college degree. I spent 22 years trying to get on Jeopardy! All I ever wanted was a chance to prove that I belonged.

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2009
25

YES SIR -- THIS BRITISH COMPOSER'S ADAPTATION OF "BILLY ELLIOT" WON 10 TONYS INCLUDING BEST MUSICAL

Reveal Response

WHO IS SIR ELTON JOHN?

Show Clue
  • Ben Bishop
    Seattle, WA
  • Carl Brandt
    Vero Beach, FL
  • Deborah Fitzgerald
    McLean, VA
  • Larissa Kelly
    El Cerrito, CA
  • Lisa Klink
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Matt Kohlstedt
    Madison, WI

Ben Bishop Seattle, WA

Current Town: Seattle, WA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $114,800

Since Appearance:

After graduating college the spring following the show, I had a few months off before starting work. I took advantage of my Jeopardy! winnings by travelling around the world (Selling orange juice in Marrakech, skydiving in Slovenia, and an unfortunate ending when I was hit by a motorcycle in Laos, regaining consciousness in the hospital with a Laotian doctor stitching my forehead and no idea where I was). I then studied Spanish in Ecuador for two months, before starting work at a consulting firm in Boston. I've never been good at staying still, so I spent six months working at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in Seattle, focusing on Agricultural Development, primarily in Ethiopia. This past January I moved to Sweden for six months, so will make my triumphant return to America in July.

Anecdote:

A few things I remember: I forgot to bring pants to the show, so I had to borrow some from my family. I was most nervous for after the credits, when we had to go to the front of the stage -- I felt like I was wearing MC Hammer style parachute pants. The witty repartee with Alex was one of my favorite parts of the show - his dry humor is fantastic and he never gets fazed, despite my best efforts during the interview section. I was prepared for people recognizing me in the weeks after the show (I was on a college campus of 2,000 people, after all), but not for years afterwards, and had particularly forgotten about the airings in syndication. One night the following summer, I was in a grocery store with a friend when a man dropped the grocery basket he was carrying: "I saw you on TV! Tonight! How are you here?" It took me a minute to figure out that my shows were on re-runs, so I explained that. I also defended the honor of humanity by beating IBM's Watson in its final round of tune-up matches before it beat Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

Carl Brandt Vero Beach, FL

Current Town: Vero Beach, FL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $77,799

Since Appearance:

Watching the market and traveling--I've visited Nicaragua, El Salvador, Laos, Thailand, Colombia, Panama, and Indonesia...(next up is Costa Rica...)

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! turned out to be a monumentally life-altering experience for me. The day after I received the prize money, I used it all--every penny--to buy stock. And it just so happened that I bought in when the market was at its lowest ebb due to the financial crisis...and since I bought, the market has risen almost nine thousand points. To think of how lucky I was to not only make it on the show, but win some money...and have that money come into my possession at the absolute best time to buy stock--it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It completely changed the trajectory of my existence...for the better!

Deborah Fitzgerald McLean, VA

Current Town: McLean, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $61,901

Since Appearance:

In addition to enjoying everyday life with my husband and family, I studied Chinese with a self-study program for eight months in preparation for a two week trip to Beijing, Shanghai and a Yangtse river cruise.

Anecdote:

I've used some of my winnings to fund travel and adventure. It's wonderful to be a Jeopardy champ, but there doesn't seem to be any modest way to introduce that fact into conversation. Most people are intrigued when they find out I was a contestant, and invariably ask "What's Alex Trebek like?" They're usually crushed to learn that we didn't hang out!

Larissa Kelly El Cerrito, CA

Current Town: Richmond, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $323,597

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! has given me opportunities to meet amazing people, to travel for dissertation research, to see a giant supercomputer at work, to own a home, and to have certain facts indelibly seared into my brain. (Actually, that last one may be something of a mixed blessing. :) ) Most of all, though, being on Jeopardy! has expanded my sense of what's possible in life. The wonderful, profoundly serendipitous experience of winning money on a game show was an object lesson in the benefits of taking chances, and remaining open to possibilities of all sorts.

Lisa Klink Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $72,000

Since Appearance:

I've written two novels as part of the "Dead Man" series published by Amazon. I worked at the Red Cross for a year with the AmeriCorps program. I still volunteer with the Red Cross, and with Much Love Animal Rescue

Anecdote:

My first Jeopardy! appearances aired while I was walking a picket line during the WGA strike. A friend pointed out that winning on Jeopardy! made me the highest paid writer in Hollywood at the time.

Matt Kohlstedt Madison, WI

Current Town: Madison, WI
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $77,803

Since Appearance:

I've moved cities (to Madison, WI), changed jobs (to Associate Director of the Honors Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison), started a family (Benjamin, born August 2012), bought a house (thanks for the down payment, Jeopardy!), and kept training for trivia in the hope that there would be another super tournament!

Anecdote:

What I remember most about being on Jeopardy! is the fact that I had zero recollection of most of my matches. When I watched myself, I actually answered questions incorrectly in my mind that I got correct on the show, and vice versa. I basically had an out-of-body experience during all the tapings. So yes, that's right: what I remember most is my complete and utter failure to remember anything.

  • Tom Morris
    Irvine, CA
  • Erik Nelson
    Austin, TX
  • Dan Pawson
    Boston, MA
  • Cora Peck
    Aliso Viejo, CA
  • Aaron Schroeder
    Washington, DC
  • Dave Simpson
    Belcamp, MD

Tom Morris Irvine, CA

Current Town: Irvine, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $100,801 + 2,000 (2nd place) + 5,000 (ToC Quarterfinalist)

Since Appearance:

Since my appearance on the show, I finished my degree, got my teaching credential and master's degree and reached my goal of becoming a teacher. I am teaching in a low-income, urban area and using my Jeopardy! experience in the classroom to motivate my students.

Anecdote:

The entire Jeopardy! experience is one of the highlights of my life. One of the most fun parts of every school year is waiting for the first student to find my bit of Jeopardy! history on YouTube and start a discussion about the two games before that and the two games to follow. I am most thankful for the opportunity that winning provided in allowing me some help in finishing my degree and moving onto the next stage in my life.

Erik Nelson Austin, TX

Current Town: Austin, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $94,404

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Dan Pawson Boston, MA

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $420,902 (plus 1k for third in last game)

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

My favorite story about being recognized was during my Tournament of Champions. I was at the grocery store, and one of the people at the counter caught my attention. He raised his hand up by his shoulder, started ringing in on an imaginary buzzer, and cocked his eyebrows to ask if he was right. I nodded, and he smiled, but man, that would have been funny if it was someone else.

Earlier this year, my clients flew me across the country to play Alex Trebek for a Jeopardy! round at their all-staff meeting. I made sure to wear my Perry Ellis shirt and tie.

The money has been a godsend in most of the traditional ways: my student loans are gone, we bought a new car, etc. The nicest thing it's done is when my wife got a great job in another city, I was able to quit my job to follow her and not worry about the immediate consequences.

Cora Peck Aliso Viejo, CA

Current Town: Aliso Viejo, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $127,903

Since Appearance:

Continuing to teach high school. Completed Master's Degree in Education in 2009. Played Watson in November 2010 & finished 2nd in 2 of 3 games. Travelled to Italy in 2013. Other domestic traveling.

Anecdote:

I enjoyed the experience & think of Jeopardy! as "the gift that keeps on giving" since some of the winnings have been invested. Hopefully it will help to finance some of my retirement. My students are still impressed by the fact that I actually won on Jeopardy!, even though many of them have no memory of my appearances. I don't have my students play the game but make them watch me play it! (I recorded all of my appearances.) I still consider my appearances & success a high point in my life.

Aaron Schroeder Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $177,902

Since Appearance:

Finished my Ph.D. in Economics (one chapter is on wagering in Jeopardy!), married my husband in San Diego, moved back to Washington, DC, traveled to Europe and Australia (not necessarily in that order)

Anecdote:

Most of the things listed in what I've done since my appearance were at least helped by Jeopardy! Our wedding was beautiful, Australia was once-in-a-lifetime, and the show even helped me finish my degree!

Dave Simpson Belcamp, MD

Current Town: Millersville, MD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $88,901

Since Appearance:

I am now pastor of my own church, Christ Evangelical Lutheran in Millersville, Maryland! Besides serving there, I have been playing tennis, writing, and learning to play the cello (you want to hear "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?") My son has graduated from college (thanks in part to Jeopardy! winnings), and my daughter is now a High School Sophomore. Our "family" also includes two dogs, two cats, and a bird. We've also traveled some, but my wife would like another trip to LA.

Anecdote:

JEOPARDY ANECDOTE: After winning the first game, I returned to the Green Room to change clothes. I had planned to wear my clerics (pastor clothes) for the second game - I didn't want to embarrass anyone but myself if I made a fool of myself in my first appearance. I got my clergy shirt on, then went to grab the plastic white tab (that fits into the collar) from my garment bag. The problem was . . . it wasn't there. I fished around in the pockets of the garment bag, but there was no tab. It was DIY time - I asked Tony if there was any white cardboard around. He and Corinna went on a search, and located a sheet of cardboard. And some scissors. Then I spent my last moments in the Green Room cutting out a strip of the cardboard that fit into my collar. They said it was the first time they'd ever dealt with that problem! If you watched the show on HD, you might have noticed that the tab was a little frayed around the edges from my inexpert cutting. WITH THE WINNINGS: I gave my wife the wedding ring that I wished I could have given her when we got married. We took a family trip to the Grand Canyon. We bought our first flatscreen TV! We tithed 10% to our church.

  • Jim Stevens
    Fairview Park, OH
  • Donna Vogel
    Bethesda, MD
  • Mark Wales
    Williamsville, NY

Jim Stevens Fairview Park, OH

Current Town: Fairview Park, OH
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $147,600

Since Appearance:

In addition to teaching, I just finished my 10th season as my high school's academic trivia coach and first as conference commissioner. Jim Coury, who just won the College Championship, graduated two years ago from our rival school. I was pleased but unsurprised by his success given how thoroughly his team dominated our league.

Anecdote:

Like most Jeopardy! champions, I had the fleeting surreal experience of being a celebrity - "Look, honey. There's that guy from Jeopardy! And he's buying his own eggs!" But the biggest effect my Jeopardy! experience has had on my life is the impact on my family. Before I appeared on the show, my wife was planning to return early from maternity leave. But as a result of my winnings, she was able to stay home with our daughter Allie for 3 years and then accept a part-time position once she went back. And so for most of Allie's life, she has been in a class of one with the most dedicated teacher on the planet. The two of them take field trips to local museums and are regulars at the public library and the zoo. The impact this has had on Allie's development is immeasurable and she is now well on her way to being our next Jeopardy! champion.

Donna Vogel Bethesda, MD

Current Town: Bethesda, MD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $85,299

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Mark Wales Williamsville, NY

Current Town: Williamsville, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $141,804 + $10,000 (TOC)

Since Appearance:

Since my appearances, I have continued pursuing a career in education. Unfortunately, due to the recent economic climate, school districts have been laying off more teachers than they have been hiring. So I continue to work as a substitute. Thankfully the money I've earned on Jeopardy has afforded me the opportunity to stay with my dream of becoming a full-time teacher.

Anecdote:

After my first three games I was most excited about winning the games, and I was less focused on the amount of money I had won. At the end of the fourth game, when I saw my face on the monitor with "$105,003" underneath it, that was when I realized that I had actually won a huge amount of money.

Students ask me all the time what did with the money I won. My usual reply is "Nothing big. A new computer, a new tennis racket, some socks." I did make a few cross-country trips to visit some friends. Other than that, no big purchases, although I did buy that snow blower.

How has Jeopardy changed my life? Working in schools, kids remind me at least a half-dozen times a day that I was on the show. Students will mention it when they see me, plus I get a lot of questions about it. The most frequent questions involve what I spent the money on and how I got on the show. Lately, I've been getting this question: "Mr. Wales, are you tired of answering questions about Jeopardy?" My answer to that has been and always will be this: It took me over twenty years to get on the show, I am grateful every day that I was on, and I will never get tired talking about it.

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2007
24

IN DECEMBER THIS ILLINOIS GOVERNOR WAS NATIONAL NEWS FOR HIS SKETCHY BEHAVIOR

Reveal Response

WHO IS ROD BLAGOJEVICH?

Show Clue
  • Celeste DiNucci
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Mehrun Etebari
    Washington, DC
  • Cliff Galiher
    Half Moon Bay, CA
  • Paul Glaser
    Albany, NY
  • Christian Haines
    Hanover, NH
  • Doug Hicton
    Toronto, ON

Celeste DiNucci Philadelphia, PA

Current Town: Philadelphia, PA
Subsequent Appearances: (Does the highlight reel from the Watson sparring matches count?)
Total Winnings: $333,806

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

It became clear to me, even before the ToC, that on my tombstone it will read: "SHE WON ON JEOPARDY." I can think of worse ways to be remembered! My winnings allowed me to finish my graduate degree and to get started on the new venture, a nonprofit that supports artists from across disciplines that are collaborating on making original performance work. One of the best and lasting effects has been meeting other J! champs and always having an immediate camaraderie.

Mehrun Etebari Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $128,100 (plus $2,000 for one 2nd place and $5,000 for TOC)

Since Appearance:

After the Tournament of Champions, I finished out the rest of my Masters degree program in International Relations at Yale. After getting my degree, I moved down from New Haven, CT, to Washington, DC, in the summer of 2008. I've been working as a junior researcher at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution ever since, trying my best to provide analysis of everything going on in Iran and the rest of the Middle East without falling into the massive depression that can afflict anyone whose 9-to-5 focuses on the always frustrating politics of that region. That said, I love my job - I've learned immensely from working for such experienced experts in Middle East policy as they have here, I have had the chance to travel to Qatar a few times for work, and best of all, living in DC, I got to see the Jeopardy! Power Players tournament last year! I've also become a regular trivia host each week at Stetsons Bar and Grill in Washington, where I write my own questions and then deliver them to some of DC's most quiz-thirsty locals. It got me profiled in the Washington post:

Anecdote:

What I remember is how much fun it was, largely due to how friendly almost all of the people involved were, ranging from my fellow contestants to all the staff (shoutouts to Maggie, Robert, and Corina, plus Alex when I got the chance to chat with him)! I never would have thought that if I ended up being denied a sixth victory by a challenger who came out of nowhere to leap over me with some unbelievably gutsy Daily Double plays, I'd ever want to see him again, let alone become his Facebook friend, but hey, that's what happened! I guess Jeopardy! just seems to bring together some amazing people, drawn by their love of knowledge and their desire to challenge themselves.

It took a while to sink in that I had won so much money - in fact, after winning, I went to celebrate at the beach, but I still felt like I was broke and took the local bus for 75 cents to get there from Sony Pictures Studios.

Because I moved to DC about a year after appearing on TV, reruns of my episodes were still airing on Saturdays. I hadn't advertised myself as a Jeopardy! champ to my new friends, so each week, I'd get a new frantic text or email from a colleague asking why I had hidden this great secret.

Cliff Galiher Half Moon Bay, CA

Current Town: Culver City, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $150,000

Since Appearance:

Studying hard, traveling the world, working for AMPAs and the Academy Awards, getting injured rock-climbing, and counting the days until I get behind that podium again!

Anecdote:

Probably the best story about my post-Jeopardy! life is that I won the College Championship as UCLA's representative in 2007 (when it was hosted at USC's Galen Center), and now I'm a PhD student in USC's School of Cinematic Arts! My friends are all debating whether I'm a sell-out or an agent going deep undercover for the Bruins...

Paul Glaser Albany, NY

Current Town: Albany, NY
Subsequent Appearances: Played Watson in the trials at IBM
Total Winnings: $132,802

Since Appearance:

I've traveled around the world, coached my wife for her appearance on the show in 2008, grown an increasingly frightening volume of tomatoes, had a few patents, a promotion, gained a few nieces, picked up yoga, and accumulated stories to regale an audience for hours.

Anecdote:

After I blew 18,000 on a botched Final Jeopardy response, I began to see black cats everywhere I looked for a while

The winnings were used for some things like a new kitchen, vast amounts of sparkling wine, some vacations, and keeping my ferret in the style to which she is accustomed. I resisted the urge to cash out in nickels and roll around in a kiddie pool of loose change, Scrooge McDuck style.

What I tell folks who ask me about the experience of Jeopardy! is how *fast* game play is when you're actually there. People can't believe - and in retrospect it's hard to recall - how you can do 5 shows in a day.

Christian Haines Hanover, NH

Current Town: Richmond, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $117,000

Since Appearance:

Since Jeopardy! I've: graduated from Dartmouth College; returned to Washington, DC to serve as a Legislative Assistant for a U.S. Congressman; left DC to attend law school in Richmond, Virginia; and married my girlfriend Zandria (who was present for the TOC taping in 2007).

Anecdote:

The Jeopardy! year of my life was a very auspicious one; In the same year I went on the show I met my future wife, and returned to college to finish my undergraduate education. My success on Jeopardy! made both of those decisions easier: I was able to use my winnings to travel and stay close to my wife, and the Jeopardy! appearance helped me return to campus as a minor celebrity.

Doug Hicton Toronto, ON

Current Town: Toronto, ON
Subsequent Appearances: None televised, but I did play Watson and beat it.
Total Winnings: $186,900

Since Appearance:

Looking for full-time work, while freelance consulting, composing, writing, acting, singing, travelling...

Anecdote:

The thing I remember most about my Jeopardy! experience was the sheer exhilaration of competing in front of cameras and an audience. And certainly at the TOC I met a lot of awesome contestants who have since become quite good friends. This does not mean that I won't do everything in my power to destroy them if we should ever meet again on the field of battle!

I was hoping to put the money aside as an iron reserve of capital, but life intervened. After some travel to BC and northwestern Europe, and a couple of purchases, most of the money went for mundane things like rent, food, and utilities as I sought work. Unfortunately, having been on Jeopardy! hasn't opened the doors quite as I'd hoped. I think employers get a little intimidated by such accomplishments.

I will say thank goodness for Jeopardy!, though, because it bought me a lot of time.

  • Cathy Lanctot
    Wilmington, DE
  • Chris Mazurek
    Columbia, MO
  • Susan Mitchell
    Houston, TX
  • Andrew Rostan
    Chicago, IL
  • Jeff Spoeri
    Winter Park, FL
  • Nick Swezey
    Washington, DC

Cathy Lanctot Wilmington, DE

Current Town: Wilmington, DE
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $116,102

Since Appearance:

I just completed my 25th year of teaching at Villanova Law School in Pennsylvania.

Anecdote:

It's very hard to be a "cool" law professor when you're the same age as the parents of your students, but letting them know about my Jeopardy past keeps me in the running.

Chris Mazurek Columbia, MO

Current Town: Columbia, MO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $83,000 (approx.)

Since Appearance:

Kept teaching. I was granted tenure since I've been on (though not because of Jeopardy! - at least I don't think so). Raising my two kids with my wife Micah. Travelling to see family, reading some good, light non-psychology books. That kind of thing.

Anecdote:

What I remember most is not remembering the questions afterwards. People always seemed to want to know what the toughest/easiest questions were, but for the life of me, I had to struggle to recall them. The winnings went for domestic stuff, mostly: 20% down on a house, 50% down on a minivan, which naturally has had a very positive effect on my life (especially when it comes to the long drive to the in-laws). I did buy myself a nice mp3 player, though. It was awesome and I loved it and only gave it up for a smartphone because it's trouble asking me to keep track of two relatively small pieces of expensive technology.

I do recall that for the airings, faculty from my college threw a viewing party for me the first night. When I won, they did it again for the second...and third...and fourth. I think that after the third time people were getting pretty tired of throwing parties, though they were glad I was winning of course. They were pretty great about the whole thing.

Susan Mitchell Houston, TX

Current Town: Houston, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $67,100

Since Appearance:

I began my career working for a petrochemical company -- I'm on a developmental path to becoming a safety engineer and enjoy learning more about keeping people safe. I met the love of my life, got married in 2009, and our lives changed for the significantly better when we welcomed our first child, an adorable daughter, into the world in March 2012. She's an independent 15 month old that keeps Mommy and Daddy on their toes, Mommy's reflexes sharp, and of course, she's a future Jeopardy lover!

Anecdote:

N/A

Andrew Rostan Chicago, IL

Current Town: Chicago, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $131,500

Since Appearance:

The day I received the call to be on the show was coincidentally the day I moved into my first home in Los Angeles. I lived in L.A. for two and a half years, then moved in 2009 to earn a master's degree in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. I fell in love with Chicago and have lived there ever since; I now live literally across the street from Wrigley Field! After considering a career as an academic, I found my true calling as a writer of comics. My first graphic novel, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson, was named one of the best comics of 2011 by USA Today, and I have more books on the way.

Anecdote:

I joke with people that the very first thing I bought after winning was to buy a vacuum cleaner, because I needed one! In all honesty, my biggest splurge purchase was a flat-screen television. My winnings went towards getting my book published, giving me a solid financial footing to attend graduate school, and providing me support during years looking for a full-time job. Thankfully, I have a full-time job now, and amazingly, I still have over $5,000 put away from the original victory in 2007!

My dear friends David Child (now one of the funniest comedians and writers in Los Angeles) and Kal-El Bogdanove (a superb director) were in the audience for my first day of taping, and Dave still tells this story today: all of us were film students at Emerson College, and when I entered Final Jeopardy in my first game with the lead and the category was "Oscar Winners," they started cheering even before Trebek asked the question. They happened to be sitting next to the husband of the woman who'd won the previous episode. When he asked if his wife should be worried, Dave later told me, "I wanted to say that his wife had no chance, but instead I just started laughing and couldn't stop!"

Jeff Spoeri Winter Park, FL

Current Town: Winter Park, FL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $115,000

Since Appearance:

I moved to Central Florida in 2010, where I have become active in the community through a number of volunteer efforts, including singing in a world-renowned chorus (the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park) and serving on the board of directors of a youth orchestra and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce's leadership program. My children will turn 14 and 8, respectively, in August, and no matter what else I do, my favorite title and honor is just being "Dad." Professionally, I have added years of fundraising experience to my portfolio, and for the last two years I have been director of development for a local nonprofit arthouse film venue, host of the Florida Film Festival -- ironically, the Festival featured Fellini's "8 1/2" this year, which is the question on which I lost in the 2007 ToC! (See below for details.)

Anecdote:

Since my appearances, my friends have always taken great pleasure in kidding me about the clue on which I lost in the ToC, which led to the first-ever ToC tiebreaker (I was ahead, so if I'd gotten it right, I'd have gone to the finals). The clue was about a 1963 film that had a number in the title; I guessed "Ocean's Eleven" (1960, not the newer one!), but it was "8 1/2." Fast-forward to 2011, and I took a job as the chief fundraiser for a nonprofit arthouse film theater that has hosted the Florida Film Festival since 1992 ... and this year, since it was the 50th anniversary, our programming director decided to show "8 1/2!" Not only that, but the clip of my enormous failure, seen by millions, is available on YouTube -- so the projectionist ran it as an intro to the film! I was there and I was a good sport about it -- like we say, "whatever's best for the Festival!" -- but suffice to say I'll never forget Fellini and "8 1/2" again!

For me, Jeopardy is a wonderful memory and a terrific conversation piece. I rarely bring it up for fear of seeming to "brag," but my friends are always mentioning it to people I meet, and it always leads to interesting stories and anecdotes. What I remember most about my appearance is the camaraderie we had on the ToC ... and making Alex laugh on several occasions with my interview responses. I definitely enjoyed the rapport with the staff, too, and would love to renew our acquaintances!

Nick Swezey Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $76,202

Since Appearance:

Still in publishing in Washington, but moved into a larger organization that includes two publications, three websites and a large events team. My crime fiction title, though it won several awards, is, well, "on hold" for the time being.

Anecdote:

I remember much, and almost all of it in great detail. I should admit that what I remember most are the wrong "questions" I gave. Seared into my memory, as the cliche goes. Also, I used to wake up at night thinking about the "questions" I knew, but hesitated, for some reason, to hit the buzzer. I should be clear, however, that being a Jeopardy! Champion has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on my life. I was able to use some of my winnings to expand our family home and for other useful family projects. But the best benefits have nothing to do with financial reward. The sense of significant accomplishment is immense, and lead to unexpected side benefits. Immediately after appearing on the show, I lost about 20 pounds and have kept it off since.

  • Sara Terrell
    Windsor, CT
  • Steve Unite
    Los Angeles CA
  • Craig Westphal
    Esquina, AZ

Sara Terrell Windsor, CT

Current Town: Windsor, CT
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $78,000

Since Appearance:

Since appearing on Jeopardy!, I have continued to work as a Certified Veterinary Technician here in Connecticut. I will "retire" this summer to go back to school in the fall to study choral conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff; the culmination of a longtime dream

Anecdote:

What I remember most about being on Jeopardy! is it being an other-worldly experience where I got into a zone where I was accessing knowledge that I didn't even know I had. When I later watched the shows on-air, out of that zone, I actually missed questions that I had gotten right in the studio. Crazy!

Steve Unite Los Angeles CA

Current Town: Studio City, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $114,605

Since Appearance:

Writing, blogging, getting physically fit.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! saved my self-esteem, so thanks for that! Also, everywhere I go in Studio City, I'm known as the Jeopardy! guy. Take that, Trebek! Take that, Jerome Vered!

Craig Westphal Esquina, AZ

Current Town: Esquina, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: None; I did participate in sparring matches with Watson computer
Total Winnings: $126,601

Since Appearance:

I have continued to work as a paramedic and firefighter for the Tucson Fire Department.

Anecdote:

As for being a contestant, I think I can claim that I am the only person in Jeopardy! history to miss two Daily Doubles involving Barry Manilow. I am not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed by this feat.

As for post-Jeopardy!, my most interesting moments were when I ran into Jeopardy! fans during emergency medical calls while working as a paramedic. After being recognized as a recent contestant on the show, some patients seem to forget that they called 911 for a medical problem. This attests to either the less than urgent nature of their situation or the therapeutic effects of Jeopardy! fandom.

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2006
22

THIS DAN BROWN BOOK WAS 2006'S TOP-SELLING TRADE PAPERBACK

Reveal Response

WHAT IS "THE DA VINCI CODE"?

Show Clue
  • Kerry Breitenbach
    South Euclid, OH
  • Doug Dorst
    Austin, TX
  • Michael Falk
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Kermin Fleming
    Marlborough, KY
  • Tom Kavanaugh
    St. Louis, MO
  • Bill MacDonald
    Herdon, VA

Kerry Breitenbach South Euclid, OH

Current Town: South Euclid, OH
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $97,400

Since Appearance:

Most recently, I've developed an outstanding recipe for a variation on Rice Krispie (err, puffed rice cereal) treats which will be featured on a friends blog while she is out of town for her wedding. I've learned to knit - much to the chagrin of my friends and family, who beg me to stop giving them ugly scarves. I've also written a snarky email to the head of the Web Analytics Association. You can Google it.

Anecdote:

In all seriousness, my time on Jeopardy was a great experience. I got to hang out for a few days with fellow trivia geeks experiencing the subtle competition and fantastic camaraderie in the green room. Even better was the post TOC dinner, where we all took to the streets wearing our commemorative Jeopardy hoodies & some of us started making up lyrics for a J! musical to the tunes from West Side Story.

When you're a Jep you're a Jep all the way. From your first tryout test to your last losing day.

Doug Dorst Austin, TX

Current Town: Austin, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $80,000

Since Appearance:

I've written three books, most recently a novel that's a collaboration with J.J. Abrams (due out 10/29/13). I'm also an assistant professor of English at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Anecdote:

With my J! winnings, I bought a bunch of scuba gear and went with my then-girlfriend on a dive vacation to Cayman Brac, where I proposed to her. We've been happily married for 6 years now, and we have a sweet, smart, trouble-making 2-year-old daughter.

Michael Falk Milwaukee, WI

Current Town: West Allis, WI
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $309,403

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

One thing that stands out from all of Jeopardy! experiences was how kind and caring all of the people were -- other contestants, contestant coordinators, producers. I tell everyone that even if I'd flamed out in my first episode, it still would have been one of the most fun and most positive things I did. Some of the fun things we did with my winnings include buying new musical instruments (a flute for my wife; a guitar for me), learning to scuba dive, and taking a two week road trip through the eastern United States.

Being recognized in public, doing radio interviews, and occasionally signing autographs were a lot of fun, but the most positive effect of being a Jeopardy! champion was that I was able to buy a house for my family outright with no mortgage. With the money we save by not having to make a house payment every month, my wife was able to stop working after our son was born and be a full-time mom.

Kermin Fleming Marlborough, KY

Current Town: Marlborough, KY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $100,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Tom Kavanaugh St. Louis, MO

Current Town: St. Louis, MO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $142,000

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

I have anecdotes, but none are particularly interesting.

Bill MacDonald Herdon, VA

Current Town: Herdon, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $126,399

Since Appearance:

I continued to practice law for a few years, but after moving back to Washington, D.C., I became more interested training and providing leadership to other lawyers -- now I advise lawyers in their career development. I've also become a writer, having published nearly 100,000 words in my career fulfillment blog.

Anecdote:

What I remember most -- besides the many splendid people I met among the contestants and the crew -- was the fact that I never managed to bring my family to watch me tape! The kids were too young, and no one could watch them so my wife could join me! They are old enough now, though, so it'd be a good time to return. The other memorable bit: painfully herniating a disk in my back on the morning of the ToC semifinals & finals! I still managed a solid runaway victory in the semis, but I was wiped out for the rest of the day. ;)

  • David Madden
    Ridgewood, NJ
  • Kevin Marshall
    Metairie, LA
  • Nico Martinez
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Bob Mesko
    Denver, CO
  • Jason Richards
    Old Town, ME
  • David Rozenson
    Newton, MA

David Madden Ridgewood, NJ

Current Town: Ridgewood, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $442,400

Since Appearance:

I have set up the National History Bee and Bowl, and the US Geography Olympiad - my quiz career has come full circle, as I started out playing in quiz tournaments when I was in high school! Unfortunately, due to an existing business relationship with one of the key people at Sullivan Compliance Company, the group assigned to maintain the fairness of Jeopardy! competitions, I regret that I will be unable to participate in the upcoming Jeopardy! Decades Tournament. I would have loved to have competed, but understand fully the need of the show to maintain the strictest degree of impartiality and fairness, so am officially declining to participate. I am and will always be grateful to Jeopardy! not only for my success on the show, but for having indirectly led me to my current position as founder and Executive Director of The National History Bee and Bowl. I am particularly glad that our history quiz competitions are now in turn helping certain students achieve success on Jeopardy! just the way high school quiz tournaments once did for me. To everyone competing in the Jeopardy! Decades Tournament, I wish the best of luck, and I will be eager to watch it all unfold! Jeopardy was tremendous fun, allowed me to have all sorts of cool experiences afterwards (e.g. hiking the USA for a veterans' charity), and indirectly, led me to my current career.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy was tremendous fun, allowed me to have all sorts of cool experiences afterwards (e.g. hiking the USA for a veterans' charity), and indirectly, led me to my current career.

Kevin Marshall Metairie, LA

Current Town: Metairie, LA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $110,201

Since Appearance:

I received my bachelor's and master's degrees in Latin & Greek. I then got a job as a high school Latin teacher in my hometown of Metairie, Louisiana.

Anecdote:

It was a stressful but exhilarating time! It was a special honor to compete in the Tournament of Champions and enjoy the camaraderie of being around so many great champions. While I've responsibly invested most of my winnings, my Jeopardy! money has helped me take several vacations, including a monthlong trip across the United States--which included a few Jeopardy! matches against IBM's Watson--and a summer vacation to Britain and Ireland.

Nico Martinez Bloomfield Hills, MI

Current Town: Palo Alto, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $105,000

Since Appearance:

I graduated from Stanford University in 2007 with a major in Political Science. I then went off to Washington, DC, to work as a foreign policy staffer for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In September 2009, I married my college sweetheart in Carmel, CA. (Jeopardy! paid for the ring!) Previously, I had moved to Chicago where she was finishing up medical school. She then matched her residency at Stanford Hospital, and I enrolled at Stanford Law School. I'm just two short weeks away from graduation.

Anecdote:

--My favorite memory of the show was being able to share the College Championship victory with my friends and family. I had family fly in to Raleigh from Michigan to attend, and my friend's parents even drove down from South Carolina to watch in person. It was a special weekend.

--In the two weeks while the show was airing in November 2005, I must have received over 1,000 friend requests on Facebook. Strangers were contacting me from all over the world--from Alabama to the Philippines. I even got my family in Colombia hooked on the show. And I'm convinced that Jeopardy! helped me get the job with Senator Harry Reid, as he made sure to ask me about it during my initial interview with him.

--My favorite Jeopardy! recognition story happened when I was grocery shopping one weekend in Arlington, Virginia. Standing in the dairy section, more than two years after the College Championship had aired, this lovely old lady walks up to me and asks, "Aren't you that boy from the television... from Stanford, right?" I responded, "Yes ma'am. I can't believe you remember." To which she retorted, "I wouldn't forget YOU!" I couldn't help but chuckle. The loyalty of Jeopardy! fans is amazing.

Bob Mesko Denver, CO

Current Town: Denver, CO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $42,399

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Jason Richards Old Town, ME

Current Town: Old Town, ME
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $99,200

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

David Rozenson Newton, MA

Current Town: Newton, MA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $76,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Aaron Thompson
    Washington, DC
  • Vik Vaz
    Houston, TX
  • Maria Wenglinsky
    Brooklyn, NY

Aaron Thompson Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $68,899

Since Appearance:

Since my appearance, I went to graduate school for international relations at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies, with one year in Bologna, Italy. Since my graduation in 2008, I've been working at the State Department, and I was recently invited to join the Foreign Service. I'll be starting a new career as a Foreign Service Officer this July. While I was in graduate school, I got married to my lovely wife Rebecca (who was in the studio watching my ToC taping) and we have a beautiful daughter Bridget, who's now 18 months old.

Anecdote:

With my Jeopardy! winnings, I traveled to northern Spain with my family, including my grandfather. There we walked the last 100 kilometers of the famous pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. I've also gotten to know a lot of other Jeopardy! champions here in DC and at the State Department, including David Madden, who competed alongside me in the 2006 Tournament. We go to pub quizzes in the area on a regular basis (and usually win), and have organized group trips to events like the Power Players Tournament taping.

Vik Vaz Houston, TX

Current Town: Houston, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $174,002

Since Appearance:

1) Completing my medical training in surgery at Harvard Medical School and interventional radiology in Miami 2) Working for a health care consulting firm that is implementing health care reform in the US 3) Am currently in Australia at their government's request to help them improve their network of hospitals and the standard of patient care

Anecdote:

My most notable Jeopardy!-related experience is actually post-show. The sheer number of people who asked me whether the show is rigged and strongly believed that the producers just hand us the answers is incredible. Game show conspiracy theories are just weird.

I did two major things with the money I won:

--Took a trip on the Trans-Siberian railway all the way from Moscow to Beijing. An incredible experience that really puts one in touch with some of the most isolated and beautiful areas on Earth.

Financed the ability to do cancer research after graduating from medical school without worrying about the financial implications of delaying medical employment for a year

Maria Wenglinsky Brooklyn, NY

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $134,300

Since Appearance:

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.

Anecdote:

What I remember most about being on Jeopardy! is:

How good everyone on the Jeopardy staff is at his or her job, and how they ensured the contestants had a good time.

Falling off my box at the end of one of the matches.

How much good luck is involved in doing well--I never would have got past the first round, if I hadn't got a Daily Double about the Verrazano Bridge, which I live under.

The winnings went to pay down (not, alas, entirely to pay off) the mortgage. (This certainly changed my life for the better, because at the time my husband was out of a job, and we probably would have lost the house otherwise.)

Also, having been on Jeopardy! underscores what I always tell my students... that the more you know, the more fun and interesting life is.

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2004
21

IN 2005 HE BECAME CHIEF JUSTICE WITHOUT EVER BEING AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE

Reveal Response

WHO IS JOHN ROBERTS?

Show Clue
  • Seth Alcorn
    Alexandria, VA
  • Tom Baker
    Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • John Beck
    Torrance, CA
  • Anne Boyd
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Arthur Gandolfi
    Pleasantville, NY
  • Ken Jennings
    Salt Lake City, UT

Seth Alcorn Alexandria, VA

Current Town: Alexandria, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $117,400

Since Appearance:

I have mostly been working on my graduate degrees. I have my MA in Irish Studies, and I am all-but-dissertation in my PhD in Literature

Anecdote:

I remember losing the ability to do math in the Final Jeopardy round of my first day. I remember, with some pride, that Alex Trebek called me "honorable" on national television. I think my favorite memory is actually the camaraderie that we all felt during the 2004 Tournament of Champions, we cheered the winners and sympathized with the losers, and the experience felt less like a competition than a chance to answer questions with some friends.

My winnings enabled me to move across the country, go to graduate school, spend a semester in Ireland, and buy many books.

Tom Baker Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Current Town: Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $114,300

Since Appearance:

My two biggest accomplishments since being on the show were coauthoring "Tokyo Chic" (2007) and "The Sushi Lover's Cookbook" (2009). Since fish is brain food, I hope the eating research I had to do for the latter book will stand me in good stead if I am invited to the Jeopardy! Decades Tournament. The most dramatic thing to happen to me in recent years was the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake. I was in a store at the time, and when I ran out to the parking lot I had to crouch down to keep my balance while cars bounced on their springs around me and overhead power lines twirled like jump ropes. At the time of my first Jeopardy! appearances, I was a staff writer for The Daily Yomiuri, an English-language newspaper in Japan. I'm still in that job, but a lot has changed: Over the years I have edited the book review page, reviewed movies, written about food and even spent a little time working the video game beat (which is good for the thumbs). I've interviewed movie directors Edgar Wright and Bill Condon, actors Sylvester Stallone and Liv Tyler, novelists Nicholas Sparks and Hideyuki Kikuchi, roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, funambulist Philippe Petit, and a range of other people from imams to animators. This year, the newspaper changed its name to The Japan News (http://the-japan-news.com/). Currently, I spend most of my time working as a chief copyeditor, but I am also one of three people who take turns writing and appearing in daily online videos introducing highlights of the next day's paper. Meanwhile, I continue blogging about life in Japan. I recently began a 47-part series of weekly posts in which I sample a different curry dish from each of Japan's 47 prefectures.

Anecdote:

I have at least four anecdotes:

ONE: In my job as a newspaper features writer, I interviewed Vikas Swarup, whose novel "Q&A" was the basis of the film "Slumdog Millionaire." Since the book and movie revolve around a quiz show, I naturally mentioned that I had been on Jeopardy!, which Swarup promptly identified as the show hosted by "that mustachioed guy." I confessed that I missed a certain question on the show when I mispronounced "Allahabad" as "Allalabad," which was a little embarrassing because Allahabad happens to be Swarup's hometown. Fortunately, he was good-natured about it.

TWO: My big splurge soon after I received my winnings was to rent a car and treat myself to a weeklong tour of the homes and haunts of Edgar Allan Poe in Charlottesville, Richmond, Baltimore, Philadelphia and the Bronx. In Philadelphia, I descended into the very basement that is thought to be the inspiration for his tale "The Black Cat." One cherished souvenir of this pilgrimage is an Edgar Allan Poe poseable action figure that now sits on a shelf next to my desk.

THREE: Jeopardy left me with a nest egg that lifted a huge load of worries off my mind, greatly improving my everyday quality of life. In one specific instance, a year or two after I was on the show, my father had a heart attack. I was able to hop on a plane and fly to the U.S. to see him without the additional stress of wondering how I was going to pay for the plane ticket, which would have been a major issue earlier. My dad fully recovered and is now doing fine, by the way. He's indestructible.

FOUR: Also, my dad got back in touch with a lot of old friends because I was on the show. He and I have the same name, and a lot of people mistook me for him and called to congratulate him. Either he looks younger than he really is, or I look older. I like to think it is only the former.

John Beck Torrance, CA

Current Town: Torrance, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $117,099

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Anne Boyd Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $84,600

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Arthur Gandolfi Pleasantville, NY

Current Town: Pleasantville, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $137,300 plus $25,000 TOC 3rd place

Since Appearance:

A lot has happened since my last Jeopardy appearance, some good, some bad. I met my wife immediately after the Tournament of Champions, and we were married in 2005. We were introduced by my Mom, of all things. We bought a house in the suburbs, and have three black cats. I've changed jobs twice, moving into the Insurance Industry. My wife and I like to travel, especially to Europe. We've been to France twice (Normandy, Loire Valley, Lorraine, and Champagne), Italy twice (Rome and Venice/Veneto), where my wife's family is from), Austria, and we're planning to visit Scotland this year. We also love French Canada; we've been twice, for our honeymoon, and a reprise. Most recently I've had a string of bad health; 7 surgeries since 2008, 5 of them for the same recurring issue. I've learned the hard way that the old saying "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything" is 100% true. I've been very lucky to have a very supportive wife, and bosses throughout this difficult period. Right now, I'm focusing on staying healthy, and improving my golf game (just played Winged Foot for the first time, and didn't embarrass myself!) and we're trying to start a family.

Anecdote:

he thing I remember most about Jeopardy is how fun it was to actually play the games. Once I got past the first 5 minutes of nerves in game 1, it was just a blast.

There's also a funny story about the Final Jeopardy clue I lost on. I had been studying the Almanac the night before, and the answer (the Freud book "The Interpretation of Dreams") was on the very next page after I stopped reading. I have since received multiple copies of that book as "gifts".

My second date with my wife happened to be on the same night one of my TOC shows was airing. I had to ask her if she minded watching me on TV before we went out to dinner. I was very nervous she'd think I was full of myself, but all ended well.

Finally, I was lucky enough to be asked to play test games against Watson at the IBM Research Facility. The games themselves were very frustrating (you all know how good Watson is), but the fascinating part was watching games afterward, and seeing how Watson processed the answers. It gets human like results, but through an entirely unique thought process.

Ken Jennings Salt Lake City, UT

Current Town: Seattle, WA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC, Watson
Total Winnings: $3,172,700

Since Appearance:

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?

Anecdote:

The guy cleaning our carpets last week was going to charge us $280 but then he saw a picture I have of me with Alex and he asked if, instead of payment, he could get a photo of me to put on his Facebook page. Also then he never got back to me about taking the photo, which was even cooler.

  • Vinita Kailasanath
    Plainsboro, NJ
  • Chris Miller
    Louisville, KY
  • Sam Ott
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Scott Renzoni
    South Burlington, VT
  • Steve Reynolds
    Norman, OK
  • Sean Ryan
    Whitehall, PA

Vinita Kailasanath Plainsboro, NJ

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $85,000 + car

Since Appearance:

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

Anecdote:

My fondest memories of Jeopardy are related to meeting amazing new friends -- it's such a great community to be a part of over the years (and there are never any awkward job interviews because it's a great icebreaker)! It's been fun being recognized in DC, California and during family vacations in India. A friend from high school recognized my "Jeopardy!-mobile" (the Volvo V40 I won during the 2001 College Tournament) when I was driving in DC and contacted me via facebook after not seeing me for over a decade! I used most of my winnings to pay for many many years of education at Stanford University but I still have my car!

Chris Miller Louisville, KY

Current Town: Louisville, KY
Subsequent Appearances: UToC (semi-finals)
Total Winnings: $229,441

Since Appearance:

I got out of retail, finally! I have had a couple of desk jobs since then, and now I am working in the print services department of a medical technology and software company. It's a great company and I like what I do. I have also gotten big into the boardgaming habit over the last few years, and I help out a lot with the local boardgamer club. My life has been enriched recently with the arrival of a niece (2) and a nephew (4 mos), whom I adore.

Anecdote:

The collegial atmosphere backstage, even though everybody is ostensibly there to bash each other's brains in (academically, of course), astounds me still

The Jeopardy money let me take my mother to Europe for the first time, where we toured London, Paris, and Stratford-upon-Avon. The money also let me go to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London (lifelong dreams of mine). I am planning on heading to the 2016 games in Rio, but some sweet, sweet Jeopardy! money would help that along!

Sam Ott Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Portland, OR
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $73,102

Since Appearance:

I graduated from CalArts with a MFA in Critical Studies, have been playing music and touring with various bands, ran an underground vegan catering service, moved to Portland, got married, and am currently playing in a band called Dangerous Boys Club and running a 10,000 square foot restaurant and bar called White Owl Social Club.

Anecdote:

I travelled a lot, went to Europe and all over the US. I've been traveling and playing music since I was 16, so many of the friends I've made over the years, all across the country, were so surprised and excited when I was on the show, it was a very proud moment!

My friends always excitedly point out my Jeopardy experience when introducing me to new people, and I've helped coach a couple friends who were preparing to take the test for themselves. My favorite memory of being on the show was interacting with Alex and him asking me about laminating pizza- very hilarious.

Steve "Wampus" Reynolds (who was also a contestant on the 2004 ToC) and I have stayed in touch, and he comes to see my band whenever we're in Oklahoma. It's great to be a part of such a select and smart club!

Scott Renzoni South Burlington, VT

Current Town: South Burlington, VT
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $119,998

Since Appearance:

I was able to buy a car and pay off my mother's bills. I attended a month-long acting workshop and ended up working for the company as an actor and administrator. However, I was laid off last summer and have been working as a freelance actor since. I've also recently picked up a part-time job as a question writer for a company that sells trivia quizzes to bars & clubs! An ideal occupation for a "Jeopardy!" champ!

Anecdote:

I remember how lovely and pleasant everyone on the staff was towards us. I remember having lunch with the current champ, who I ended up beating after lunch. I remember the woman who could have beaten me but bet $0 on Final Jeopardy. I remember how fun it was to have to keep the secret of how I did from friends & family until my shows aired, and the excitement they all shared when we watched together at a local pub. And so much more! I wrote above about what I did with my winnings, and that definitely had a profound effect on my life. Without my "Jeopardy!" winnings, I would never have been able to afford that workshop, which led to the job, and has set me further on the road as a professional actor. My life simply would not be the same without having won on the show.

Steve Reynolds Norman, OK

Current Town: Norman, OK
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $75,102

Since Appearance:

I have opened a cheese shop in my hometown and Oklahoma City. I've done standup comedy, created a musical and, most important of all, have a 3 year-old son who takes up all my time if possible.

Anecdote:

I remember most is the amazingly smooth production of the show. How those shows are pulled off with nervous contestants so quickly still impresses me. The people I met (especially on TOC) and befriended have really enriched my life. Also, the winnings enabled me to quit my job I didn't like and open my own business.

Sean Ryan Whitehall, PA

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: 150,000

Since Appearance:

I moved to New York City with my family. Through a series of unplanned events I have found myself working in an occupation where I can use my love of trivia. I'm a tour guide.

Anecdote:

The thing that I remember the most about my experiences on Jeopardy! is meeting and getting to know some of the other contestants.

The best thing I did with my winnings was to take a year off to spend time being a stay at home dad. It was great experience that was entirely the result of Jeopardy!

  • Russ Schumacher
    College Station, TX
  • Jim Stalley
    Denver, CO
  • Tom Walsh
    Washington, DC
  • Keith Williams
    New York, NY

Russ Schumacher College Station, TX

Current Town: Fort Collins, CO
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $315,800

Since Appearance:

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!

Anecdote:

Of course, the winnings have been great, but I think the opportunity to meet a lot of great people through the Jeopardy! network has been the most fulfilling part of the experience. Jeopardy! contestants are passionate, intelligent, interesting people, and it's been wonderful getting the chance to interact with some of them.

Jim Stalley Denver, CO

Current Town: Denver, CO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: temp

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Tom Walsh Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $250,000

Since Appearance:

In 2004 I started working on PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), the US initiative to fight AIDS globally. In the years that followed, the tide was turned on global AIDS: millions in Africa today are able to live full lives with HIV, thanks mostly to the American people, & it is one of the great untold stories of our time. I was acting head of PEPFAR for 5 months in 2009 & remained with the program until late 2012. I have now joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where we are working to ensure better health in the developing world as a reflection of the Gates' belief that 'All lives have equal value.' It's great to be part of this work.

Anecdote:

Two come to mind:

1) A friend was working with refugees in Darfur, Sudan. Somehow they had TV access & she stumbled across a rerun of me on Jeopardy!. She emailed to let me know & to ask what happened in the next game since she couldn't watch it. (Spoiler: I won again.) So for that year my personal slogan was "Huge in Darfur!"

2) My favorite memory from the show was that in my 7th game, in the interview Alex let me pay a brief tribute to my Dad -- he's the one I got the Jeopardy! genes from -- & they showed him sitting in the audience smiling, so all of his friends got to see him when they watched. He passed away in 2010 & that moment is a great memory.

Keith Williams New York, NY

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $50,000 + 2004 Volvo S60 R

Since Appearance:

After I completed the remaining 97% of my college experience, I headed to New York, where I secured a corporate-drone-type job through underhanded means. I told my interviewers that my trivia-based approach was passe. I had "realized the error of my ways," I would say; "narrow specialization" was my new goal, because it was "more marketable". I lived that lie for five years before I nearly collapsed under its weight. I loved learning about medieval architecture, chemical compounds, and philosophical tenets on my own time; a steady paycheck was no longer sufficient to quell my psychological needs. (I call it the Jeopardy! Lifestyle: doing things from many different areas, but only if I find them interesting.) I had also become moved to serve children from underprivileged backgrounds - those who, in the words of seven-time champion Tom Walsh, had not "won the lottery" by being born in the United States. Now, I'm running a nonprofit organization that helps orphans in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I write a blog on Brooklyn neighborhoods, tutor students in various academic areas, and run 70 miles per week. Sometimes I feel I'm doing too much; often, I feel I'm not doing enough.

Anecdote:

Oh, plenty. But I'll never forget my first interaction with Alex Trebek. It was at the Omni in New Haven, the swanky hotel in which the contestants stayed during taping at Yale. I was returning from dinner with family when I saw my childhood idol entering the elevator.

I just had to say something. "Mr. Trebek!" I shrieked, giving a formal bow.

He looked at me quizzically, perhaps wondering if he would have to report this to Standards & Practices. "Are you a contestant tomorrow?" he asked.

"Yes, sir."

The elevator doors began to close. "Then don't get too drunk tonight."

empty slot
empty slot
2003
19

THIS TALK SHOW HOSTESS VOICED THE EVER-FORGETFUL DORY IN "FINDING NEMO"

Reveal Response

WHO IS ELLEN DEGENERES?

Show Clue
  • Alan Bailey
    North Hills, CA
  • Mark Brown
    Peoria, AZ
  • Jill Bunzendahl-Chimka
    Washington, DC
  • Kathy Cassity
    Reno, NV
  • Mark Dawson
    Woodland Hills, CA
  • Eric Floyd
    Calhoun, GA

Alan Bailey North Hills, CA

Current Town: North Hills, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $76,501

Since Appearance:

I've continued to write and direct plays in NYC and across the country. And now I'm a game show producer! The Experts, YouTube's first original game show series!

Anecdote:

I remember rearranging my college schedule around Jeopardy when it came back on in the fall of 1984. The players who've done well on the show are heroes to me. My greatest Jeopardy experience is the UTOC because I got to meet some of those heroes. That tapeday - every tapeday - was full of giants and I couldn't believe I was in their presence. I even got beaten by Dave Traini!! Seeing the ToC photos on the TV promo the last couple of weeks has kind of taken my breath away. It has reminded me that I'm really part of this great fraternity, and I still can't believe it after all these years.

Mark Brown Peoria, AZ

Current Town: Peoria, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $68,094

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Jill Bunzendahl-Chimka Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $95,099

Since Appearance:

I've been working as the director of therapy at a non-profit child development center serving children with disabilities for the past 11 years. I have also been busy being a mother to two girls - in addition to my daughter Sydney, with whom I was pregnant when I appeared on the tournament of champions, I recently gave birth to my daughter Esther in December 2012. Additionally, I've been working towards my travel goal of visiting all 50 states -I just have Hawaii left!

Anecdote:

My most memorable Jeopardy! moment was on my final day - this was back when contestants won a Jaguar if they were a 5 day champion. When it came time for Final Jeopardy! I was a distance third. Not knowing the response to Final Jeopardy!, I decided to just write a message to my husband instead "Sorry Cory, no Jag". I used my winnings to pay off all my student loans from graduate school and then had enough left over to have a baby and stay home with her for a year and half.

Kathy Cassity Reno, NV

Current Town: Honolulu, HI
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $59,200

Since Appearance:

When our TOC taped in 2003, I was living in Nevada and contemplating whether to move back to Hawaii. Fantasizing about what I'd do if I won made me realize I really wanted to return to Hawaii--so even though I didn't win, I moved back anyway, finished my languishing PhD, landed a job as an English professor, and adopted a second child. I'm now a busy professor, writer and mom from Honolulu rather than a "closed captioner from Reno" as was announced at the TOC.

Anecdote:

Favorite memories: witnessing the visible discomfort of men in the makeup chair; shooting the breeze with fellow contestants while eating fresh strawberries; the camaraderie I felt with other also-rans as we witnessed an amazing final round. I'm still in contac

Mark Dawson Woodland Hills, CA

Current Town: Chamblee, GA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $333,849 and a Corvette

Since Appearance:

Professionally, from 2007-2011, I was a member of the production staff for Africa Challenge, an academically-based TV show featuring university students from eight countries. Now, I am working on a sister project, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) which is not a TV show, but does provide a venue for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to compete in the same fashion. Both experiences have been very rewarding. Personally, I've been working on my house, doing everything from drywall, to digging out my foundation (by hand), to hardwood flooring and window frames.

Anecdote:

I remember:

- Alex's professionalism. For example, on one of my original shows, a clue included Georgia's Altamaha River. When we went to commercial break, Alex turned to me and asked if he'd said "Altamaha" correctly. I know he's got fact-checkers and research folks to look into that, but, recognizing that I was from Georgia, he asked me, just to make sure. (He pronounced it perfectly.)

- My final game was Alex's last with a moustache.

- I remember the professionalism of the staff and the comradery of the contestants.

- My first shows aired right after 9/11, so it was a surreal time.

- I remember how much fun it is to play.

2001 - pay off credit card debt and pay the taxes on the Corvette. I drove the wheels off of that car over the next 5 years. At the time, my 6 year old niece just called it "the Jeopardy! car."

2003 - paid off my mortgage and put a down payment a small house near my dad, who was in ill-health at the time.

2005 - it just removed money from my list of worries for a couple of years.

In a word, being a champ has been "self-actualizing."

Eric Floyd Calhoun, GA

Current Town: Calhoun, GA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $124,800

Since Appearance:

I work quite a bit now. I'm also raising my family. I have a two year old boy and 22 year old daughter as well as a 13 year old step-son.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy truly helped launch my career on Wall Street as an investment banker. I now run my own firm and Jeopardy comes up almost on a daily basis even 10 years after the fact!

  • Kyle Hale
    Katy, TX
  • Jackie Harrison
    Chicago, IL
  • Mark Lee
    Chicago, IL
  • Max Levaren
    San Diego, CA
  • Jason McCune
    Jasper, IN
  • Trevor Norris
    Washington, DC

Kyle Hale Katy, TX

Current Town: Katy, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $51,300

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Jackie Harrison Chicago, IL

Current Town: Hinsdale, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $74,000

Since Appearance:

I've had two more daughters since I was on TOC, so I now have three girls, ages 10, 8, and 3. I am a colorectal surgeon at Cook County Hospital (now known as Stroger Hospital- thank you Chicago politics). I still love my work and feel blessed to be able to do it. I do not have the same feelings about the commute from the suburbs- but really, I have nothing to complain about. Life is good. I have not been on any other game shows, but someday - yes, someday- I am going to participate in the National Crossword Puzzle tournament.

Anecdote:

I remember being six months pregnant and throwing out my back in the hotel room before leaving for the first tapings. I also remember that of all of my "Alex interview" stories, none of our friends commented on my story of the patient who was clinically dead who came to life and sat bolt upright on the stretcher like something out of an episode of "The Walking Dead", but they all had something to say about my admission that I am a terrible backseat driver and my husband bears the brunt of this personality defect of mine. But ten years later we are still happily together, so I guess it's not all that bad.

Mark Lee Chicago, IL

Current Town: Chicago, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $67,500

Since Appearance:

Since my last appearance I've run a couple marathons, and shot a trophy deer, but mostly I have been raising my 2 daughters, and fixing up the 125 year old house we bought. I still live in Chicago. Still like to travel, (though work gets in the way more than it used to) and I now have a dog (a solid black german shepherd named Heidi) of which I am particularly fond.

Anecdote:

I remember getting there the first day, and the defending champion was the director of a think talk in Arlinton, VA. I remember thinking "Wow, am I hosed!" But he didn't even win the first game. Then I beat the guy that beat him. And everyone else that day. The rest of the day was kind of a blur, and then it was over and everyone (set people and all) were gone. But some great phone calls from the airposrt that night! I would love to say I gambled away my winnings or something fun like that, but mostly it went to raising a family, buying a cool old house,that sort of thing. Being a Jeopardy champion is one of the things of which I am most proud.

Max Levaren San Diego, CA

Current Town: San Diego, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $90,000

Since Appearance:

Writing (The 60s for Dummies, self-published my first novel), painting, traveling, training poll workers.

Anecdote:

I remember how much fun I had and how much I enjoyed the people I met at the Tournament. In the year I appeared, I was recognized on the street several times (once in Tijuana). I spent my winnings on travel, my family, and having fun. I also traveled to NY to appear on Allie and Jack morning show, and then several years later, went to play against Watson.

Jason McCune Jasper, IN

Current Town: Pittsburgh, PA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $95,041

Since Appearance:

Since the original show aired, I've become a father twice, continued working as an actor on stage, film, and television, moved from L.A. to Pittsburgh, divorced, and become the anchor of a fierce Wednesday night pub quiz team.

Anecdote:

My Jeopardy! experience was everything I could have hoped for or dreamed. I won coming from behind, running away, and betting all on several DD's and getting them right, and doubling my money on Final Jeopardy.

I spent my winnings in a fairly mundane way-paying student loans, car loans, hospital and credit card bills, then buying a used car and a laptop. The rest allowed me to commit to pursuing my acting career full time, which lead to some work and opportunities.

Being a Jeopardy! champ has given me the greatest ice breaker in the world, which I rarely use to break the ice. I don't usually tell people until I've known them for quite a while. Sort of like to keep a few things back to surprise people with, just when they think they know you.

Trevor Norris Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: 2005 UTOC
Total Winnings: $70,000 and a 2001 Chevy Tahoe

Since Appearance:

Since my last appearance on Jeopardy!, I've managed to stay pretty busy. I have become a father to my 6 year old daughter, Claire, joined the ranks of the government's Senior Executive Service at the Department of Justice, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, seen the Northern Lights in Iceland, and fallen back in love with baseball (since the Nationals came to Washington).

Anecdote:

The most remarkable thing about my Jeopardy experience is the relationship that I have developed with Ulhas Rajurkar, the returning champion that I unseated during my first appearance in 2001. Since we met on the Jeopardy! set that day, through a series of serendipitous career developments, we have been colleagues in the same office; first in the Department of the Navy, and now at the Department of Justice. He is one of my most treasured friends, a trusted advisor, and an all-around great person. We may have never otherwise met except for our initial encounter as adversaries on Jeopardy!

  • Ben Tritle
    Beverly Hills, CA
  • Travis Troyer
    Sparks, MD
  • Brian Weikle
    Minneapolis, MN

Ben Tritle Beverly Hills, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $83,600 plus Jaguar X-Type

Since Appearance:

I've worked on a number of shows, but my current job is as a producer on "Let's Make A Deal" since the franchise was revived in 2009. I've also taken up a couple of new hobbies (dodgeball and gymnastics)

Anecdote:

Being a Jeopardy champion in Los Angeles is a bit of a non-event, though I was a hit at my cousin's wedding. Oddly, they were far more interested in knowing about the car that I hadn't received quite yet than about me.

In the last few years, when I mention my appearance on Jeopardy, many people have been responded "I think I remember watching you then". I barely remember watching myself then. There's a weird kind of spotlighted target effect having been a champion on the show...people tend to look to me for info, unless it's during a trivia night, then I'm the one to take down.

Travis Troyer Sparks, MD

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $93,100

Since Appearance:

I used my Jeopardy! winnings to help pay for law school, and that has led me to New York City and the career I have today.

Anecdote:

For about two years after the shows on which I had appeared had aired, I was always one of the more popular guests at my friends' weddings, particularly with the grandmothers in attendance.

Brian Weikle Minneapolis, MN

Current Town: Robbinsdale, MN
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC, seeded player, lost 2nd round
Total Winnings: $230,801 and a Jaguar

Since Appearance:

got married, bought a house, changed jobs, lots of travel...wow, it's been a busy 10 years!

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! made me a movie star! I'm on the big screen with Angelina Jolie... it doesn't get any more life-changing than that.

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2001
18

PRODDED ABOUT POSSIBLE INSIDER TRADING, SHE REMARKED ON NATIONAL TV,"I WANT TO FOCUS ON MY SALAD"

Reveal Response

WHO IS MARTHA STEWART?

Show Clue
  • Michael Arnone
    New York, NY
  • Tad Carithers
    New York, NY
  • Larry Cloud
    Inglewood, CA
  • Michelle Clum
    Beaumont, TX
  • Lan Djang
    Toronto, ON
  • Mark Eckard
    Bedford, MA

Michael Arnone New York, NY

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $61,999 + 2001 Chevy Suburban

Since Appearance:

The wonderful woman who accompanied me to the Ultimate Tournament of Champions - our first big trip together - is now my wife and mother to our two (mostly) angelic daughters. We live in a house paid for in part from the sale of my first condo, which I had bought with the help of my 2001 winnings. My family has grown in amazing new ways as well: Eighteen months ago, I reunited with my birth family, after I was put up for adoption nearly 40 years earlier. Apparently, Jeopardy! runs in our blood: The show has been a nightly tradition for them for decades, too. On the professional side, I became a geek-to-government translator and ran my own small communications firm for several years. I now have my dream job: doing PR for the Men In Black - I even have the sunglasses. Before I erase your memory, I'll tell you I work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aka DARPA, in communications outreach.

Anecdote:

N/A

Tad Carithers New York, NY

Current Town: Alexandria, VA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $105,000 + Corvette

Since Appearance:

We have moved from New York to Washington, D.C., and now have two children. The latter part of that sentence pretty much explains what I've been doing for the past eight years. Am semi-pro at trivia now; cleaning up at the occasional bar and/or cruise ship.

Anecdote:

I most remember finishing the fifth and final game of my original run. An incredible sense of relief and accomplishment. I can't remember much about the game itself-it was a blur. But I remember every second of the walk from the studio to the front gate, and the cab ride to LAX. That's when it sank in. That was a good day, and I'd appreciate another shot at a day like that.

Larry Cloud Inglewood, CA

Current Town: Inglewood, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $68,100 & two Camaros

Since Appearance:

I'm now working for the Southern California Golf Association. I've been in Golf operations for several years and am active on the LA City Golf Advisory Committee.

Anecdote:

I remember how nice the people were. And I enjoyed both the game and the comradery. One of things I did with my winnings was buy an 8" telescope for my astronomy hobby. I love the wonderful reactions I get when I tell people I am a Jeopardy Champion! People just love this show and they want to know EVERYTHING about it.

Michelle Clum Beaumont, TX

Current Town: Woodland Hills, CA
Subsequent Appearances: 2005 UTOC
Total Winnings: $57,700 and Chevrolet Corvette

Since Appearance:

I have moved to a new city (Phoenix, New Orleans, and now Los Angeles) every few years because I love getting to know new places by living and working there.

Anecdote:

I used my winnings to travel around the world, literally! The day after the Tournament of Champions I got on a plane in Los Angeles, heading west. I visited 35 countries on four continents and arrived in New York one year later. Because of my Jeopardy experience, I have had a wide open sense of the possibilities of life. Nothing seems too outlandish to happen, considering that knowledge of the trivial gave me such a fantastic trip.

Lan Djang Toronto, ON

Current Town: Toronto, ON
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $119,200

Since Appearance:

After my last appearance on Jeopardy, I decided to "semi-retire". Basically I wanted to take life at a more leisurely pace, so I quit work (they held a "retirement" party for me) went back to school to study history, work on some startup business ideas and ended up moving to New Zealand (aka Middle Earth). Even there, my Jeopardy experience was useful, as I was able to subsist on free meals while backpacking by winning pub quizzes. I met my future wife there, and my little son was born there (he might be part-hobbit, considering how much he eats!) We're now back in Canada, and I still consider myself semi-retired, though I work IT contracts and other business ideas, I also spend time writing a fantasy novel (I hope to release an e-book soon).

Anecdote:

Anyone who remembers me from the show, will remember the "Intimidator". That was the black suit specially bought for the 2001 Tournament of Champions with my previous winnings. It was the same style of suit worn by a friend whenever he had to fire people at his company, hence the name. The night before flying down to the Tournament, I went to his bachelor party. Needless to say, I was in rough shape for the show. During Alex's interview, I mentioned the "Intimidator", but it wasn't doing much good as I was in last place heading into Final Jeopardy! However, I was the only one who got it right and ended up with enough winnings to make the semi-final. Alex even said, "It must have been the suit!" Since then, the suit has taken a life of its own, and Alex remembered it when I brought it back for the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. I also got a modelling gig with the store that sold me the suit. All in all, I think the "Intimidator" has treated me well!

Mark Eckard Bedford, MA

Current Town: Bedford, MA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $96,000

Since Appearance:

We moved from Boston to LA a few years ago, and I split my time between being the CTO of an educational software startup and writing screenplays.

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Bob Fleenor
    Martinsburg, WV
  • Andrew Garen
    Mamaroneck, NY
  • Kevin Keach
    St. Ann, MO
  • Rick Knutsen
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Doug Lach
    Columbus, OH
  • Ryan Moore
    Washington, DC

Bob Fleenor Martinsburg, WV

Current Town: Martinsburg, WV
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $63,200, plus two Camaros

Since Appearance:

This old-school journalist has learned to adapt to new-school technology - the shift from print to digital. Outside of work, when I'm not watching Jeopardy! or have my nose in a favorite book, I enjoy golf, spectator sports and participation in such diverse groups as my university's alumni association, Relay for Life and the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Organization.

Anecdote:

I was fortunate enough to become the first five-time Jeopardy! champion from my home state, West Virginia. The response from around the state, from the governor (who videotaped a congratulatory message the day of my fifth win) to a 93-year-old woman in a tiny town 300 miles away who sent me a poignant note, was overwhelming and humbling. Today, more than 12 years since those victories - and more than eight since I last put down the signaling device - people still remember. Even now, when I pick up the phone at the office, a caller whom I've never met will say, "Hey, aren't you ..." Yes, and thanks for remembering. My wife's in health care; many of her clients recognize her last name and ask if she's related to me. Many of them still have newspaper clippings and videotapes dating from my Jeopardy! run. That speaks volumes about the enduring popularity of Jeopardy! and the hold it has on its millions of fans. My career in Jeopardy! has evolved from contestant to host over the years. I've emceed Jeopardy!-themed games for local hospitals to help prepare their staffs for board certification. I've played the Alex Trebek role for a countywide high school Jeopardy! tournament. Only last year, I was invited to The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., to present a lecture and to host original Jeopardy! games as part of that famous resort's Easter weekend celebration. As for my winnings, some went to buy one of the wood panels, autographed by Alex Trebek, from the Jeopardy! set that was in use from 1996 to 2002. It was one of the items auctioned on eBay to benefit World Vision and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Carolyn is still driving the Camaro convertible. A few years ago, I traded the Z-28 (my "midlife crisis" car) along with what remained of the prize money, for a more sensible four-door sedan (but boy, that Z was fun to drive!). As for a favorite anecdote, it's hard to top the story of the night of my fifth victory, when the majority leader of West Virginia's State Senate ordered a halt to legislative work so he and his fellow lawmakers could watch me on Jeopardy! By the way, that hard-core Jeopardy! fan, Earl Ray Tomblin, is now the governor. Another Jeopardy! success story!

Andrew Garen Mamaroneck, NY

Current Town: Austin, TX
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $120,500 (including the value of the cars)

Since Appearance:

I relocated to Austin for my job, went back to grad school to get my MBA, and attended culinary school. I've since resigned from my corporate position and now work as a consultant for various clients.

Anecdote:

When I got the call to come out and tape, I had just changed jobs and was still in commuting mode between DC and NYC. I was a little nervous about asking for time off so soon after starting a new position, but my boss knew me from our previous employer and also knew I had tried out for the show. She assured me that we could make it work, especially since I had two months' notice. When I got back from the taping, my department head asked me how the trip had gone. I had played things pretty close to the vest, but I didn't know how much my boss had told him, so I thought it best not to play it too coy. "Oh, it was fine. The taping went well" "Taping? What taping?" So I was stuck, and I told him I had been out to be on Jeopardy! He even announced it at a department-wide meeting, and suddenly I was he Jeopardy! guy", which gave me instant credibility among my new colleagues. The company ended up relocating to Austin, and I received my prize check in the mail the same day I was headed out to buy furniture for my new house. It was really a godsend.

Kevin Keach St. Ann, MO

Current Town: St. Ann, MO
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $50,703 + 2002 Chevy Tahoe + $2000 +$5000

Since Appearance:

I do a lot of local Trivia nights, our team has won more than 100 competitions. I have hosted several for the not-for-profit organization I work for. Trying to become a little less reliant on my car, made 92 bicycle commutes to work in 2012.

Anecdote:

Johnny Gilbert scared my mother at the 2001 TOC. Johnny's admonishment to not give any signs or messages to me that might aid me in my quarter-final game kind of unnverved her. She was afraid to make nay gesture that might have been misinterpreted; especially since my quarter-final game was the last played that day. But don't worry, I couldn't see her in the crowd anyway. Winnings, mostly boring stuff: spent a lot of money on home repairs; maxed out my IRA contribution for the first and only time in 2001; made a nice donation to the not-for-profit I work for; did use the last little sliver of my winnings to make a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Egypt. I mentioned my Trivia Team, met them when one of their member recognized me from the recently completed UTOC. I don't know that being a Jeopardy! champ has changed my life much, I am still the same humble, shy person that I have always been.

Rick Knutsen Brooklyn, NY

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC (Round Two)
Total Winnings: $100,501 plus two Camaros

Since Appearance:

Raising two daughters, Olivia (12) and Charlotte (10). Working with them and many other children in the public school system in my home town of Brooklyn, NY as an arts and literacy volunteer. Battling education cuts and restoring arts funding as a PTA President. Guiding and nurturing the musical careers of my daughters, who played Louisa and Gretl Von Trapp to Tony Goldwyn's Captain Von Trapp at Carnegie Hall, as well as touring with Barbra Streisand and performing with the Kronos Quartet, NY Philharmonic, and Philip Glass.

Anecdote:

Honestly, the moment I remember most is calling my parents, lifelong Jeopardy! fans, dignified middle aged people, and faithful nightly viewers, to tell them the results of my first day of taping, (4 lockout victories). They just started shrieking giddily and (they told me later) jumping around like school kids. Those moments where you get to have that effect on your parents are few and far between, and it remains a cherished memory. They're older now, and still faithful Jeopardy fans, though they tell me they like the program much better with me on it.

Doug Lach Columbus, OH

Current Town: Columbus, OH
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $85,400 + Corvette

Since Appearance:

I'm blessed with a 5-year old who thinks Daddy knows everything because I can give her the answers when we watch Jeopardy. I'm going to enjoy that while it lasts, because in a few years she'll be convinced I don't know anything!

Anecdote:

The whole experience was amazing, but probably what I remember most was being congratulated by Anthony Hopkins outside a restaurant where we were celebrating my first appearance (although Chianti and fava beans were not served)

Ryan Moore Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $39,800 plus a Corvette

Since Appearance:

1) Started, developed and sold a marketing business in Hollywood 2) Travelled in Asia, Latin America and Europe. 3) Work in public diplomacy as a contractor for US Dept of State 4) Am currently producing a debut album of original music 5) Also working on a tragicomic non-fiction about US state symbols.

Anecdote:

The only time I was ever recognized as being on Jeopardy! was when I was walking into the bank to deposit my winnings check. A guy in line asked if I had been on Jeopardy! and i had the proof right in my hands! The money was very timely as I was able to live off my winnings while starting up my own business.

  • Pam Mueller
    Wilmette, IL
  • Brad Rutter
    Lancaster, PA
  • Babu Srinivasan
    Houston, TX

Pam Mueller Wilmette, IL

Current Town: Princeton, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: UToC, Elite 18
Total Winnings: $157,201 and a Volvo!

Since Appearance:

Since my initial appearance, I toured with an Irish dance company, worked on a presidential campaign, was a press secretary on Capitol Hill, went to law school, was a real lawyer briefly, and then went back to graduate school in psychology with an eye toward becoming a law professor. Whew! Additionally, I've tried to balance my academic interests and my passion for dance throughout this time, and have performed in many musicals and dance productions.

Anecdote:

One awesome Jeopardy! recognition moment happened when I was walking in NYC with Brad Rutter, right after the UToC finals aired. A guy walking toward us on the sidewalk was like "Hey! Jeopardy! Jeopardy!" and as Brad started to respond to him, he continued, "You're that girl who was on Jeopardy!" I am actually constantly surprised by how well people remember incidents from my Jeopardy! shows. A few weeks ago, I learned that a guy who is an undergraduate at Princeton now (and so was 11 or 12 when the UToC aired!) remembered nearly word-for-word one of the anecdotes I told then (and no, it was not the one about Victoria's Secret). Law school unfortunately took a large chunk of my winnings. However, one of the more interesting things I did with the money was buy Podium #3 from the old Jeopardy! set. (It's still at my mom's until I settle someplace more permanently -- that thing is HEAVY.)

Brad Rutter Lancaster, PA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Million Dollar Masters, UTOC, Watson
Total Winnings: $3,355,102

Since Appearance:

Hosting my own game show, doing a lot of improv, going on auditions, producing Slamdance documentary features, hanging out with my niece and nephew.

Anecdote:

I've been recognized in places as diverse as the T in Boston and the club in Vegas, but when I was in New York doing media for the Watson games, I heard a guy walking in front of me talking into a cell phone saying "Watson's gonna kill these guys." I tapped him on the shoulder and said "Root for the humans." His mind was BLOWN, but he was unfortunately correct.

Babu Srinivasan Houston, TX

Current Town: Cypress, TX
Subsequent Appearances: Million Dollar Masters (2003), Ultimate Tournament of Champions (2005)
Total Winnings: 100,100 and a Corvette

Since Appearance:

Teaching history. Going bald. Sitting around the house playing with the cat. She bit me.

Anecdote:

The weekend after I taped my shows the first time, I was feeling like hot stuff. As I was, a state trooper pulled me over for not signalling when I changed lanes. Take that, Jeopardy Boy!

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2000
16

AFTER CAPTURING LESS THAN 1% OF THE VOTE IN 1996, HE WAS AGAIN THE GREEN PARTY'S NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT

Reveal Response

WHO IS RALPH NADER?

Show Clue
  • Jack Archey
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Jeremy Bate
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Mike Blumenfeld
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Robin Carroll
    Marietta, GA
  • Carolyn Craycraft
    Chicago, IL
  • Terry Currin
    White Lake, MI

Jack Archey Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $58,302 plus Corvette

Since Appearance:

I've covered both ends of the right brain/left brain spectrum. I spent several years as an actor, appearing in lots of commercials and even co-starring with chickens and baboons! I've worked in the accounting/finance world since 2007, rocking the Excel spreadsheets while frightening my co-workers with my insanely loud sneezes. Additionally, since 2009 I've transformed from couch potato to marathoner, having run 8 full marathons and 12 half marathons. Yeah, it's a bit nutty, but I've raised lots of money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the process!

Anecdote:

I played when the 5-game limit was in effect, and the fifth game was the only one I had wrapped up before Final Jeopardy! I bet $0 and wrote, "What is Woo Hoo! Yee Ha! Yeah, Baby!" as my Final Jeopardy! response to celebrate the moment. In a less impressive moment, I got bleeped out during the Tournament of Champions. Either way, I was entertaining! The whole experience was amazing and was a gift that keeps on giving. Anyone who learns that I'm a 5-time Jeopardy! champion immediately starts peppering me with questions about the experience and brings back great memories.

Jeremy Bate Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Ultimate Tournament, Million Dollar Masters (alternate)
Total Winnings: $150,000

Since Appearance:

Drove an ambulance after 9/11 for two years, until a shoulder injury sidelined me, then worked as a set medic for films and TV. Currently writing a book.

Anecdote:

Has certainly opened some doors for me in Hollywood. It's weird when famous people think I'M cool. The best part of the experience as a whole was the first time we drove up PCH in my brand new convertible Camaro. People in Oregon were actually speeding up to get in the lane next to us on the freeway, just to stare at the car. I just remember being surprised at how much fun I was having, instead of it being nerve-wracking or hard. :-)

Mike Blumenfeld Minneapolis, MN

Current Town: Minneapolis, MN
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $49,400 + Chevy Tahoe

Since Appearance:

Since Jeopardy, my life has been a whirlwind of kids' activities, back injuries, driving kids to activities, and fascinating meetings at work where we discuss how to plan future meetings, with the occassional alien abduction thrown in for good measure. I have traveled a lot for work and other, and I've gotten the opportunity to travel to some fascinating places, such as Switzerland, Hawaii, Dubuque, and the 5th moon of Kharsis. Also, in 2010 I mounted a Facebook campaign to be elected governor of Minnesota as a write-in. I pledged to attend my inauguration in sweatpants. Amazingly, I did not win.

Anecdote:

I absolutely loved being on Jeopardy, but what I really remember are the immediate physical/psychological effects. The stress headaches after a game (at the TOC everyone brought Advil). The shock of seeing yourself on camera. The nerves, leading to ridiculous things coming out of your mouth, like saying that the actor who played James Bond was named James Bond. And above all, the flop sweat. I even caught myself wiping my sweaty palms on my blazer on camera. And when Alex came to shake my hand after my first win, I told him the handshake was gonna be a wet one. In my audition, I noticed that during the mock interview, when the question came up of what you would do if you won big money, nearly everyone said they would spend it on their family and travel. I figured they were doing very little to distinguish themselves. When it was my turn, I said I was going to get it all as $1 bills so I could roll around in them, and then buy myself a big green pimp hat with a big green pimp feather. Of course, when I won, you guess it, I spent the winnings on family and travel. Didn't even save enough for the hat. As far as the effect on my life, I tell people being on Jeopardy was the 2nd most memorable moment in my life, behind the birth of my first child (as for the birth of the other 2, meh. No movie is quite as interesting the second time around). 3rd most interesting was the time I ate a Mcdonald's cheesburger without even chewing it, so there's quite a dropoff. These days, when it comes up, my Jeopardy run is a good conversation starter and a good conversation saver if I've done something un-genius-like, such as stapling my hand to my forehead. Also, I'm a hot commodity for my friends to take to bar trivia night. In other words, the lifetime of knowledge I've built up periodically entitles me to discount chicken wings.

Robin Carroll Marietta, GA

Current Town: Marietta, GA
Subsequent Appearances: International (2001), M$M, UTOC
Total Winnings: $244,100

Since Appearance:

Since 2000 I've been an instructional designer, developing web-based and classroom training for corporate clients. Currently I'm a Senior Curriculum Developer for OnCourse Learning, where I create courses for the real estate industry.

Anecdote:

The best thing about being on Jeopardy was all the amazing people I got to meet. The weirdest thing is knowing what my obituary will say.

Carolyn Craycraft Chicago, IL

Current Town: Chicago, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Terry Currin White Lake, MI

Current Town: White Lake, MI
Subsequent Appearances: No other appearances, but I did go up against Watson in the practice rounds.
Total Winnings: $45,598

Since Appearance:

I've changed jobs a couple of times, always working in health care (pharmacy) information technology. I'm getting very close to semi-retirement, hopefully in the next few months. My wife and I have also had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling around the United States, exploring the wonders of this great nation.

Anecdote:

Being on Jeopardy truly changed my life. Having watched the show all my life, going back to the Art Fleming days, it was a thrill to actually play the game. Then to win 5 times, I'll never forget it. Now, even at work, I'm introduced as Terry Currin, our computer specialist and five time Jeopardy champion.

  • Steve Fried
    Sandy, OR
  • Chacko George
    Austin, TX
  • Lee Lassiter
    Topeka, KS
  • Darlene Lieblich
    Van Nuys, CA
  • Helen Petroff
    Ojai, CA
  • Michael Rooney
    Sierra Madre, CA

Steve Fried Sandy, OR

Current Town: Sandy, OR
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $55,200 plus Corvette

Since Appearance:

I have moved several times to support my career in airline operations- San Jose, CA, then back to my hometown of Los Angeles, then to Portland, Oregon where I expect to live permanently. I've left my aviation career and am now launching an organic farm and developing some prepared food products (desserts- all organic of course) with the hope of marketing them.

Anecdote:

fter my first win, I walked off stage, expecting to be escorted to the green room. The staff reminded me that we had yet to do the closing where Alex is chatting with the contestants. Alex quipped, "Boy, Steve just wanted to take the money and get outta here!". And I remember during a commercial break, Alex led the audience in a singalong of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin". With some of my winnings I enjoyed a leave of absence from my job, during which I spent several months apprenticing on an organic farm, and traveled to Greece and Bali. My experience on Jeopardy and those subsequent travels reinforced my awareness that one can never know it all; there is always something more to learn about- new places, cultures, history and ideas to explore; that there is a bottomless well of knowledge to be tapped and human connections to be made.

Chacko George Austin, TX

Current Town: Austin, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Lee Lassiter Topeka, KS

Current Town: Topeka, KS
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $54,599 (not counting tournaments)

Since Appearance:

I continue to live in Topeka, Kansas. I have traveled to northern Italy and Greece since my original appearance. Besides work, I also continue to sing with the Topeka Festival Singers and appear in local community theater musical productions including Arthur in Camelot, John Adams in 1776, Quixote in Man of La Mancha, and Sweeney in Sweeney Todd.

Anecdote:

It has been over 13 years and I still have people that often ask me questions about it. Being on Jeopardy was a great experience. Besides enjoying the competition and the people on the staff, I really enjoyed meeting the other five-time champions at my TOC. The night that my fifth win aired, I got a call from a high school friend that I hadn't heard from in 22 years. He was calling from California and was so excited I had won. He committed suicide about four years later so I was always grateful that Jeopardy! served as a catalyst for us to have had a final positive interaction.

Darlene Lieblich Van Nuys, CA

Current Town: Toluca Lake, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $35,000

Since Appearance:

Working; remarried. See below. Active member of the Red Hat Society.

Anecdote:

I was astounded that I won my first Final Jeopardy. It was a question about "Upstairs, Downstairs", a series I'd never seen -- but as we all know, the answer is in the question! I was expecting to come in second, winning a trip to New Mexico. It never occurred to me that I'd continue for five shows!

Helen Petroff Ojai, CA

Current Town: Ojai, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $45,500 and 2 bitchin' camaros

Since Appearance:

went to medical school (UC Irvine), had a kid, did residency at UCLA Northridge Hospital, got divorced, moved to beautiful Ojai to join a family physician practice, am now enjoying being a country doctor, skiing alot, riding my mountain bike and chasing my now 11 year old daughter around.

Anecdote:

I refer to my $43,000 winnings as the Alex Trebek medical school scholarship and ultimately signed it all over to UC Irvine. Because I was at the taping all day when I thought I would be done in the morning, I missed my plane to go to my first medical school interview at UC Davis and had to reschedule. I don't think they believed me as to why I had to reschedule...I didn't get in there!

Michael Rooney Sierra Madre, CA

Current Town: La Crescenta, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC - Three games
Total Winnings: $125,402 and two Chevy Camaros

Since Appearance:

Teaching. Writing. Having kids. Raising kids. Chillaxing. Well, maybe not chillaxing, what with the seven kids and all.

Anecdote:

It is pure adrenaline, lightning right up your spine, to step on that stage with the lights on and the audience murmuring, and then hear Johnny Gilbert belt out "THIS ... IS ... JEOPARDY!" Nothing like it. The money has been an absolute boon -- it buys time with my family I'd miss otherwise. Playing in the Ultimate Tournament has led to friendships with some of the smartest, funniest people I know. So Jeopardy's effect on my life? IT'S ALL GOOD. (Well, except for the two losses. Those both sucked. Dammit.)

  • Melissa Seal
    Syracuse, NY
  • Eddie Timanus
    Arlington, VA
  • Janet Wong
    Eatontown, NJ

Melissa Seal Syracuse, NY

Current Town: Kingston, ON
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $32,000

Since Appearance:

Had a baby, finished law school, got a job, became a lawyer, had another baby, went back to work building my practice as a labor and employment lawyer.

Anecdote:

Probably the best was in a meeting with a union representative who talked down to me. He asked if I "understood" the wage grid in the collective agreement and whether I knew "what it means." I was insulted, both because of his tone and because it is basic stuff. My colleague leaned over and said, "Melissa is a Jeopardy champion. Believe me, she gets it." There was an immediate change in tone.

Eddie Timanus Arlington, VA

Current Town: Oak Hill, VA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC, Million Dollar Masters,
Total Winnings: $89,700

Since Appearance:

Still watching college sports and getting paid for it, which beats working for a living. I spend the rest of my time with my family as my wife and I try to keep up with our almost nine-year-old son. Life is an amazing adventure!

Anecdote:

Well, there was that whole making the rounds on the network morning shows in NYC. That was kind of unexpected. I don't get recognized quite as often as I did for the first couple of years after my initial appearance, but it still happens occasionally. I'm always happy to talk to fans and share how much fun it was! And of course, my future wife saw me for the first time on Jeopardy when I was a contestant - we didn't meet until later but we like to think that Jeopardy helped to bring us together!

Janet Wong Eatontown, NJ

Current Town: Hoboken, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC (2005)
Total Winnings: $57,500

Since Appearance:

have worked in the New York City nonprofit community for more than ten years, currently connecting employees at a global investment bank with community service opportunities. In my real life, I discovered a passion for running and have given my type A personality an outlet in training for road races (I have completed 10 half-marathons and 1 marathon).

Anecdote:

Nothing can ever beat hearing the cheers that literally erupted across my quiet college campus the night my championship game aired. I was so honored to help bring some attention to my small liberal arts school.

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1999
15

ON OCTOBER 27 THIS TEAM WON ITS 25TH WORLD SERIES IN THE 20TH CENTURY BY SWEEPING THE ATLANTA BRAVES

Reveal Response

WHO ARE THE NEW YORK YANKEES?

Show Clue
  • David Abbott
    Cincinnati, OH
  • James Arey
    New Orleans, LA
  • David Bagley
    San Diego, CA
  • Dan Girard
    Altadena, CA
  • Pat Healy
    Vallejo, CA
  • Andrew Hutchings
    Tucson, AZ

David Abbott Cincinnati, OH

Current Town: Ft. Thomas, KY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $173,599

Since Appearance:

Fishing on my kayak, playing tuba in local orchestras, travelling (on business) to Thailand, China, India, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

Anecdote:

I became lifelong friends with a number of my fellow contestants - some from my own tournament, some from others. I'm still the "Jeopardy!" guy at work, and occasionally someone will tell me they recognize me, but don't know from where. I usually ask them if they've checked out the FBI Most Wanted list lately.

James Arey New Orleans, LA

Current Town: New Orleans, LA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $81,000 (Including Tahoe)

Since Appearance:

Trying to visit all 50 U. S. states before turning 50. Have started selling my photographs and canvases. Working to help rebuild neighborhoods here in N.O. that were devastated by Katrina.

Anecdote:

Had the Chevy Tahoe until just last year (2012) -- it was a great car! It's always a wonderfully odd experience when you have hotel guests come up to you and do the "Three Amigos" salute in the middle of the lobby!

David Bagley San Diego, CA

Current Town: San Diego, CA
Subsequent Appearances: None (except untelevised Watson! sparring match)
Total Winnings: $56,900 (plus $5000 semifinal money in 1999 ToC)

Since Appearance:

Continuing private practice of law in San Diego; seeing daughters through college graduation and weddings; becoming a grandfather, a woodworker and a five-time marathoner

Anecdote:

1. I was called back for the Watson! sparring rounds at IBM north of NYC and played two rounds with the computer, one of which I tied, with Alex Trebek in attendance. 2. Winnings went into a kitchen remodel--my wife thought the full amount was available and spent accordingly, not realizing that Uncle Sam kept close to half the amount. We still call it the kitchen that Alex built. 3. I still recall how comfortable it was being on Jeopardy--no real nervousness or anxiety. This was a tribute to the staff and the overall atmosphere of the production. Hope it's still thay way!

Dan Girard Altadena, CA

Current Town: Altadena, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $37,800

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Pat Healy Vallejo, CA

Current Town: Vallejo, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $66,604

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Andrew Hutchings Tucson, AZ

Current Town: Seattle, WA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $30,000, a car, a gift for the college

Since Appearance:

Graduate school in Operations Research (a branch of applied math). Working as a mathematician, analyst, consultant and (after moving to Seattle) a data scientist. Doing interesting things with math, computers, and information.

Anecdote:

It was the first year the travelling set was used for the College Tourney, and they thought I was crazy to request 86 seats for my friends. I filled the seats, though, and the atmosphere in Zellerbach Auditorium was electric. Best. Spring Break. Ever. It turns out that winning the College Tournament is an excellent way to have people who knew me in college call me 'RIF' (Random Information Frosh) forever. Harvey Mudd College named an endowed scholarship after me, with the sponsorship money from Volvo and contributions from the community. Some of the recipients have been very well-qualified. As I like to say, if I, Rif Hutchings, were to apply for the 'Rif Hutchings Scholarship', I don't think I would get it.

  • Lance Johnson
    Champaign, IL
  • Andrew Maly
    Bel Air, MD
  • Lara Robillard
    Arlington, VA
  • John Skelton
    Seattle, WA
  • JJ Todor
    Pataskala, OH
  • Chris Ward
    Lima, Peru

Lance Johnson Champaign, IL

Current Town: Champaign, IL
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $61.301 and a car

Since Appearance:

Working and generally being an iconoclast

Anecdote:

Honestly, the first appearances were a blur.. Call it total mission focus. With the winnings, the wife took a year off from work.

Andrew Maly Bel Air, MD

Current Town: Bel Air, MD
Subsequent Appearances: None - Played vs. Watson in sparring match
Total Winnings: $44,100 + Chevy Tahoe

Since Appearance:

Moved to San Antonio, TX in 2010. Raising two kids who are both currently in High School. Enjoying the beach in the summer and getting to ski with them in the winter. I've been the World Champion at the board games "Automobile" and "Saratoga" Got to play against Watson in the sparring matches - very humbling.

Anecdote:

What do I remember - everything? If I re-watch an episode I can get all the questions, but also that I can remember all the nuanced details of things that happened during the taping. I've learned to live with the fact that I'm introduced as the Jeopardy! champion (which I really wasn't ready for when it happened). I got recognized by someone 10 years after my shows aired. OK, they had been on Game Show Network. I forgot to let my cousin who worked for IBM at the time know that I was going to compete against Watson. At a conference they showed some promotional videos, and it led to a bit of an embarrassing moment for her.

Lara Robillard Arlington, VA

Current Town: Arlington, VA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: About $125,000 (including a car)

Since Appearance:

Since Appearing on Jeopardy, I have gone to graduate school for a master's degree; worked for the federal government; traveled extensively; volunteered for two literacy/reading organizations; and spent six months living in the UK, among other things.

Anecdote:

I spent my winnings on graduate school (the Trebek scholarship, as I like to say). I earned a Master's of Public Affairs in 2001, which started me on current career path of being a budget/health policy analyst. One Jeopardy! experience I remember very clearly happened when I was first on the show. I had gone to the gym and then to the grocery store. Having been at the gym, I did not look how I looked on television - no make-up, messy hair, old workout clothes. I was in the produce section when all of a sudden, I heard "Hey! I saw you on TV!" I turned around to see a woman looking at me. I said, "Yes, I was on Jeopardy!," quite shocked that she recognized me. She then called over the rest of her family so they could meet me. It was the first time that happened and it was fun.

John Skelton Seattle, WA

Current Town: Powder Springs, GA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $62,000

Since Appearance:

Practicing law (and still improving), raising two boys, including coaching baseball and soccer teams, playing drums in the church praise band, singing in the choir, playing the cello every now and then, playing tennis and softball, running for county-wide public office in 2012 in a large suburban county

Anecdote:

The thing I remember most is the elation I felt when I won after being behind to a very good competitor all game long. The fact that the final category of Astronomy just happened to be my wife's PhD focus made it an even greater load off my mind. Then, to follow a first win up with a nearly record-setting $31,000 win where everything went my way... Wow! After I paid CA and US taxes, I bought a stereo, a new cello bow and set some aside for a pool table once I got a house big enough for one. After that, I used the money to fund fun stuff like vacations and event tickets. Being a Jeopardy! champion is an instant conversation piece, as almost everyone is familiar with the show. I still enjoy telling of my experience on the show to anyone who asks, or even if they don't... :)

JJ Todor Pataskala, OH

Current Town: Vienna, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $49,621 + Chevy Tahoe

Since Appearance:

Meeting my wife, Laura, and having our first child, Abigail; navigating the Caribbean and hiking the Grand Canyon; moving to D.C.; practicing law; representing the U.S. in court and in trade disputes in Geneva; having two of my cases reported on the front page of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal; playing golf at Ryder Cup courses; hitching a ride with "Flipper" the dolphin; stumbling into movie premieres in NYC; scaling a cliff to an exotic Hawaiian beach by rope; rapping at my wedding reception.

Anecdote:

I used my winnings to pay student loans, buy bachelor pad necessities, and take my parents to see Bob Dylan in concert. Much to my surprise, one of the players I played against in my original run had a son who played in the Teen Tournament, and, when asked by Alex if his mother had given any advice, reportedly said that she told him to wait for the light to buzz in and not to play me! More recently, I was unexpectedly mentioned in Ken Jennings's book "Brainiac" due to other trivia competitions I've used to keep sharp, and discussed it with him at one of his book signings.

Chris Ward Lima, Peru

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $63,301 & 2 cars

Since Appearance:

Served as Diplomat in Peru, Costa Rica, and South Africa. Now retired from Dept of State, teaching in Middle School

Anecdote:

Lived in Peru at the time-- I was recognized by viewers in Lima! Winnings went to 3 kids' college educations. My 2 daughters still haven't forgiven me for not giving them the "His & Hers Camaros" I won. They're somewhat mollified when I remind them that the sale of the cars helped pay for them to go to William & Mary and Swarthmore....

  • Carolyn White
    Tucson, AZ
  • Juliet Wiley
    Plano, TX
  • Melizza Zygmunt
    Valparaiso, IN

Carolyn White Tucson, AZ

Current Town: Tucson, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $38,800

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Juliet Wiley Plano, TX

Current Town: Plano, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $40,749

Since Appearance:

I finished my Master's degree in English, and began teaching English as a Second Language at a local college, which I love. My son who was a toddler when I was on Jeopardy!, is now in high school and starting to drive. (Eeek!) In 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but after about a year of treatment, I am happy, and healthy and cancer free!

Anecdote:

1.One thing I'll never forget about my initial Jeopardy! experience is that the night before my first Jeopardy appearance, I was so scared that I started crying and wanted to go home. Luckily, I managed to pull myself together, and won my first four games. 2. One of my best memories is of the TOC. Not only did I get to meet some former TOC players that I admired, but I got to know the other contestants in the tournament. The last night, after the TOC was over, we got together and had a great time. So many lovely, smart and funny people! 3. Winning on Jeopardy! was a dream come true for my family. My husband was able to quit his job, go back to school, and start a new career in IT which has been great, 4. My Jeopardy! experience has been a real confidence booster. As a recovering introvert, I'm sometimes shy when meeting new people, but now I have the ultimate ice-breaker: I'm a Jeopardy!champion!

Melizza Zygmunt Valparaiso, IN

Current Town: Valparaiso, IN
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $26,099

Since Appearance:

Living and working in Valparaiso, IN and raising a family. I was a stay-at-home mom when I first appeared on Jeopardy! My children were 11 months and 3 yrs. old when I flew to California to tape my episodes. My father-in-law, who is an avid Jeopardy! fan, strongly encouraged me to audition in Chicago and he volunteered my mother-in-law to babysit the kids while I was auditioning. Honestly, I jumped at the chance to have lunch with a girlfriend in downtown Chicago and to have 8 hours to myself. (I could read a book for an hour on the train ride each way--HEAVEN! That was a luxury and an opportunity I could not pass up). In fact, I had no expectations about my Jeopardy! audition. I was in the diapers and toddler phase of motherhood. I was just hoping NOT to embarrass myself. Surprised when I was invited to come to California, I quickly became panicked at the thought of appearing on the show. I have had only one US History course in my entire life (which was in high school and we only got to the 1920s.) I knew this was a weak and vulnerable point. So I spent the scarce free time I had going over American history. (contd in anecdotes section).

Anecdote:

I would take walks in the neighborhood with the kids in the double stroller with my daughter's US President's place mat in front of me memorizing Presidents and Vice-Presidents and their terms of service. I fertilized the lawn and watered it in while I had a US History book in one hand. Restaurant dinners with my husband (date night!) involved taking the Trivial Pursuit cards and quizzing before our orders came. Most importantly, I gave up my afternoon nap time ( the time we all slept in our household) so I could watch Jeopardy! (My husband knew then I was serious about not looking like a fool on national TV.) My husband said that my come-from-behind win in my first match was "the best comeback since Lazarus", and he was especially proud that two of my four wins came by answering Final Jeopardy questions that dealt with American Presidential history! After my appearance, I became a local celebrity especially when I went to the grocery store. Since Jeopardy! aired at 3:30 in the afternoon in the Chicago market, I was especially popular with the senior citizen set. I thoroughly enjoyed my Jeopardy! experience and thank you for considering me in the Decades Tournament.

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1998
14

DENYING HE LOST HIS TEMPER AT A LICENSING HEARING, HE SAID, "I WAS JUST EXPRESSING MY HURT"

Reveal Response

WHO IS MIKE TYSON?

Show Clue
  • Craig Barker
    Livonia, MI
  • Josh Den Hartog
    Otley, IA
  • Paul Gutowski
    Rockford, IL
  • Bob Harris
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Sahir Islam
    Somers, NY
  • Dan Melia
    San Francisco, CA

Craig Barker Livonia, MI

Current Town: Livonia, MI
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $32,500 + a 1998 Volvo S70

Since Appearance:

Since Jeopardy! I have graduated from the University of Michigan (BA History, Class of 2000) During my time at Michigan, I helped Michigan Academic Competitions win two College Bowl National Championships (1998 and 2000). After graduation, I then returned to my high school alma mater in 2001 and have been working as an AP U.S. History/World History/International Relations Teacher, along with Quiz Bowl Coach, Class Sponsor, Webmaster, and Director of Alumni Relations for the past decade. In 2007, I met Jennifer Cislo, who watched me when I was on the College Championship. She told me that she remembered my interview with Alex where I mentioned that I practiced by standing in my dorm room doorway with a golf club. That brought a smile to my face. We were married in 2009. We have a two year old son Franklin who will hopefully one day get his shot to stand behind the podiums. He's already an avid fan!

Anecdote:

My favorite Jeopardy! related thing is that I never actually tell my students I was on, unless they ask me. Somehow, every year, someone figures it out and asks me. I once offered a pizza party to my AP class as a holiday bonus and they chose instead to watch my Jeopardy! episode when I offered that as an option. I didn't have a car payment for 10 years. I loved my Volvo. I nicknamed it Inga. It had almost 200,000 miles on it when I finally had to retire it in 2007. My Jeopardy College Championship airing in May 1997 was one of the last times my mom's side of the family was together as a group before my grandfather's passing. Though sad then, I am now very proud of the fact that that experience was one of our last memories as a family. I also got to go to a Jeopardy! related wedding (as mentioned on my UToC appearance) as my fellow competitors Mark Uruciolo and Brigid Laurie were married in Virginia. That was a lot of fun!

Josh Den Hartog Otley, IA

Current Town: Oak Park, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC - 1 Game - 2nd Place
Total Winnings: $32,500

Since Appearance:

I'm all grown-up! Went to Caltech for undergrad, taught high-school math, now I'm an actuary in Los Angeles, married, father of a 3-year-old boy with another on the way. I'm living the Dad-life in the 'burbs and wouldn't change it for anything. :-)

Anecdote:

During one of my matches, I said "It's only money - let's make it a true Daily Double." Alex responded with "But it's our money, Josh!" I did double-up on that question. My Teen Tournament winnings paid for two years of college. BORING. I really should have put it all in a sure-fire investment, like Pets.com.

Paul Gutowski Rockford, IL

Current Town: Rockford, IL
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC (aka Ken Jennings Invitational) 2005
Total Winnings: $81,000+

Since Appearance:

DUI counseling, writing, training, evaluating, communing with self. Learning how to play bridge. I was so inspired by Jeopardy that I started my own game show,"It's Not Trivial To Me"

Anecdote:

My first game, losing at the commercial break. Show was taped on Election Day '96, when California first passed cannabis decriminalization. Alex decides to skip all of my charming anecdotes on my card that I prepared over SEVERAL WEEKS and stuns me with an unrehearsed question about marijuana legalization. Thanks, Alex. But I'm over it now.

Bob Harris Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC and Million Dollar Masters
Total Winnings: $169,400 (including the MSRP of my 2 camaros)

Since Appearance:

I've put a large amount of my income into microlending, a Nobel Prize-winning approach to poverty alleviation, via the charity http://kiva.org. I've also traveled extensively around the developing world to see the results, visiting Peru, Nicaragua, Bosnia, Rwanda, India, Lebanon, and lots of other countries. What I found became my most recent book The International Bank of Bob (http://bank-of-bob.com), published by Bloomsbury, but it can all be summarized by five words spoken to me in Lebanon by a former restaurant owner and father of two who had lost everything in a war that he had nothing to do with. Was he bitter? No, he explained: "You love more, you win." he said. Those are the best five words I've ever heard. Supporters of the book project, calling themselves Friends of Bob Harris* have now lent more than $3.3 million to help finance of small businesses in more than 60 countries. You can find FoBH by poking around http://kiva.org. I'm both proud of and humbled by it all. *I didn't start FoBH, I've never met the person who did, and I was stupidly opposed to its creation at the outset. I can be quite wrong at times. But most Jeopardy fans know that. :)

Anecdote:

Without studying for Jeopardy, I never would have become interested in so many things, nor found such joy in traveling. I would never have met so many people who are now among my closest friends. I'd never have performed my first marriage, much less done it from Alex's podium. I wouldn't friends all over the world now to whom I feel so happy to be connected. Obviously, I never would have written Prisoner of Trebekistan, and I also wouldn't have written any of the books since. So Jeopardy only gave me broadened interests, a more enjoyable career, and a more rewarding personal life.

Sahir Islam Somers, NY

Current Town: Mahopac, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $31,000

Since Appearance:

Got married to an English woman, moved to a nice town a bit outside of London

Anecdote:

I remember the snacks in the green room backstage, seeing Neve Campbell in the Sony studio cafeteria, Alex Trebek being a lot taller in real life than I imagined. Being on Jeopardy! has made most people scared to play me in Trivial Pursuit.

Dan Melia San Francisco, CA

Current Town: Berkeley, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC 2005
Total Winnings: $247,801 and a Corvette

Since Appearance:

Still teaching Rhetoric and Celtic Languages at UC Berkeley and doing research on St. Patrick. Still appearing (as a Supernumerary) in S.F.Opera and S.F. Ballet.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy was great fun and several of the contestants I faced are still good friends. When I was the first contestant to win a car, Alex had to borrow John Lauderdales's Chevy car keys to make the award of the Corvette. John raced over to take them back afterwards which was a good idea because I was so spaced out that I would have walked off with them leaving him stranded. With my winnings I made the down payment on my house, kept my Corvette (still driving it), paid my son's tuition for several years and sent the rest to the IRS. Since I was married on the set, I have a warm spot for everything about the show and everybody connected with it..

  • Pam Mifflin
    Brookfield, WI
  • Lyn Payne
    Orlando, FL
  • Claudia Perry
    Jersey City, NJ
  • Arthur Philips
    Cambridge, MA
  • Catherine Ramen
    New York, NY
  • Peter Scott
    Washington, DC

Pam Mifflin Brookfield, WI

Current Town: Douglasville, GA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $44,800

Since Appearance:

Still doing computer training for healthcare providers. Moved to Atlanta area to be closer to grandchildren (who I did not have when I was on Jeopardy!). Enjoy talking about my Jeopardy! experience with people. They are still impressed (even though Ken Jennings has me thoroughly beat down!).

Anecdote:

The whole experience was fun. Although it could be a bit intimidating at times, it was fun just to play the game. Winnings went towards a new roof on a house we no longer own. Some jewelry, savings, and an awesome celebration party. The party including a Jeopardy! game that friends and relatives played. Also did a short radio interview about my appearance. I found out I was in the TOC when a local news anchor (Mike Jacobs-WTMJ 4) came to my class and surprised me with the news. That was lots of fun and the class enjoyed it, too! I was one of the lucky bidders several years ago when the old Jeopardy! set was auctioned. The 'plaque' is a prized possession of mine. I'm glad I got to appear on Jeopardy! and be a champ before my dad died in late '98. He got to enjoy my success with me.

Lyn Payne Orlando, FL

Current Town: San Francisco, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $55,002

Since Appearance:

Went into journalism and spent 8 years as managing editor of a weekly Florida newspaper, traveled, won national & state awards, worked as a freelance writer/editor. Moved to San Francisco in 2011 to work with the public library, now doing special outreach work to underserved populations in the city, writing poetry and a book telling people how to win on quiz shows, enjoying my new city. My pic that I've attached was taken by my daughter when we were hanging out in Golden Gate Park.

Anecdote:

What I remember most about being on Jeopardy! now is how many really good friends I made among the other TOC contestants. A lot of us have stayed in touch via Facebook and enjoyed sharing each other's lives. What did I do with my money? I was young and stupid when I won on Jeopardy! the first time, so I used my money to buy a house. Then I used my TOC money to buy clothes and travel. So it's all gone, but I don't regret a minute of it. I never get recognized from the show and nobody now really believes that I was on it, but at least my kids (now ages 22 and 15) still like to tell their friends about it. My son James was born 8 months after I was on the show, and he was two weeks old when I competed in the TOC, so that may make me the only TOC player with a newborn. That was rough! Maybe all those hormones were the reason I didn't win...or maybe my friends Bob Harris and Dan Melia were just too good. :)

Claudia Perry Jersey City, NJ

Current Town: Evanston, IL
Subsequent Appearances: Million Dollar Masters 2002
Total Winnings: $75,303

Since Appearance:

Left newspapering; moved to Chicago; came close to beating Watson; working in financial services.

Anecdote:

I am still recognized from being on the show all these years later.

Arthur Philips Cambridge, MA

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $90,000

Since Appearance:

I have become a novelist, with five bestselling novels (3 NYTimes Notable Books, the LATimes best first novel, shortlist for the Int'l Impac). I had a play off-off Broadway. A film has just shot of one of my novels, and I have been developing TV shows as well, with a project far along at HBO, among others.

Anecdote:

I have been giving readings of my books for years. Every time I am introduced and my biography is read, the single element guaranteed to get an audience's gasp of approval is "5-time Jeopardy champion."

Catherine Ramen New York, NY

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC (3/2/2005, 4/15/2005)
Total Winnings: $110,000 and one Corvette

Since Appearance:

Quit my job in order to become a freelance computer programmer and writer; wrote over 15 books and have blogged for the Guardian, Tiger Beatdown, and Feministe (as CL Minou). Traveled extensively to Europe, India, Cambodia, and Thailand. Oh, also transitioned gender to female in 2008. Nothing majore.

Anecdote:

My winnings allowed me to quit my job and write and consult. I was once recognized as a Jeopardy champion at the Metropolitan Opera. I made a small but significant cameo in Bob Harris' "Prisoner of Trebekistan". I almost beat Watson during its tuneup trials. (Went the wrong way on a Final Jeopardy answer.) I have been known to hustle Trivia Contests in Brooklyn. I have made many great friends through the show! Thanks to Jeopardy I have a network of wonderful, smart, kind, caring people throughout the world.

Peter Scott Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: 49k

Since Appearance:

Raising 3 daughters (eldest daughter Charlotte appeared on KIDS JEOPARDY 2011);working in the investment business for a commodity firm; traveling extensively for work and pleasure; volunteering at public library and recently wrote a children's book about lacrosse

Anecdote:

The Jeopardy experience was a blast for my entire family. It allowed us to reconnect with people we'd lost touch with over the years . My winnings ultimately helped me buy our house. I later wrote a newspaper article about an educator in Washington DC who incorporated quiz bowl practices as part of his highly successful educational methodology. The story ran in the Wall Street Journal and was later reprinted as a cover story in Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Several cable channels expressed interest in making it into a movie.

  • Wes Ulm
    Boston, MA
  • Grace Veach
    Decatur, IL
  • Kim Worth
    Venice, CA

Wes Ulm Boston, MA

Current Town: Alexandria, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $63,201

Since Appearance:

Publishing first novel of a trilogy (title: Echoes of the Mystic Chords), a "metaphysical mystery crossed with a psychological thriller" that'll be hitting the stands within weeks. - I completed my medical and PhD degrees in Boston, then moved out to Southern Cal for research and fellowships. (I'm actually not far away from the Jeopardy! studios on W. Washington Boulevard, oddly enough.) - Career-wise, I've been using bioinformatics and gene therapy as tools to fine-tune tailored therapies and so-called "personalized medicine," especially for various forms of cancer that may have fundamentally different responses to diverse therapies based on molecular markers we might otherwise overlook. Funding has been tight lately, but we're making gradual progress.

Anecdote:

My fondest Jeopardy! experiences have actually been the friendships I've cultivated among the other players -- in fact, two of my most important career inspirations have been opponents I went up against! Bob Harris was my TOC Quarterfinal opponent in 1998, and in a story that he's related in his own works, I was his unofficial "doctor" in the green room when he was under the weather, actually taking a brief medical history and simplified physical to make sure he was OK. Incredibly enough, as I discovered later, I myself was in pretty lousy shape too, in the early throes of an atypical pneumonia that I'd contracted on the plane ride out to LA from Boston! Needless to say, it was about the most bizarre bonding experience one could imagine, but Bob and I became fast friends, and I continued to follow his exploits in book-writing, travel, comedy, and philanthropic efforts thereafter. As a further twist (and rather accidentally as I'll get to below), I've even followed in many of Bob's footsteps. Same goes for Arthur Phillips, my opponent in my fifth Jeopardy! match in 1997. He's an accomplished novelist, and his work and settings have been inspirations for my own novels.

Grace Veach Decatur, IL

Current Town: Decatur, IL
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC 1st, 2nd, 3rd rounds
Total Winnings: ~$120,000

Since Appearance:

got a Ph.D.

Anecdote:

I really loved the experience, and the best thing about it has been the lasting relationships-- even sometimes with people I haven't met (Dara Hellman, India Cooper). My Jeopardy friends are among my most treasured fb contacts, for sure. My winnings mostly went into fixing up a house that we sold in 2001. Winning Jeopardy didn't change my life in a material way so much as it gave me the confidence to try things that intimidate me (not always with such good results-- don't ask me about ziplining!)

Kim Worth Venice, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $79,000

Since Appearance:

I taught English in Japan, taught Traffic Violators' School in L.A., did tours of Hollywood (which I still LOVE to do), but I don't confuse my identity with what I do to make money. I've continued my pursuits of politics and Holistic Health. I love LA's assets, going down to Venice beach to run barefoot in the surf to Santa Monica and back, the canyons, esp. Mandeville and Runyon, for hiking and mountain-biking, Catalina Island for diving in the Kelp beds and the Academy (they aren't just for "Awards") for their films , lectures, and screenings of classics with the director or stars there to discuss the films...

Anecdote:

Just the usual experience of being recognized in public... people have a lot of respect for Jeopardy.

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1996
13

HOSTING THE OSCARS, HE WAS PURSUED BY PILOT DAVID LETTERMAN IN AN "ENGLISH PATIENT" PARODY

Reveal Response

WHO IS BILLY CRYSTAL?

Show Clue
  • Bernie Cullen
    Chicago, IL
  • David Cuneo
    Reisterstown, MD
  • Michael Daunt
    Waterloo, ON
  • Bill Dickenson
    Richardson, TX
  • Michael Dupee
    Gainesville, FL
  • Amanda Goad
    Richmond, VA

Bernie Cullen Chicago, IL

Current Town: Longmont, CO
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $69,103

Since Appearance:

In 2005 I met my partner, and I moved with him to first to Seattle and now Colorado for the last four years. We have a nice house with a yard, and we adopted our dog Josie from the Longmont Humane Society. I enjoy socializing, gardening, birdwatching and we travel every chance we get.

Anecdote:

I was 25 years old when I was a 5 time champion, and I looked young and people kept asking if I has been on the Teen or College tournaments. With my winnings I bought a 1997 red Honda Civic hatchback, I am still driving it 16+ years later.

David Cuneo Reisterstown, MD

Current Town: Parkville, MD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $29,000

Since Appearance:

My wife & I continued our volunteer activities along with our traveling around the U.S & the world. In 2005 we moved into a retirement community where we enjoy care free living. We, of course, continue to watch Jeopardy every night.

Anecdote:

It was an exciting experience which I remember every night while watching the daily show. I never believed I would win the Seniors tournament but daydreamed that if I did I would buy a Red Sports Coupe with a vanity license plate. When I won thats exactly what I did, including the license plate (JEOPRDY) only 7 letters were allowed. I don't have the car but I still have a plate which is framed along with a picture of the car and hangs in my office. After all these years I am amazed at how people, who learn of my appearances & victories, get excited & begin asking all kinds of questions about Jeopardy, details about my games & how one gets on Jeopardy. and of course Alex Trebek. It is a constant reminder of how popular Jeopardy is.

Michael Daunt Waterloo, ON

Current Town: Scottsdale, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: Int'l Tournament 1997 (Winner), UTOC Elite 18
Total Winnings: $170,000

Since Appearance:

Working, raising children, lived 2 years in Mexico, now travel extensively in Latin America for work (Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Suriname).

Anecdote:

What I remember the most is the camaraderie; that people could simultaneously be extremely competitive and form instant but long lasting friendships.

Bill Dickenson Richardson, TX

Current Town: Richardson, TX
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $58,401

Since Appearance:

I have been loving life! I am lucky to be the father of five (yes five!) wonderful kids and married to my best friend.

Anecdote:

So many memories...what I remember most about being on Jeopardy is the mix of butterflies and adrenaline that hit you from the time you enter the green room to stepping on the set. Once the cameras roll, you have to be on and it is an amazing feeling. My winnings...some were spent on a wonderful trip to Europe which I was able to share with my parents and took them back to the place they lived long ago. I lost some in a nice little stock market crash in 2000 and the rest has gone toward building my family. Being a Jeopardy champ represents more than (very nice!) prize money... it gives you a confidence you keep with you wherever you go. You have reached the top on a show that is an integral part of American pop culture which everyone knows about and admires too.

Michael Dupee Gainesville, FL

Current Town: Gainesville, FL
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC April and May 2005
Total Winnings: $198,901

Since Appearance:

Every appearance on Jeopardy really affected my life in a positive way. After my first stint, in 1996, my winnings made me comfortable not returning to the high-pressure world of corporate litigation where I started my law career. Instead, I was able to stay with the federal court, helping make sure that justice was done in the cases I worked on. What a luxury to have the truth as my only client these last 17 years. I am forever grateful to Jeopardy! for that. I am also grateful that I was able to spend lots of time with my daughter (3 years old when I bragged about her to Alex in 1996 and a 19-year-old pre-med student now) and two sons, now 14 and 9. What a blessing. I also used my most recent winnings to go back to school to transition into another aspect of public service, as I talk about in the next section.

Anecdote:

I am currently using my 2005 winnings (from the Ultimate Tournament of Champions) to start the third stage of my career, dedicated to ensuring that our children enjoy a world as resourceful and beautiful as we enjoy today -- or one even better. I am using the $32,500 I won in the UTOC to earn a masters degree from an innovative online program at Harvard University, studying sustainability and environmental management. Basically, I plan to use this degree and my law background to advise businesses how being "green" can help their bottom line as well as helping the environment. This would not have been possible without my Jeopardy! winnings. Participating in this tournament would go a long way to helping me achieve this goal.

Amanda Goad Richmond, VA

Current Town: Richmond, VA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $31,200

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Mary Hirschfeld
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Lucien Schmit
    Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Brad Plovan
    Baltimore, MD
  • David Sampugnaro
    Elmsford, NY
  • Bob Scarpone
    Flanders, NJ
  • Bill Sloan
    Mission Viejo, CA

Mary Hirschfeld Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: West Chester, PA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $61,004

Since Appearance:

In 2002 I left my job as a professor of economics at Occidental College to get a second Ph.D. in theology at the University of Notre Dame. I am now a professor of economics and theology in the department of Humanities at Villanova University.

Anecdote:

Back in 1996 I needed money for a down payment, so I went on Jeopardy! That worked out quite well -- I used my winnings for the down payment on my house. That house in turn appreciated, which is what made it financially possible to go back to school. So I literally wouldn't be where I am now without Jeopardy. My new career combining theology and economics has led to invitations to conferences at the Vatican and in the United Kingdom, so it's been an exciting change all around. Of course, after all those years of school, I exhausted my savings. Now that I have a new job, I'm thinking about buying a house, but need to find some money for a down payment. Could lightning strike twice?

Lucien Schmit Sherman Oaks, CA

Current Town: Long Beach, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: Approx. $39K

Since Appearance:

Took break from practicing law to attend MIT-Sloan School of Management (MBA 2001). Lived in San Juan Islands (Lopez Is., WA)2002 - 2007. Back to practicing law in LA (management side employment law) & Living in Long Beach

Anecdote:

After a B-School comment (re: how many drops of solder John D. Rockefeller wanted on oil cans)the professor said: "I'm sorry, Lucien, but that has to be in the form of a question." After re-viewing the video, I still believe you guys erred when (in the TOC)I said the capital of Nigeria was Abuja in was told I was wrong (You didn't think Lagos, did you?)

Brad Plovan Baltimore, MD

Current Town: Baltimore, MD
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $67,402

Since Appearance:

My wife and I are raising two beautiful daughters. The oldest was born not long after I was on the UTOC. Otherwise, I have been working as a lawyer for the Federal Government. I'm almost done with the home renovation I talked about in the UTOC.

Anecdote:

I firmly believe being a Jeopardy! champion helped make my job interview successful. It certainly makes it easier for an interviewer to talk to you. Being a Jeopardy! champ has also helped a lot with small-talk particularly when people introduce me to others. I remember best winning $21,000 in one game (which was a lot in 1995); how much of a well-oiled machine the show was once you got there; and how the producers helped.

David Sampugnaro Elmsford, NY

Current Town: North White Plains, NY
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $78,101

Since Appearance:

I've been working at IBM where I was designated tester of IBM's Jeopardy playing Super Computer,"Watson". I have played 20 games against Watson, in preparation of the tournament with Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

Anecdote:

I am a cheap man. I bought 2 used cars with my Jeopardy winnings. And 17 years later, we just sold one car, while I am still driving the other car!

Bob Scarpone Flanders, NJ

Current Town: Flanders, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $53,401

Since Appearance:

A lot! 1) I've changed careers - I used to be an attorney, but nine years ago I started a new career as a high school teacher with classes in U.S. History II; Introduction to Law; and The History of American Film. (I developed the film class five years ago, and I'm almost done writing a textbook for that class.) 2) I've lost over 100 pounds, through diet and exercise - mainly between mid-2010 and late 2011. 3) My daughter, who was an infant when I was a Jeopardy! contestant in 1996, is now a high school graduate about to start college. She was a student in both my history and my film classes. 4) My wife has stuck with me for 22 years now, when anyone else would have gone crazy with my awful puns. 5) I helped Bernie Cullen to win $1 million - I was his phone-a-friend on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and gave him a U.S. Presidents answer at the $16,000 level.

Anecdote:

I had the time of my life on the show - playing a great game, and getting paid for it! I remember staying loose on the set - Amanda Goad and I even danced the Macarena at one point while awaiting the Final Jeopardy! results during our 1996 TOC semifinals game. The winnings helped me (us!) to travel to Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Oregon - the four states I had never visited before Jeopardy! (I've now visited all 50 states.) Some of the money was put aside for my daughter's college - which she'll be starting this August! - and some was put aside for my retirement. I use tapes of my Jeopardy! appearances as treats for my high school students: once or twice a year, they'll divide into teams, with buzzers and all, and they'll compete against each other using the answers and questions from my shows. It's also reunited my father and my uncle, who had lost touch with each other; my uncle is another Robert Scarpone, and a friend of his saw me on the show, and ultimately it helped to connect these long-lost brothers. True story!

Bill Sloan Mission Viejo, CA

Current Town: Mission Viejo, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $62,800

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Beverly Spurs
    Concord, CA
  • Barbara Walker
    Westminster, MD
  • Shane Whitlock
    Benton, AR

Beverly Spurs Concord, CA

Current Town: Concord, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Special charity show UC Berkeley
Total Winnings: $64,001

Since Appearance:

Still practicing Podiatry with more emphasis on diabetic wound care. In spare time, quilting and knitting - have won a lot of awards at County Fairs.

Anecdote:

My photo of me with Alex hangs in my treatment room. Patients say he has gotten older but I don't look any different. My appearance on Jeopardy was the biggest boost to my self esteem in my entire life.

Barbara Walker Westminster, MD

Current Town: Westminster, MD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $46,100

Since Appearance:

Lots of travel. Highlights include Europe, South Africa, Egypt, and most recently Dubai. A personal favorite, however, was a trip to the Canadian Rockies in 2002.

Anecdote:

What I remember most is having the time of my life--great fun. Getting to know the other contestants definitely added to the experience. As well, my mother traveled with me to Los Angeles for the show, and it was a real thrill for her. My husband is my biggest fan and still shows the recordings to unsuspecting guests!

Shane Whitlock Benton, AR

Current Town: Little Rock, AR
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $93,200 and a Volvo 850

Since Appearance:

I've won almost $100,000 in cash in my 9 games and have since squandered all of it on travel and adventures around the world. If selected to compete again, I would happily do more of the same!

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! has had more of an effect on my life than I ever expected! I met my wife because of Jeopardy! She was an aspiring contestant, and a mutual friend connected us. She called me for advice the day before her audition and, to make a long story short, she didn't pass her audition, but two years later we got married. We have a 5 year old son who is a budding Jeopardy! fan. In all seriousness, but for Jeopardy!, I would not have my wonderful family. Not long after winning the College Championship, I was at the horse races with my parents. They were approached by some Jeopardy viewers who were attempting to arrange a marriage between me and their daughter. I guess they were really intent on getting a son-in-law who knew his world capitals. The worst part was, my parents seemed to be considering the dowry offers!

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1995
12

IN JANUARY THE FDA APPROVED THIS FAT SUBSTITUTE

Reveal Response

WHAT IS OLESTRA?

Show Clue
  • Bruce Borchardt
    Washington, DC
  • Jonathan Groff
    New York, NY
  • Ryan Holznagel
    Portland, OR
  • Aaron Klein
    Des Plaines, IL
  • Len Krisak
    Newton, MA
  • Ben Lyon
    Edmond, OK

Bruce Borchardt Washington, DC

Current Town: Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $54,099

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

>N/A

Jonathan Groff New York, NY

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC, 2005
Total Winnings: $99,500

Since Appearance:

I have been writing for television, working on shows like Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Andy Barker, P.I., Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, and Happy Endings. Raising two children who are now 12 and 10 years old and who are still not impressed/totally sure that I was actually ever on Jeopardy! They became inveterate watchers AFTER my UTOC appearance in 2005.

Anecdote:

I can talk about being steamrolled by the younger better contestant April McManus in the UTOC. She was charming and lethal. I can talk about how Alex set me up to be hated by the home and studio audiences in the UTOC by doing my interview right after the beloved Eddie Timanus's and then introducing me as a "TV writer from Hollywood." Of course, he knew what he was doing: he then saved me by telling everyone that I paid off my parents' mortgage with my original Jeopardy! winnings.

Ryan Holznagel Portland, OR

Current Town: Somerville, MA
Subsequent Appearances: Olympic Tournament (1996), UTOC
Total Winnings: $179,413 (and a hammock)

Since Appearance:

I joined the Google writing team for five great years (and hosted Ken Jennings for a lunchtime chat with Googlers), married a wonderful woman from Cincinnati, and have written thumbnail sketches of over 2000 famous people for my biography reference site, Who2.

Anecdote:

The Jeopardy! moment I remember most is sitting in isolation in the studio right after winning my semifinal in the 1995 TOC -- and knowing that I was about to be a finalist in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Winning was terrific, of course, but nothing was quite as mind-blowing as that moment of realizing I was actually going to be in the finals. I used my TOC winnings to spend two months traveling in Europe, where I had a great time visiting fellow players from the Olympic Tourney in Sweden and Germany. The Jeopardy! winnings especially came in handy in Paris, where I stayed in a charming hotel and ate wonderfully well on my 35th birthday. Jeopardy! also helped reunite my family with some very long-lost cousins. My cousin Edith Holznagel Kapfer emigrated from Germany to Canada in the 1950s and thought she was the only Holznagel in North America... until she saw me on Jeopardy! She contacted us in Oregon, and that led a few years later to a family reunion where we met our distant German relatives. It's been a beautiful bonus of being on Jeopardy!

Aaron Klein Des Plaines, IL

Current Town: Evanston, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: 25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Len Krisak Newton, MA

Current Town: Newton, MA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $43,399

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Ben Lyon Edmond, OK

Current Town: Dallas, TX
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $35,000

Since Appearance:

Working, Traveling, performing weddings on the side for good friends mainly (Secular and Free!). I nearly cut off my foot with a poorly timed vault, I fought my first amateur boxing match, and I saw an exorcism on the plateau overlooking Johannesburg. I remember Steve from Notre Dame trying to get me drunk the night before we shot the College championship finals (Nice try Steve). I remember my friend Catfish drilling into my head that there was Vitamin K in cigarettes which was useful in a round about Nutrition. Being used as a human icebreaker for half of my life is probably the most impressive thing about my experience. I can count on one hand the number of people I have told about my experience without someone volunteering me to do it (friends, family, etc.).

Anecdote:

I remember Steve from Notre Dame trying to get me drunk the night before we shot the College championship finals (Nice try Steve). I remember my friend Catfish drilling into my head that there was Vitamin K in cigarettes which was useful in a round about Nutrition. Being used as a human icebreaker for half of my life is probably the most impressive thing about my experience. I can count on one hand the number of people I have told about my experience without someone volunteering me to do it (friends, family, etc.).

  • John McKeon
    Chevy Chase, MD
  • Jim Morgan
    New Brunswick, NJ
  • Linda Roberts
    Houston, TX
  • Isaac Segal
    Cherry Hill, NJ
  • David Siegel
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Paul Thompson
    Cheverly, MD

John McKeon Chevy Chase, MD

Current Town: Chevy Chase, MD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $44,901

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Jim Morgan New Brunswick, NJ

Current Town: New Brunswick, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $41,899

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Linda Roberts Houston, TX

Current Town: Houston, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $50,404

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Isaac Segal Cherry Hill, NJ

Current Town: Cherry Hill, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $74,300

Since Appearance:

Still at the same job. Children who were in high school when I appeared are now grown; one married, one about to be married this fall. Over the past ten years or so, my wife and I have been taking hiking vacations (France, Ireland, Czech Republic, New Zealand) and trying to decide where we want to go next

Anecdote:

Some of the more memorable moments included dumbfounding myself by winning my first game; coming from behind to win my second game on a Final Jeopardy! question ("Literary Opera") that even Alex considered especially tough; and winning the semifinal game in the TOC. With kid's college bills looming, I invested just about all the money I won, and was able to benefit from the market boom of the mid-90s--or at least Boston University and Dickinson College did. When the shows aired, I got a fair amount of recognition from people in public, as well as in articles in local papers and magazines. I can't say my life was dramatically changed, but being a Jeopardy champion has continued to have a halo effect. I don't bring it up, but when people find out I was on the show--let alone a Tournament finalist--they look at me a bit differently and usually want to know all the details. Especially "what is Alex really like?"

David Siegel Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Beverly Hills, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $86,200

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Paul Thompson Cheverly, MD

Current Town: Cheverly, MD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $72,199

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Jim Vercolen
    Rochester, NY
  • Gordon Wean
    Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Matt Zielenski
    Broadview Heights, OH

Jim Vercolen Rochester, NY

Current Town: Rochester, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $40,200

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Gordon Wean Cleveland Heights, OH

Current Town: Cleveland Heights, OH
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $49,895

Since Appearance:

My life "post-Jeopardy" saw me retire from teaching high school English in 1999. Since then, I have pursued philanthropic work in the Northeast Ohio communities of Youngstown and Warren, efforts designed to engage and empower residents to have a voice in the future course of their neighborhoods and communities. At the same time, I have advocated statewide and locally for more strategic, inclusive philanthropy.

Anecdote:

Two years after my appearances on Jeopardy, a student at the high school where I was teaching approached me one morning, saying, "Mr. Wean, I saw the movie The Peacemaker last night, and you were in it." Not recalling having worked alongside George Clooney and Nicole Kidman in the 1997 action thriller, I could only look quizzically at the young man. He went on to explain that during a scene shot in a New York City hotel room, the camera panned slowly toward the bathroom, where the shower was running. The television set in the room was clearly playing one of the Jeopardy games I participated in, and I was being called on to provide the correct question. While I have verified my student's story, to this day I can't say what led to my cameo appearance in a Hollywood film. But if, in addition to being a terrific experience, Jeopardy also launched my brief, unanticipated movie career, who am I to question it?

Matt Zielenski Broadview Heights, OH

Current Town: Broadview Heights, OH
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $117,901

Since Appearance:

I am still employed at the firm where I worked when I appeared in the UTOC. I help run a community food bank in Cleveland, Ohio. I am a member of Team XI, Cleveland's premier -- and winningest -- Pub Quiz team.

Anecdote:

The thing I most remember about my J! experience is that I was quite nervous. My other key memory was in my first game of the UTOC; I had NO idea if my answer for Final J! was correct or not. Not a good thing to wait out. My winnings; paid some bills, made a down payment on a house, saved some. Effect? Not sure; I mean, people ask me from time to time about my experience, about Alex, strategies about betting, or about things they saw on TV...but I would say that I keep it low-key. It is not the sort of thing you brag about. The merit is in being there. I will admit...many of my friends enjoyed what was said about me on the message boards; between the Tobey comments and the running theme that I was the J! automaton, everyone got a huge kick out of good-natured needling.

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1994
11

HE GAVE US "THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS"

Reveal Response

WHO IS DEEPAK CHOPRA?

Show Clue
  • Kurt Bray
    Oceanside, CA
  • Steve Chernicoff
    Berkeley, CA
  • John Cuthbertson
    San Diego, CA
  • Amy Fine
    Potomac, MD
  • Fred Frank
    Palo Alto, CA
  • Jean Grewe
    Oak Park, IL

Kurt Bray Oceanside, CA

Current Town: Oceanside, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $61,100

Since Appearance:

Since my appearance I've been continuing my career in science combined with raising our daughters. The daughters are now grown, but the career continues.

Anecdote:

I saved and then later spent most of the Jeopardy money on my daughters' college educations. And since my youngest is graduating this year, I've long since been cleaned out of Jeopardy winnings. My elder daughter reports that having a Jeopardy champion for a dad is the third thing that most new friends learn about her from talking to other people. The first and second are that she went to Harvard and the second is that she is from California.

Steve Chernicoff Berkeley, CA

Current Town: Berkeley, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC, April 12, April 14, May 9, 2005
Total Winnings: $146,704

Since Appearance:

Working for a living, raising a family, doing some traveling, living my life. I did get to spend part of my winnings on a lifetime-coveted trip to Greece to visit ancient sites like Olympia, Delphi, Salamis, Marathon, and Thermopylae. In 2008, my wife, Helen, and I traveled to see a total solar eclipse in the city of Novosibirsk, Russia. I just loved it when people would ask me if I had any vacation plans that summer and I'd tell them "Yeah, we're going to Siberia."

Anecdote:

The thing I remember most about being in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions was walking into the green room on Elite Eighteen (quarterfinals) day, looking around the room, and recognizing just about everyone there from their previous appearances on the show, even though most of us had never before met in person. I still keep in touch with a lot of these folks and get to see them at events like the annual TCONA (Trivia Championships of North America) in Las Vegas, and some of them have become good personal friends, like Jerome Vered, Bob Harris, Dan Melia, Mike Rooney, Shane Whitlock, and even my tournament nemesis Brad Rutter. Just getting to spend the day hanging out with this amazing group of people was one of my most treasured experiences.

John Cuthbertson San Diego, CA

Current Town: San Diego, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $185,200

Since Appearance:

I have continued to work as an investment analyst at a few different companies, including one I helped start up.

Anecdote:

It was definitely one of those experiences where you very palpably feel a kinship with the people you're doing it with, particularly in the tournaments. The biggest effect Jeopardy! had for me was allowing us to buy our house after my initial appearance. Harder to quantify, but I think it has also greatly increased the number of times I'm asked "Do I know you from somewhere?" Finally, we have just completed the kitchen remodel that I said on air we would use my tournament winnings for, which my wife never let me forget!

Amy Fine Potomac, MD

Current Town: Bethesda, MD
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $77,803

Since Appearance:

Nineteen years plus! Raised a terrific kid (she's now 24), started teaching and doing free-lance editing. Moved to a condo (still in DC area). Still singing in choruses. Life is good.

Anecdote:

My absolute favorite. In my fourth game, I was behind going into Final Jeopardy. The category was Literary Landmarks, so with nothing to lose I bet it all. The answer was (roughly): "In 1925, Henry Ford purchased this old Massachusetts tavern and turned it into a Longfellow Museum." I nearly fell off the podium. I thought it was ridiculously hard, but I knew it was the Wayside Inn because my brother-in-law had been married in the chapel there the year before. No one else got it right and I went on to a fifth game. The follow-up was even better. My ex's parents lived walking distance from the Inn. All their friends and neighbors would have known the answer and how obscure it was. But the night that show aired, the New England affiliate that carried Jeopardy! preempted the last ten minutes (including FJ) to cover the press conference where Tonya Harding admitted to her involvement in the kneecapping of Nancy Kerrigan. So no one in New England even saw it.

Fred Frank Palo Alto, CA

Current Town: Portland, OR
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $52,000+

Since Appearance:

I went to medical school, became an obstetrician based in Oregon, but spend summers working in rural Africa (where you caught me now, in Uganda). Married with four kids. I fence competitively.

Anecdote:

I paid for medical school with my winnings. Who knew Jeopardy would be the "highlight of my life". Everyday somebody still asks me about it. For several years after I was on old ladies stopped me on the street. A surprising number told me they thought Alex "didn't like me," which I always found funny.

Jean Grewe Oak Park, IL

Current Town: Oak Park, IL
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $72,801

Since Appearance:

I've continued to work in graphic design, and become more interested in photography and astronomy. I've also done some traveling, including to the Galapagos Islands.

Anecdote:

I think the one thing I remember most is how welcoming everyone at Jeopardy! was, both my fellow contestants and the staff. It was also one of the most fun things I've ever done.

  • David Hillinck
    Sacramento, CA
  • Brian Moore
    Carolann, TX
  • Matt Morris
    Louisville, KY
  • Tom Nichols
    Chicopee, MA
  • Bill Pitassy
    Cranford, NJ
  • Rachael Schwartz
    Bedminster, NJ

David Hillinck Sacramento, CA

Current Town: Lafayette Hill, PA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $54,901

Since Appearance:

I was a High School Principal in Sacramento, California when I appeared in the TOC. A few years later, I began teaching history at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Starting this fall, I'll be working at Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! actually prompted one of my "most embarassing moments" when I showed an episode to some of my Pennsylvania students several years after the air date. I'd forgotten that I'd missed a "Double Jeopardy!" clue about the "Keystone State," which, of course, all of my Pennsylvania students knew immediately. They've never let me forget it!

Brian Moore Carolann, TX

Current Town: Houston, TX
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $139,402

Since Appearance:

I completed my PhD in astrophysics and worked in a post-doctoral position. Then, after my UTOC appearances, I moved from Houston to Wisconsin to be with my girlfriend. I followed her to Salt Lake City after she was hired for a planetarium company, and later I was hired to work on their astronomical databases.

Anecdote:

The only big-ticket item I bought with the 1993 winnings was a horse for my mother to use in her riding lessons. The remainder, combined with my UTOC winnings, went towards the down payment and renovations on a hole-shaped house, into which we continue to shovel money today.

Matt Morris Louisville, KY

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $29,601

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Tom Nichols Chicopee, MA

Current Town: Middletown, RI
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $63,500

Since Appearance:

After teaching at Dartmouth, I became a professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI. I've written five books on international affairs (4 since TOC), adopted a girl from Russia, and single-handedly achieved global disarmament. (Well, still working on that last part.) I also appeared in a short documentary with the National Geographic Channel (an excerpt of which is my video, below.)

Anecdote:

The one thing that still happens, 20 years later, is that no matter where I am or what I'm doing, whenever I'm announced or introduced, no achievement produces the sudden burst of applause and affection like having been a Champion. Shortly after I was on, I was teaching at an Ivy League school (Dartmouth), and a student said to me -- exact words! -- "Professor Nichols, I had no idea you were so smart." Even now, I get introduced as: Professor, national security expert, author, former aide to a U.S. Senator...and it's crickets. Then they add "...and he's a Jeopardy! Champion" and the room bursts into applause. It's very humbling to realize that for many Americans (and Europeans, actually) Jeopardy is the true test of smarts, no matter what else you've ever done.

Bill Pitassy Cranford, NJ

Current Town: Roselle Park, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $72,702

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Rachael Schwartz Bedminster, NJ

Current Town: Ellicott City, MD
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC and Million Dollar Masters
Total Winnings: $152,499

Since Appearance:

I have had a major change since my last appearance. I retired from the practice of law after 31 years and am now working at NIH on stem cell research. I plan to apply to Ph.D. programs in biology this fall. If I am accepted, I will receive my degree when I am in my early 60's. Fortunately, I plan to study human aging and longevity!

Anecdote:

I invested most of my Jeopardy winnings, which is part of why I could afford to retire from the practice of law at the age of 54 in order to pursue science. Because I put my Jeopardy TOC champion status on my curriculum vitae, I usually become known in my workplace as the woman who won on Jeopardy, which both interests and impresses people. I still keep in touch with other contestants from the tournaments in which I played, including Kurt Bray from the TOC and Bob Harris from the M$M. My brother is immensely proud of me and when we are together he will brag to total strangers about my appearances on Jeopardy. Of course, he also takes me to dinnner every Cinco de Mayo to remind me how little I knew in my last regular season game about avocado consumption. I will always consider being a TOC champ to be an integral part of my identity!

  • Jeff Stewart
    The Dalles, OR
  • Bart Thomas
    Bridgewater, NJ
  • David Venderbush
    Los Angeles, CA

Jeff Stewart The Dalles, OR

Current Town: Cary, NC
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $50,800

Since Appearance:

My wife (also on the show) now have seven kids! I help pharma companies to decide what other companies to buy and for how much. I get to learn the science of new drugs every day, which is a thrill. My asset pricing method is the most used in the industry.

Anecdote:

I remember being at BYU when I got the fifth book of the Bible wrong. I heard no end of that. Appearing on Jeopardy has made me completely fearless about performing in front of audiences. No CEO is as intimidating as an audience of millions.

Bart Thomas Bridgewater, NJ

Current Town: Bridgewater, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

David Venderbush Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $50,800

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

empty slot
empty slot
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1993
10

HE ENDED HIS INAUGURATION SPEECH MAY 10, 1994 BY SAYING, "LET FREEDOM REIGN. GOD BLESS AMERICA"

Reveal Response

WHO IS NELSON MANDELA?

Show Clue
  • Debbie Arnold
    Atlanta, GA
  • Dennis Donohue
    Litchfield Park, AZ
  • Phoebe Juel
    Sylva, NC
  • Marilyn Kneeland
    San Diego, CA
  • Al Lin
    Chesapeake, VA
  • Jack Mahoney
    Jersey City, NJ

Debbie Arnold Atlanta, GA

Current Town: Atlanta, GA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $43,103

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Dennis Donohue Litchfield Park, AZ

Current Town: Janesville, WI
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $62,298

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Phoebe Juel Sylva, NC

Current Town: Cranberry Township, PA
Subsequent Appearances: Ultimate Tournament of Champions
Total Winnings: $38,000 and a car

Since Appearance:

I studied public health in graduate school and worked in agricultural health and safety but, like so many other Jeopardy! alumni, I eventually got a law degree. While there I specialized in national security and counter-terrorism law and wrote a brief for the Guantanamo tribunals. I also became an active cyclist and rode two RAGBRAIs (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). It's a 500+ mile week-long rolling folk festival; great exercise, great scenery, great people, and a great excuse to eat lots of homemade pie guilt free.

Anecdote:

What do I remember most? The thrill of flying out to sunny California from sub-zero temperature Iowa and meeting all sorts of wonderful and wonderfully fun people. Trivia people are a blast! I remember. calling my parents in NC: "How much did the winner get?" Dad asked. "$28,000" "How much did you get?" "$28,000" And then there was a long pause until the penny dropped. We still laugh about it all this time later. I remember how pleased people were in my hometown and how much it meant to Grinnell. It was all a gift, every bit of it. My winnings went to the usual things, tuition payments and medical bills, but I did buy a pretty sweet replica of an 12th century Irish sword. As for anecdotes, well, I ran into Frank Spangenberg at Harvard's Kennedy School back in '05 and we had a grand old time talking Jeopardy! I got a letter after the UTOC telling me that after my College Championship appearance a couple was so inspired that they decided to name their daughter Phoebe. Best of all, I got a jar of homemade wild strawberry jam from a wonderful lady that lived way up a mountain holler near my hometown, she'd never met anyone who'd been on tv before. Best jam in the world.

Marilyn Kneeland San Diego, CA

Current Town: San Diego, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Al Lin Chesapeake, VA

Current Town: Davis, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $58,903

Since Appearance:

After completing law school and graduate school, I worked as an environmental lawyer at the Justice Department for five years. I have been teaching environmental law at the UC Davis School of Law since 2003.

Anecdote:

Being a stressed-out first year law student at the time of my Jeopardy experience, I recall driving down to LA from Berkeley and immediately driving back in order to save money and avoid missing too many classes. After the tournament of champions, I felt both sadness and liberation: sadness because the fun ride had come to an end, and liberation from no longer feeling compelled to memorize trivia encountered on a daily basis. Being a Jeopardy! champion helped to facilitate my professional path by keeping down my student debt and enabling me to take positions without having to worry much about finances.

Jack Mahoney Jersey City, NJ

Current Town: Brunswick, ME
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $32,404 and change

Since Appearance:

Raising two kids (Maggie graduates this year from the U. Chicago; Evan will be a junior at Allegheny College); moved to Maine in 2002; started Maine Prep in 2003; business has grown from 5 students in 03 to over 400 last year

Anecdote:

I told a story about playing Felix Unger in The Odd Couple (I was a professional actor at the time of my appearance) in which I discovered while facing the audience that my fly was down. I turned upstage and flamboyantly zipped it up, sending the dinner theater crowd into gales of laughter. Shortly thereafter, Alex was signing off for a commercial break, looked down, feigned that his fly was open, turned away from the cameras and "zipped up." Suffice to say that Jeopardy! changed my life. My acting career was nearly over, and my Jeopardy! credential landed me a job with Stanley Kaplan's New York office as a salesman. Answering the question, "Can you convince people to prepare for tests?" I replied, "I just prepared three hours a day minimum seven days a week for the last eight months for a test." "Oh, and what test was that," said the bored voice on the other end of the line. "The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions," I replied. There was silence for about ten seconds. "Uh, why don't you come down today?" I was hired that day, ended up training to be a test prep teacher, taught all major tests except MCAT, and then became a teacher trainer.

  • Leslie Shannon Miller
    Reston, VA
  • Tom Nosek
    Torrance, CA
  • Ed Schiffer
    Santa Monica, CA
  • Bev Schwartzberg
    Amherst, MA
  • Walt Senterfitt
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Linda Sheppard
    Hayward, CA

Leslie Shannon Miller Reston, VA

Current Town: Espoo, Finland
Subsequent Appearances: Million Dollar Masters
Total Winnings: $99,300

Since Appearance:

I married a wonderful Finnish man and have lived in Finland for the past nine years. From there, I travel the world advising mobile telephone companies about how to sell high-speed mobile data successfully and have worked with more than 60 companies in over 45 countries in the last four years. (I'm writing this in London and from here I go Auckland, Taipei, and Singapore - I love my job!!) I also have two fabulous children and placed 63rd in the European Quizzing Championship last year with no studying at all, which made me very proud. :-)

Anecdote:

I attended a team quiz in New Delhi with an Indian friend a couple of months ago and was amazed when people there knew all about Jeopardy and were very impressed that I had been a champion. Usually, Jeopardy! is relatively unknown outside the US, but it turns out that India is full of fans! I have also learned enough Finnish since living in Finland to be able to play along at home to the Finnish version of Jeopardy!, though I never got up the courage to appear on the show. :-)

Tom Nosek Torrance, CA

Current Town: Torrance, CA
Subsequent Appearances: 10th Anniversary Championship
Total Winnings: $180,000

Since Appearance:

Consulting, placing satellites in orbit

Anecdote:

After explaining game to a young woman, I gave an example of "he cried 'a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse'. She answered "who is Mister Ed?"

Ed Schiffer Santa Monica, CA

Current Town: San Francisco, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $97,903

Since Appearance:

After my original appearances, I decided to go back to school and became a lawyer, which allowed me the freedom to choose a new city--San Francisco.

Anecdote:

I put every penny of my original winnings into a down payment on a small "castle" in Santa Monica (complete with moat and drawbridge) It was built by an Italian artisan who worked on Hearst Castle and then retired in Southern California. God willing, I plan to do the same!

Bev Schwartzberg Amherst, MA

Current Town: Santa Barbara, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC 2003
Total Winnings: $110,000

Since Appearance:

Since my initial appearance on Jeopardy!, I earned a Ph.D. in history, won a national prize for best dissertation, and have worked in the nonprofit and public sectors. For the past ten years, I have coordinated my local library's adult literacy program--a cause that Alex Trebek has been known to champion. I feel strongly that by demonstrating the dazzling quality of quickly-recalled knowledge and strategic thinking, Jeopardy! emphasizes the value of education to all audiences. In my work, I encourage people to realize that they're never too old to learn, and that reading and writing bring incredible benefits and joy. Jeopardy! is about all those same things.

Anecdote:

Being on Jeopardy! brought me back in touch with lots of old friends. It also meant that the people behind me in the drugstore line sometimes recognized me, even though I thought I was just an ordinary person buying toilet paper, and that I get asked to speak about what it's like to be a Jeopardy! champion. What I remember most about my Jeopardy experience was making new friends, thrilling the friends who came to watch, and getting to know the staff, just a little bit, after the Tournament of Champions. I was so impressed by the contestant staff, writers, and stage crew! My winnings helped me stay in graduate school without starving, buy a car, and save for my son's college education. Ultimately, how did Jeopardy! change my life? Well, winning big and losing big helped me put all sorts of things in perspective, and taught me to not sweat the little stuff. It's a game, after all--a great game that brings happiness to a lot of living rooms every night.

Walt Senterfitt Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: 63,101

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Linda Sheppard Hayward, CA

Current Town: Hayward, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: 39,700

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Diane Siegel
    Northridge, CA
  • David Tiemann
    Brunswick, ME
  • Fraser Woodford
    Lexington, KY

Diane Siegel Northridge, CA

Current Town: Northridge, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC 2005 Round 1 Tuesday, March 1
Total Winnings: $71,479

Since Appearance:

Since the UTOC in 2005 I have curated a museum exhibition on families, created a summer program for teens and families on local history, led an international non-profit that took me to Slovakia twice, and am currently writing a resource guide to encourage everyone in Los Angeles to draw and be creative.

Anecdote:

Everybody on the staff was extremely kind. I always felt that they wanted to help me feel and do my best. The food was delicious. I said this about it back in 2005: Jeopardy! craft services (food) was definitely a motivator. My appearances were all taped in one day. I never knew how many calories thinking could burn, until the end of the second show. I was starving. Being a local person I had been a "back up "contestant and had spent an entire day on the set on a previous day. I knew that lunch was delicious. I was determined I would win the third show because I wanted to get to eat. The losers just went home without lunch and I was hungry. I did win the third show and I remember getting to eat some delicious pasta. I guess that is what they mean when they tell competitors to "stay hungry!" Meeting and talking with the other contestants was very fun. They were all interesting and almost all were very friendly. That is all but one guy who said "Look there is no "Miss Congeniality" award here" in response to my chatting. But you know that was some of the best fun. I knew I might not win but I was determined to have a wonderful time and I did.

David Tiemann Brunswick, ME

Current Town: Brunswick, ME
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $39,000

Since Appearance:

working, enjoying life

Anecdote:

"What is Alex like?" "How did you get on the show?" For twenty years I have been an ambassador for Jeopardy! happily answering those questions and others, and telling my stories: how Alex talked with my five-year-old son in the studio audience during a commercial break; how I was contacted by a 'naturist' magazine because I talked about streaking during one of my anecdotes; how I didn't expect to be on the TOC because I was 'only' a three-game winner. As part of the interview process for my current job, I did a PowerPoint presentation on how to become a Jeopardy! contestant. Being on Jeopardy! has rippled out over the past twenty years and it's surprising how often the topic comes up. Just yesterday I talked with a woman who was on Jeopardy! as well. And we live in a relatively small city in Maine!

Fraser Woodford Lexington, KY

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $28,999

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

empty slot
empty slot
empty slot
1992
9

KIMBA WOOD WAS CONSIDERED FOR THIS CABINET POST BUT RAN AFOUL OF NANNYGATE

Reveal Response

WHAT IS (U.S.) ATTORNEY GENERAL?

Show Clue
  • Billy Baxter
    Richmond, VA
  • India Cooper
    Denver, CO
  • Kirk Ditzler
    Houston, TX
  • Frank Epstein
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Richard Kaplan
    Los Angeles, CA
  • John Kelly
    Austin, TX

Billy Baxter Richmond, VA

Current Town: Richmond, VA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $36,200

Since Appearance:

Quite a lot (as my first appearance was literally almost half a lifetime ago)! I am an attorney in Richmond, Virginia -- happily married with three very active kids, two frisky rescue litter puppies, and one thankfully mellow betafish. In the past three years, I have lost approximately 50-60 pounds, run my first marathon, watched my daughter endure 14 months of chemo for a brain tumor, and became a self-proclaimed expert on my outdoor grill.

Anecdote:

Last week, while wearing my Jeopardy! sweatshirt, I was in a fast food restaurant ordering. When I asked for gender-specific toys for my kids, a co-worker interrupted the cashier and stated that their toys were gender-neutral. The cashier glared at her and said, "This man is a Jeopardy! champion -- Show him some respect!" Needless to say, I got my chicken strips, french fries, and an extra helping of personal satisfaction!

India Cooper Denver, CO

Current Town: Madison, IN
Subsequent Appearances: Million Dollar Masters; UTOC
Total Winnings: $124,400

Since Appearance:

Still happily freelancing as a copy editor; even happier-ly, on books by Bob Harris and Tom Nissley. Moved from NYC to an 1848 house in Madison, IN, on the Ohio River: 13K people, 2 Jeopardy! champs. Kiva lender. Broncos fan.

Anecdote:

The best thing about my Jeopardy! experience is that I'm still having it, through so many friends I cherish from one day to the next. And the $$ have made so many things possible. 1992 TOC took me to England (twice) and let me at least try to 'make it' in NYC. M$M helped Fred and me pay for our PT Cruiser and put 100K+ joyful miles on it discovering all the Lower 48 together. UTOC $$ reassuringly cushion the prospect of senior citizenhood.

Kirk Ditzler Houston, TX

Current Town: Houston, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $43, 801

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Frank Epstein Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Burbank, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $79,400

Since Appearance:

I became a property owner with my winnings. Also,for a short time I seemed to become better looking. I guess TV does that to you.

Anecdote:

Aside from looks, charm, and, of course animal magnetism, let's not forget my blue collar appeal. Also, you don't want to be responsible for me holding my breath longer than is healthy...blue is not a good color for me, which is ironic for a police officer. I am getting close to retirement, and my employer would be glad to see the back of me, so you would be making a lot of people happy if I could retire early. Did I mention my wife is inordinately fond of shoes and purses? So you see, you would be making Vuitton and Choo happy too. Finally, I would like one more chance to say "See. I'm not as dumb as I look" and be able to back it up. Holding my breath now.....

Richard Kaplan Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $73,202

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

John Kelly Austin, TX

Current Town: Austin, TX
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $84,701

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • April McManus
    Woodbury, MN
  • Steve Newman
    Rockville, MD
  • Leszek Pawlowicz
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Leonard Schmidt
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Bruce Simmons
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Robert Slaven
    Yellowknife, NT

April McManus Woodbury, MN

Current Town: Hertfordshire, UK
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Steve Newman Rockville, MD

Current Town: Rockville, MD
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $125,202

Since Appearance:

My wife and I compete as a team at trivia contests several nights each week. We may be the only couple who have been banned from a bar for not drinking enough. Someone complained that the Jeopardy guy was winning too much. I have been also doing the usual things that ex Jeopardy contestants do; reading the Almanac and Wikipedia, and listening to books on tape as I sit in traffic during my commute to work. I have spent the years since my appearance helping my older son become a radiologist and my younger son become a nationally ranked tennis player and graduate from college. In addition I started a company in Northern Virginia called Simulyze, Inc. which produces software used by the United States military at bases around the world.

Anecdote:

What I remember most about my Jeopardy experience was the pounding of my heart the first time Johnny Gilbert introduced me as a Computer Consultant from Rockville, Md. and the rush of adrenaline that I felt when I won each of my five games. I used some of my winnings to take my family on car trips to all of the 48 contiguous states and several of the Canadian Provinces. These winnings allowed us to see the wonders of America from the Everglades of Florida to the Redwoods of California. We hiked the Grand Canyon and walked on the Athabasca Glacier. These were incredible memories which Jeopardy allowed me to share with my family. I used the rest of my winnings to start a software company called Simulyze, Inc. which has developed software products currently used by the US military to track aircraft, ships, and anything else that moves all over the world. My favorite anecdote about Jeopardy was when I was getting a security clearance and the government interviewer spent most of my interview asking me questions about Alex Trebek and what it was like to be on Jeopardy.

Leszek Pawlowicz Phoenix, AZ

Current Town: Flagstaff, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $180,400

Since Appearance:

When I was on Jeopardy, I was working as a materials scientist; now, I'm an archaeologist/mapper.

Anecdote:

Being on Jeopardy definitely changed the course of my entire life. It gave me the freedom to quit my previous job and career, and explore new options. Ultimately, that led me to a new vocation as an archaeologist.

Leonard Schmidt Pittsburgh, PA

Current Town: Pittsburgh, PA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Bruce Simmons Minneapolis, MN

Current Town: Portland, OR
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $73,599

Since Appearance:

When I was on Jeopardy! 21 years ago, I was in grad school in Minneapolis studying to be a theater director. I was thwarted by lack of talent, but fortunately I had my master's degree in math to fall back on. I moved from Minneapolis to Austin, TX, where I taught high school math for 12 years. Austin is where I came out as gay and where I met my husband. In 2006 he and I moved to Portland, OR. I now teach math at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, just outside of Portland. Teaching is definitely what I was meant to do. I love it. My biggest achievement is my math education website, www.mathwords.com. It first achieved 2 million pageviews in a month in May 2013, and it keeps getting more popular. I have traveled extensively over the decades, mostly in North America. In particular, I have visited 2,679 US counties and equivalents (that's 85.3%). My least-visited state is Michigan, and I look forward to a future trip exploring the lower peninsula.

Anecdote:

My biggest memory from Jeopardy! was the two-day final I played against Leszek Pawlowicz and Jerome Vered. I felt like I was playing at my very best, and I had to in order to keep up with those great competitors. My students are always excited to find out I was on Jeopardy!, and sometimes they are able to find videos of my TOC final online. The most common first reaction these days is that I looked impossibly young and that I had a lot of hair. In a weird way, Jeopardy! made it possible for me to start my math teaching career. I had studied quite a bit of math, but I thought I would not ever go back to it. I was in grad school studying to be a theater director. My winnings gave me the freedom to pursue a low-wage or no-wage professional theater internship to jump-start my directing career. I dragged my feet about following through. I came to realize that this was not really the career for me. I finally realized that teaching math was what I really wanted to do.

Robert Slaven Yellowknife, NT

Current Town: Goodyear, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: Tenth Anniversary, 1993 - UTOC, 2005
Total Winnings: $129,403

Since Appearance:

In 2008 I decided to change careers and become an actuary. I was hired by a big US health insurance firm and moved to Ventura County outside of L.A. Last December I got a new job, this time in Phoenix.

Anecdote:

What I remember most is the other contestants. They are all great people, and I'm honoured to know them. That includes all the other champions I didn't meet on the show but have since met online and elsewhere. My initial winnings bought me an engagement ring and a snowmobile; I proposed to my wife Linn-Marie after a snowmobile ride on Great Slave Lake under the Northern Lights while my shows were airing soon after that, and we've just had our 21st anniversary. My UTOC winnings helped us buy a house. Being a J! champ has been amazing. As my son put it in his wedding speech (he got married in August 2012), he thanked me for ensuring that he always has an icebreaker for conversations or parties. And I'm sure my experience has also helped in one or more job interviews.

  • Jerome Vered
    Studio City, CA
  • Dave Willis
    Ventura, CA
  • Phil Yellman
    Albuquerque, NM

Jerome Vered Studio City, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UToC
Total Winnings: $496,602

Since Appearance:

Been living in Los Angeles. Traveling a little bit. blogging a bit about ethnic restaurants. How about you?

Anecdote:

Certainly. I'm always introduced that way, i.e., as a Jeopardy! champion. Some funny anecdotes in New York during the UToC? Trying to buy a ticket at TKTS, couldn't decide between American Ballet Theater and Jackie Mason. The manager behind was wondering who the hell can't decide between these two. He came up to the window saw me and said, hey you're that guy on Jeopardy. Dont' tell me what happens, I haven't seen yesterday's game yet. Once, was at a friend's house - she was having a party and a guy walks im and says - "I challenge everyone here to a game of Trivial Pursuit, and just to be fair," he added, "I'm a two -time winner on Jeopardy!." So I whispered to everyone around me , "don't say anything; let's play." I've never won a game so fast in all my life. About six months before the UToC, I went by the Steinway shop which was having a sale. Grand pianos. And I played quite a few of them in the room and fell in love with one of them. So I asked the gentleman the price. He told me and I couldn't afford it. But I wrote down the serial number. Within a year, I had won my money in the UToC and could afford the piano, so I sauntered back there. I gave the salesman the serial number, but the piano wasn't there. They were wondering what happened, and looked it up. One guy remembered that they had shipped it to France. Why, U2's The Edge had also faalen in love with "my" piano. So I bought a different one (disappointed but feeling at least the Edge and I agree on ONE thing). Also, I've become very close friends with some of the other champions from the show - have been to DC to help out with Dave Madden's bowl. While there, at the Hirschhorn, I ran into a woman from California. She and her husband lived in Berkeley. One part of the story led to another, and she said that she cut the hair of a big Jeopardy champion. "Who?" I asked. "Dan Melia." "Oh, I beat him in the quarterfinals of the Ultimate Tournament. Let's take a picture." She showed it to Dan the next time he came in for a haircut.. Am I memorable? Eight years after I first played, I spoke with Terry McDonnell, former head writer who was no longer on the show. This was in 1999. We chatted a little about the show, and I said that I still I thought I was right about a question I had disputed in the finals of my ToC. Terry flew into a little rage and yelled, (without prompting on what the question was) "NO NO NO VINTNER is Right - VINTAGE is wrong. WRONG!" This was one question in one game eight years before and he still remembered it. Wow. I do have some fond memories of playing - besides the moustache photo (ask Maggie) when there were six of us getting ready for the finals in the UToC (plus April McManus), I had won the first of the elimination double games. So I said to the others - "Let's all go out to dinner afterwards. And whoever else wins, what do you say that we split the check for all seven of us?". Brad Rutter was the first to chime in that he would, but everyone was game. And dinner that night was really fun, for me at least, and I hope for them as well. Seriously, rarely do three days go by that I don't have some contact in real life with some player I knew through Jeopardy, and a day doesn't go by without that connection on social media.

Dave Willis Ventura, CA

Current Town: Ventura, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $58,001

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Phil Yellman Albuquerque, NM

Current Town: San Diego, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $129,201

Since Appearance:

After my five regular season shows (and one and done TOC appearance) in 1992 I used some of my winnings to travel, including a three month journey through Mexico in 1994 that went through twenty-three states and the Federal District. Since 1992 I have worked in the legal support field, handling court filings and other litigation related paperwork and communications. After winning two games in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005, I used some of that money to relocate from Seattle to San Diego, where I still live. Right now I'm working part time doing legal support work but at a somewhat reduced pace. After all I'm OLD (I'll turn 65 at the end of July), and I'd like to prove that someone in my demographic can still compete at a high level.

Anecdote:

Over the years since 1992 I've had lots of conversations with lots of people about the show. Some of the best conversations were with huge Jeopardy! fans (one of whom I met in a bar in Tijuana) who wanted to know what a contestant experiences and especially the nuts and bolts of what happens on stage, and of course to pose the question "What's Alex really like?" Not too long after moving to San Diego, I got a job with a fairly small but very successful law firm where I worked for five years as a legal assistant. When I started with the firm, a woman who works there as a paralegal said: "I recognize you. You're Phil from Jeopardy!" Not a bad way to be known.

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1991
8

IN SEPTEMBER THIS "LONG ISLAND LOLITA" PLEADED GUILTY TO SHOOTING MARY JO BUTTAFUOCO

Reveal Response

WHO WAS AMY FISHER?

Show Clue
  • Mark Born
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Sara Cox
    Bangor, ME
  • Leslie Frates
    Hayward, CA
  • Scott Gillispie
    Atlanta, GA
  • Tom Halpern
    New York, NY
  • Bruce Ikawa
    Indianapolis, IN

Mark Born Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $82,899

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Sara Cox Bangor, ME

Current Town: Bangor, ME
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $61,000

Since Appearance:

I continued to teach second grade until my retirement in 2010. These days I volunteer at my former school, work at a food cupboard, and help with meals at a local shelter for the homeless.

Anecdote:

Amazingly, a few years after my appearances, I got to meet a person whose name was one of my Final Jeopardy questions. I was presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother at the Sandringham Flower Show in Norfolk, England. Thank goodness, I had remembered that she had been born Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and so so was able to come up with the right question!

Leslie Frates Hayward, CA

Current Town: Hayward, CA
Subsequent Appearances: 10th Anniversary Tournament, Battle of the Bay Area Brains, Million Dollar Masters, UTOC
Total Winnings: $98,599

Since Appearance:

Retired from Cal State Hayward 12/09. Co-wrote a Spanish word puzzle book (Spanish Word Games for Dummies). Helped develop Spanish and French word games (online and for iPhone). Presented over 100 speeches to talk about being a Jeopardy contestant. Participated in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament 2007-2010 in New York. Visited Italy in 2006 for 25th wedding anniversary.

Anecdote:

My winnings went toward my son's college fund, and he was able to finish graduate school debt-free. We also added on to our home and bought our first new car in 18 years. I have met countless wonderful people during my speaking engagements all around the Bay Area--everyone loves Jeopardy. I was recruited to be the emcee at our local library's annual Trivia Bee to raise money to buy books and help adults learn to read--I've had the honor of doing it every year for 19 years! Best of all, with the other contestants I met, I found others in this world whose brains worked like mine and who were interested in the same things as I was, something I never experienced prior to going on the show. I've made life-long friends with them! My life is richer in every way possible because of my participation on the program.

Scott Gillispie Atlanta, GA

Current Town: Atlanta, GA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC, 1st and 2nd Rounds
Total Winnings: $57,400

Since Appearance:

Professionally, I develop and explain project management processes; personally, I am married, have a son and a daughter, and my passion right now is being my son's Cub Scout den leader.

Anecdote:

My original winnings went mainly to my masters degree, and the last bit of it to pay for my honeymoon. The money from the Ultimate Tournament (which I got the invite to on the day we told my in-laws that my wife was expecting our son) nicely took care of a bunch of expenses for the kids.

Tom Halpern New York, NY

Current Town: Glendale, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $69,602

Since Appearance:

Since the UTOC in 2005, I have been practicing tax law in Los Angeles, hiking a lot in our local mountains, and cheerign on my wife, Lucy, in the outstanding theatrical productions she has written and performed in.

Anecdote:

My wife, Lucy, and I used some of the winnings to join members of our two families at an unusual gathering. Lucy, her brother, Sam (from Columbus, Ohio), my parents and I flew from the United States to Ireland to join up with Lucy and Sam's mother and stepfather, who flew in from Australia for an exhibition of their stepfather's paintings. Lucy, Sam and their mother are Chinese, their stepfather is Australian of English ancestry, and my family is Jewish -- none of us is Irish -- but Dublin was a perfect venue for our cross-cultural family reunion.

Bruce Ikawa Indianapolis, IN

Current Town: Hillsdale, MI
Subsequent Appearances: Ultimate TOC
Total Winnings: $86,619

Since Appearance:

Besides gaining a lot of weight and losing hair, I've enjoyed the life of being a professor at a small college. I've traveled a lot and sometimes combine trips with activities like snorkeling and birdwatching. I confess to occasional vices like gluttony and gambling and this January became probably the oldest person barred from a casino for card counting.

Anecdote:

I just saw Alex and Rocky on the Turner Classic Movies cruise. After my appearance I met Leontyne Price and was able to tell her that I answered a question about her. (she said she's a fan) Although it's been more than twenty years since I first appeared on the show, I'm still frequently introduced as a "5 time Jeopardy champion".

  • Jonathan Jacobs
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Lois Kurowski
    Elkhart, IN
  • John LeDonne
    Arlington, MA
  • Mark Pestronk
    Washington, DC
  • Lou Pryor
    New Canaan, CT
  • Steve Robin
    Scottsdale, AZ

Jonathan Jacobs Philadelphia, PA

Current Town: Piedmont, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $66,200

Since Appearance:

"Racing with the rats" while shepherding my kids to adulthood - my daughter (a year old when I first taped) now has a "real" job in Washington DC and my son (born a few months after my ToC appearance) is finishing his third year in college. Since 2000 I have been a consultant in the electricity business; I have worked with clients across the world from San Diego to South Africa.

Anecdote:

After I passed the audition in Washington, but before I appeared, I got a job offer in San Francisco, where housing prices are high and where my wife would probably not have been able to get a job like the one she would be leaving. She only agreed to move if I promised to do well on Jeopardy - and I did: people know we live in "the house Jeopardy bought". People have always been interested in talking about it, even twenty years later; I encourage them all to try out and I offer advice on the audition and on buzzer use. One recently made it on to the Teachers Tournament. Just a couple of weeks ago a local celebrity stopped me on the street to ask "Is it true you were on Jeopardy?" I guess that makes me a local celebrity too. Having been on Jeopardy has given me a certain poise and panache, it's still good for party conversation and it looks cool on a resume.

Lois Kurowski Elkhart, IN

Current Town: Elkhart, IN
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $57,500

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

John LeDonne Arlington, MA

Current Town: Concord, NH
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $55,200

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Mark Pestronk Washington, DC

Current Town: Nashville, TN
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $56,698

Since Appearance:

Still practicing travel law, representing travel companies nationwide and worldwide in travel-business matters, and speaking frequently at travel-industry events. Still writing the weekly legal advice column for the newspaper of record in the travel industry. Remarried six years after Jeopardy! My wife is a travel agency owner, and we spend several months each year traveling the world. Living in Nashville, where I have acquired a love of country music - which I would have never thought possible. We purchased a home in Puerto Vallarta and spend some time there, where I am able to stay fluent in Spanish as my second language. Two grown sons, Matt and Mike, and two grandsons, Max and Zac. The best part of life is tumbling with the grandsons. Enjoying life to the fullest at age 65.

Anecdote:

When my future wife sat patiently through all seven of my Jeopardy! appearances, I knew she was the one for me! Friends told me that they had seen me in the Jeopardy! scene in Groundhog Day, and I didn't believe them until I saw it for myself! My brothers are still trying to beat me at the Jeopardy home games we play at family get-togethers. Prospective law clients say, "I saw your website, and I was very impressed that you were a big winner on Jeopardy! You must be a very smart guy."

Lou Pryor New Canaan, CT

Current Town: New Canaan, CT
Subsequent Appearances: Tournament of Champions
Total Winnings: $36,000.approx.

Since Appearance:

Practicing law until Retired

Anecdote:

Thrilling , Exciting. Too many to relate here. Paid down our Daughter's wedding and more. Calls and letters from old friends , Notoriety unexpected

Steve Robin Scottsdale, AZ

Current Town: Miami, FL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $51,901

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Jim Scott
    Columbia, MD
  • Andy Westney
    Atlanta, GA
  • Lynne Wexler
    Evanston, IL

Jim Scott Columbia, MD

Current Town: Arlington, VA
Subsequent Appearances: Ultimate Tournament of Champions
Total Winnings: $154,300 and Rice a Roni

Since Appearance:

Well, more than half of my life has passed since I first appeared. Most notably, I've gone to law school at the nations oldest law school in Williamsburg, Virginia, and since then have practiced law in the Washington, DC area for 15 years. I live in Arlington, Virginia with my dog Mabel.

Anecdote:

YES!!! When the movie Groundhog Day was produced, my semifinal appearance in the 1991 Tournament of Champions was selected for the scene where Bill Murray is providing "questions" for the "answers" in the Lakes and Rivers category. I appear, much younger, with more hair, and with very outdated glasses, providing "questions" about Lake Titicaca, Lake Baikal, the Finger Lakes and the Rhone River.

Andy Westney Atlanta, GA

Current Town: Charlotte, NC
Subsequent Appearances: 2005 UTOC
Total Winnings: $31,000

Since Appearance:

I worked as a paralegal while studying opera and theater in New York, then went to grad school for my M.A. in Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill (fulfilling my career goal from my conversation with Alex in '91!) and now work as a staff writer for SportsBusiness Daily, a website based in Charlotte.

Anecdote:

Without a doubt, I remember most keeping my teen win secret from all but immediate family. Pulling that off despite relentless questioning felt like a movie caper, a confidence game. That probably had as much to do with my love of acting as anything. Biggest effect: Being a Jeopardy champion means never backing down from bar trivia. I first met my wife on trivia night in an Atlanta bar; my Jeopardy past just might have been mentioned. We've been happily married for 3 years, so there's something to be said for the romantic mystique of a Jeopardy title...

Lynne Wexler Evanston, IL

Current Town: Evanston, IL
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $76,001

Since Appearance:

Finished my career as a high school librarian. Major heart surgery, beginning of 2008; went back to work through school year 2010. Take some geezer classes: science, Shakespeare. Travel a little. Continue in major tv fandom (still original Beauty and the Beast, eg. Remember my Ron Perlman/Vincent buttons?).

Anecdote:

My 15 minutes lasted several years; continued being recognized -- very gratifying. Got my condo with the money, which has affected the rest of my life in the best possible way. My only fear was that the rest of life would be downhill from there, but it hasn't!

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1990
7

GERMANY'S UPPER HOUSE, THE BUNDESRAT, VOTED TO REMAIN IN THIS CITY & NOT TO MOVE TO BERLIN

Reveal Response

WHAT IS BONN?

Show Clue
  • Jeff Bandman
    New York, NY
  • Steve Berman
    Palms River, NJ
  • Andrew Bernknopf
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Bob Blake
    Vancouver, BC
  • Lisa Guay
    Champlain, NY
  • Dan Katz
    Baltimore, MD

Jeff Bandman New York, NY

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $44,501

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Steve Berman Palms River, NJ

Current Town: Santa Monica, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $87,101

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

My first show aired on my best friend's birthday. My fifth show aired on my birthday.

Andrew Bernknopf Pittsburgh, PA

Current Town: Santa Monica, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $39,200

Since Appearance:

International Tax Lawyer. Went back to school (NYU) to study tax law. Married and started a family -- two young kids.

Anecdote:

It got me a few dates at the time. Later, I realized that my Jeopardy abilities translated very well to the practice of tax law. (Study and recall of dense and arcane material.) I'm a Yale and Harvard graduate, but when people hear that I'm a Jeopardy champ they say, "Oh, you must be smart!"

Bob Blake Vancouver, BC

Current Town: Vancouver, BC
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy!, UTOC
Total Winnings: $197,201

Since Appearance:

I retired in 2005. I have travelled extensively (over 50 countries), mostly cruises (on one of which we were attacked by pirates), but other journeys as well. We have spent the winters at various places in Mexico since retirement. I volunteer as a reader in a facility at the University of BC where textbooks are recorded for the blind and visually impaired. I enjoy duplicate bridge.

Anecdote:

Invited to participate but declined due to conflicts with international travel

Lisa Guay Champlain, NY

Current Town: Champlain, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $42,600

Since Appearance:

Raising a special needs child and volunteering at her school until 2012. For 15 years, I wrote the questions and assembled games for Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County's annual fundraiser "The Literacy Challenge".

Anecdote:

I remember terror and sweaty palms. Spent the winnings on a porch for our home, paid off bills, and increased our book budget. Due to the air date, it took twice as long to do the Christmas shopping, because total strangers would stop me and ask what it was like to be on Jeopardy! Even now, I always have a conversation starter if necessary.

Dan Katz Baltimore, MD

Current Town: Owings Mills, MD
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $48,803

Since Appearance:

Still practicing law, recently remarried, still love the Orioles and Ravens, and going to even more Springsteen concerts (recently hit the big 40 - concerts, not age)!

Anecdote:

What I remember most about the experience is my amazement that I won. My favorite story was that, when prepping for my appearance, I was reading the World Almanac and saw that an actress named Luise Rainer (who I hadn't really heard of) won consecutive Oscars in the 30s. In my first game I was trailing going into FJ and the category was Academy Awards - the answer was something like "one of two women to win two best actress oscars in the 1930s." I was the only person to get it, won the game, and everything else followed. The winnings paid for finishing my basement, a ring for my first wife, a big screen TV (27" - it was 1990, after all), and money for my daughter's education. Decades later, people still always bring up my appearances, and I know it will be in my obituary when I go.

  • Erik Larsen
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Larry McKnight
    Ventura, CA
  • Richard Neale
    Concord, CA
  • George Soule
    N/A
  • Frank Spangenberg
    Flushing, NY
  • Eric Terzuolo
    Washington, DC

Erik Larsen Ann Arbor, MI

Current Town: Jacksonville, FL
Subsequent Appearances: Ultimate TOC
Total Winnings: $64,500

Since Appearance:

At the time of my last appearance in 2005, I was working on organizing the professional employees of the City of Jacksonville. We won the representation election, and I've since been elected a vice-president of the union which now represents myself and my colleagues. I've taken a few trips to England and have made several good friends on that side of the pond, including one of the "Hill's Angels" dancers from "The Benny Hill Show." I've also become a national-level amateur-boxing official, and have officiated quite a few tournaments at that level, including both the Men's and Women's National Golden Gloves. I have a couple of funny stories about my boxing experiences, but I'll save those to tell Alex on taping day.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! has had a big impact on my life. I used the winnings from my original appearance to help pay for my Master's degree, and my appearance fee for the Ultimate Tournament of Champions went toward the down payment on the condo in which I now live. On the date my Ultimate Tournament of Champions episode aired, while the final credits were rolling, my phone rang. It was a local person, someone I didn't know, who'd watched the episode, gotten my name out of the phone book, and called me up to congratulate me and say that I'd done a good job of representing Jacksonville. Hopefully I'll have a chance to do so again.

Larry McKnight Ventura, CA

Current Town: Ventura, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $60,901

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Richard Neale Concord, CA

Current Town: Concord, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $56,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

George Soule N/A

Current Town: N/A
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Frank Spangenberg Flushing, NY

Current Town: Douglaston, NY
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy; 10th Anniversary Tournament; Million Dollar Masters; UTOC
Total Winnings: $269,596

Since Appearance:

Well, I'm still a cop, I still have a mustache, and I'm still tall... In addition, since my last appearance in the UTOC in 2005, I earned a master's in Public Administration from Harvard, and I am now completing a doctorate in Criminal Justice at John Jay. I am now working in the Traffic Enforcement District of the NYPD, which while interesting is usually quiet -- although I did once have to do a vehicle pursuit of a runaway horse for two miles through Harlem (and if you bring me back, you can hear all about it!)

Anecdote:

The biggest effect Jeopardy has had is that I can no longer be anonymous. People in NYC constantly say "Hey, you're Frank Spangenberg from Jeopardy" -- and when I ask them if they remember me from UTOC in 2005, they tell me that they in fact remember me from my first appearance in 1990. In addition, being a Jeopardy champion has made me a sort of go-to "reference book" for everyone I work with. I even had the Police Commissioner come up to me at a completely unrelated event in order to ask me where the country of Sao Tome was, because he had just met someone who claimed to be from Sao Tome, and he wanted to know if it really existed... As for Jeopardy memories, I am afraid that I can't forget what happened at the UTOC. I had the bright idea that the quarter final winners should take the losers out to dinner. We ended up at a seafood restaurant, and two of us had salmon -- which turned out to be spoiled. I woke up the next morning desperately sick with food poisoning (and all that goes with it), which rather throws you off your best game, and lost to Jerome Vered. I have not eaten salmon since... I also remember riding in the van as the alternate to the taping of the finals of the UTOC with Jerome, Brad, and Ken, and joking that they needed to relax, because they all looked like prisoners in the tumbril on the way to the guillotine. Sure enough, during the first game, an answer towards the end of the round was "The French farm cart in which prisoners were taken to the guillotine" (correct question being "What is a tumbril?") -- and all three stood there like deer in the headlights, and no one rang in!! On their way out, they turned to me sitting alone up in the audience, and said, "Wait a minute - didn't you just say that?" Even for the best players, Jeopardy can be like that...

Eric Terzuolo Washington, DC

Current Town: Rome
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $64,302

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Michael Thayer
    North Plainsfield, NJ
  • Jamie Weiss
    St. Louis, MO
  • Elaine Zollner
    Los Angeles, CA

Michael Thayer North Plainsfield, NJ

Current Town: North Plainsfield, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Jamie Weiss St. Louis, MO

Current Town: St. Louis, MO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $26,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Elaine Zollner Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Glendale, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $58,800

Since Appearance:

I continue to work in the Los Angeles area as a physician, and am married to my wonderful husband, Jim Hagar. We have raised a son, who has just completed his first year of college. And, of course, I continue to watch Jeopardy! daily.

Anecdote:

What I remember most is just how much fun it was, and how competitive I felt and became the moment the game began. What suprised me is how the experience lives on - more than 20 years later, people at work still introduce me saying "she was a Jeopardy champion" and my patients not infrequently say "I heard you were on Jeopardy" or "I remember seeing you on Jeopardy". By the way, Jeopardy champion = good, smart doctor

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1989
6

IN MARCH CAPT. JOSEPH HAZELWOOD WAS ACQUITTED OF THE MAJOR CHARGES IN THE GROUNDING OF THIS SHIP

Reveal Response

WHAT IS THE EXXON VALDEZ?

Show Clue
  • Cathy Boggs
    Appleton, WI
  • Bruce Cox
    Lakeside, CA
  • Tom Cubbage
    Oklahoma City, OK
  • Rich Lerner
    American Samoa
  • Peggi Malys
    Orlando, FL
  • Mark McDermott
    Schaller, IA

Cathy Boggs Appleton, WI

Current Town: Santa Barbara, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy! in July, 1990
Total Winnings: $49,200

Since Appearance:

I went to grad school and earned a Ph.D. in communication; taught at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA; worked in administrative positions in three research centers at UC Santa Barbara dealing with traditional and new media, and with nanotechnology in society; lived in Germany for a year, and traveled internationally to Japan, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, and around Western Europe; dealt with my own and family members' health challenges

Anecdote:

Being with the other contestants in the Tournament of Champions was the first and only time in my life I was in a group of people who all thought like I do! I used my winnings to help pay for grad school. My experience on the show was very useful when I taught college communication courses, as I was able to tell anecdotes about the Jeopardy! staff's management of contestants to illustrate principles of small group communication. The students were much more impressed by my having been a Jeopardy! champion than by my degree or other experience. My Jeopardy! experience is still the first thing friends mention when they introduce me to new people.

Bruce Cox Lakeside, CA

Current Town: Lakeside, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $44,900

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Tom Cubbage Oklahoma City, OK

Current Town: Arlington, VA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy (1990); UTOC (2005)
Total Winnings: $136,600

Since Appearance:

After the TOC, I finished law school and got married. Now I'm raising 5 kids with my wife of 21 years. We lived for a few years in my native state of Oklahoma, but now we live in Arlington, Virginia.

Anecdote:

I must be the only TOC winner who tried out for Jeopardy! in a tent on the beach in Daytona during Spring Break. I had driven there from Texas and serendipitously found Jeopardy! auditioning contestants for the first College Tournament. Winning the TOC while still a (law) student at a very big state university (Texas@Austin) was fun because I went from being anonymous on campus to being a celebrity overnight. But when I met my future wife a year later it turned out she had not seen the shows. I used my College tourney prize money to finance a post-graduation, Eurail Pass backpacking trip around Europe. The TOC money provided the down payment for the house my wife and I bought just weeks after marrying and months after I graduated from law school. When shown videos of those 1989 tournament appearances, my kids scarcely recognize that 22 year-old contestant as their dad. None of them was born when I was in the TOC. When I met Arthur Phillips in the UTOC green room in 2005 I had no idea he was "the" best-selling AUTHOR Arthur Phillips. He, of course, was too modest to make it known himself. I felt pretty stupid when I finally figured that out.

Rich Lerner American Samoa

Current Town: Silver Spring, MD
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy!
Total Winnings: $61,290

Since Appearance:

I was living in American Samoa during the taping of the Tournament of Champions and my daughter was born there, 8 days after the finals of the Tournament aired on the mainland in November 1989. In 1992, my family and I returned to Silver Spring and my son was born in 1993. I left the private practice of law and went to work for the federal government in 1995. I spent many years coaching my kids' basketball and baseball teams. I continue to enjoy travel and playing basketball. My daughter will marry this summer and my son will study in Cape Town South Africa this fall. (I wonder if Jeopardy is on in South Africa?)

Anecdote:

My winnings from my original appearances allowed me to quit my job and move to the South Pacific. It also gave me enough of a financial cushion that I was able to leave the private practice of law after my return and to work in public service for the US government. About ten years after I was on Jeopardy!, I was having lunch in Washington when who should be seated at the table next to me? None other than Tom Cubbage, the opponent who beat me in the finals of the Tournament of Champions!

Peggi Malys Orlando, FL

Current Town: Dunwoody, GA
Subsequent Appearances: SuperJeopardy! 1990
Total Winnings: $46,800

Since Appearance:

After graduating from medical school in 1991, I trained as a dermatologist and practiced until 2004. Since then I have been staying home to raise my three children.

Anecdote:

In 2006 we moved and started carpooling with a family down the street. I found out the husband had been on Jeopardy! as well and was a two-day winner. He now laments that he went from being the only person most of his friends know who had been on Jeopardy! to not even being the big winner in his carpool!

Mark McDermott Schaller, IA

Current Town: Downer's Grove, IL
Subsequent Appearances: 1993 10th Anniversary Tournament
Total Winnings: $52,800

Since Appearance:

I got married to my wonder wife, Barbara in 1998. We adopted a boy from Russia in 2004, then in 2008 we were pleasantly surprised with the birth of a baby girl. I worked as a Desktop Publisher and print specialist for RR Donnelley and am now doing contract work in that field. I have been blogging about Chicago's craft beer scene since 2009. I have written essay for scholarly books on popular culture topics, including Captain America, Marvel Zombies, Spider-Man music albums, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, and James Bond movie themes. I had a brief stint on a college radio station last year called "Musical Cheese," where I would actually play fgreat and oddball records from the past three centuries.

Anecdote:

I put the winnings into a coop housing unit that we have since moved on from, and a fancy computer that is now a doorstop. I was able to travel to Germany with my parents to visit my brother in the Army. I could tell when my J! appearances had repeated on Game Show Network, because there would always be one stranger who would, years, later, ask, "Didn't I see you on Jeopardy!"? Best of all, my wife tells me she decided she wanted to be with me after she saw the tape of my appearance, because I looked so assured and interesting!

  • Eric Newhouse
    Dakota Dunes, SD
  • Ouida Rellstab
    N/A
  • Jeff Richmond
    West Hollywood, CA
  • Joel Sacks
    Columbia, MD
  • Chris Shea
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Yael Sofaer
    Sleepy Hallow, NY

Eric Newhouse Dakota Dunes, SD

Current Town: Dakota Dunes, SD
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $28,110

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Ouida Rellstab N/A

Current Town: N/A
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

No information available

Jeff Richmond West Hollywood, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy!; UTOC
Total Winnings: $102,602

Since Appearance:

I've spent quite a bit of time since my appearances trying to convince people that they actually happened. I had a house fire that destroyed all my recordings, so except for the top winners' list on the Jeopardy! website and a few other mentions on other sites, there's not a lot of evidence to back me up!

Anecdote:

I'm in the very small club of people who've played Final Jeopardy alone (and pretty sure I'm the only person who did that in the UTOC).

Joel Sacks Columbia, MD

Current Town: Columbia, MD
Subsequent Appearances: Sadly, none
Total Winnings: $50,000 give or take

Since Appearance:

Heading down the path to impoverishment thanks to putting my children through college.

Anecdote:

Most memorable Jeopardy experience - Eating at a Italian restaurant recommended by Glen after taping where Jack LaLanne was at next table and serenaded my mother & mother-in-law. Winnings - Went to downpayment on first house (and we all know how well real estate has been doing of late). Effect of being on Jeopardy - Allowed me to deceive friends into thinking I'm far more intelligent than I really am.

Chris Shea Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $35,202

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Yael Sofaer Sleepy Hallow, NY

Current Town: Sleepy Hollow, NY
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy (1990)
Total Winnings: $54,346

Since Appearance:

More recently, working on a PhD in philosophy.

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Jim Tompkins-Maclaine
    Studio City, CA
  • Cigus Vanni
    South Amboy, NJ
  • Brian Wangsgard
    Ogden, UT

Jim Tompkins-Maclaine Studio City, CA

Current Town: San Diego, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $42,002

Since Appearance:

Teaching voice, singing all over the world, conducting musicals.

Anecdote:

When I taped the Tournament of Champions, I missed a question in musical instruments: Amati made his violins in this Italian city. The answer was Cremona, I guess Milan. I usually do a crossword puzzle before I go to bed, but the night before the taping, I decided to forego the puzzle. The night of the taping, I did my crossword puzzle. The clue for 5 across was - Nicolo of Cremona. The answer was AMATI! If I had done the puzzle I would have gotten the answer!

Cigus Vanni South Amboy, NJ

Current Town: Bala Cynwyd, PA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $45,400

Since Appearance:

serving young people and their families by providing meaningful information and caring attention regarding college search and selection--and eating lots of Swedish fish

Anecdote:

being able to thank my first grade teacher on national TV was a thrill; being a Jeopardy champ has given me a nice "in" with the young people I serve

Brian Wangsgard Ogden, UT

Current Town: Salt Lake City, UT
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy, UTOC
Total Winnings: $79,898

Since Appearance:

Changed careers--became a consultant to pharmaceutical companies and worked with 30+ companies across the US and in 9 European countries. Lived for a time in Sweden, England, and Scotland. Retired in 2010. Have served an 18-month church mission in Canada with my wife. By the time of the tournament, we will relocate in Boston for a time to be near our youngest son and his family.

Anecdote:

During the TOC "open mike" session, I mentioned a good friend who was unable to attend the taping because he was very ill. After the show aired, many of his friends who had not known of his illness called from around the country to wish him well. He died shortly after that, grateful to have reconnected with friends. During the TOC finals, the staff noticed my wife and four children (aged 8-16) in the audience and told them that if I won, they would bring them on stage--the first and only time (even since, so far as I know) that such a thing was considered on JEOPARDY! Alas, I bungled it, and they missed a shot at amazing their friends.

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1988
5

PLAYING FOR THE TEXAS RANGERS THIS MAN BECAME THE FIRST PITCHER TO STRIKE OUT 5,000 BATTERS

Reveal Response

WHO IS NOLAN RYAN??

Show Clue
  • Michael Block
    Summit, NJ
  • Barbara-Anne Eddy
    Vancouver, BC
  • Sandra Gore
    Boston, MA
  • Leah Greenwald
    Cambridge, MA
  • Roy Holliday
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Peggy Kennedy
    Menands, NY

Michael Block Summit, NJ

Current Town: Summit, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: None since TOC.
Total Winnings: $57,000

Since Appearance:

In 1988 I was working as a freelance researcher, an occupation I continued until 1996. I then accepted a position as a clerk/call centre operator with the Canadian passport office, a position I will have until the end of June, when I retire. I've also enjoyed travelling, especially to Great Britain and Malta.

Anecdote:

I'm still amazed that people remember seeing me on Jeopardy! and ask me, "when will you be on again?" I remember most how much I enjoyed interacting with the other contestants and the wonderful care the contestant co-ordinators and staff gave us. My winnings allowed me to continue to work as a researcher, a job I really enjoyed but which didn't pay very well. I also had more opportunity to travel, visiting Britain every few years with my best friend and her husband, who escorted theatre tours. My Jeopardy! appearances have definitely been life-changing, and I have recommended to a number of my friends that they take the online test; some actually have!

Barbara-Anne Eddy Vancouver, BC

Current Town: Vancouver, BC
Subsequent Appearances: 2005 Ultimate Tournament
Total Winnings: $57,000

Since Appearance:

In 1988 I was working as a freelance researcher, an occupation I continued until 1996. I then accepted a position as a clerk/call centre operator with the Canadian passport office, a position I will have until the end of June, when I retire. I've also enjoyed travelling, especially to Great Britain and Malta.

Anecdote:

I'm still amazed that people remember seeing me on Jeopardy! and ask me, "when will you be on again?" I remember most how much I enjoyed interacting with the other contestants and the wonderful care the contestant co-ordinators and staff gave us. My winnings allowed me to continue to work as a researcher, a job I really enjoyed but which didn't pay very well. I also had more opportunity to travel, visiting Britain every few years with my best friend and her husband, who escorted theatre tours. My Jeopardy! appearances have definitely been life-changing, and I have recommended to a number of my friends that they take the online test; some actually have!

Sandra Gore Boston, MA

Current Town: Berkeley, CA
Subsequent Appearances: SuperJeopardy, Ultimate TOC
Total Winnings: $79,000-ish

Since Appearance:

Got married, moved to SF Bay area, still working as PI

Anecdote:

It was WONDERFUL! A whole new group of young people I work with are absolutely amazed that I was on the show and did so well. I made enough to be able to move to California from East Coast!

Leah Greenwald Cambridge, MA

Current Town: Lexington, MA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy, UTOC
Total Winnings: $121,602 (games won + runner-ups)

Since Appearance:

Since the 1988 TOC: had triplets in October 1989. Continued to work as a residential architect; have had my own practice since 2006. Started a book group in 2008 which reads and discusses fiction, often the great classics I slithered out of reading in high school and college. I've revived an old childhood hobby: playing with food. It's been a good and fortunate quarter-century.

Anecdote:

The extraordinary adrenaline rush and feel of being in an altered state are what I remember most from my Jeopardy! appearances. My winnings helped pay for a house and tuition for my kids. And I've met wonderful fellow-contestants. Being a Jeopardy! champ gave me a chance to make use of the one unusual thing about me: my sticky memory, which retains information that interested me when I learned it. And, especially after my 5-time initial appearance, I learned how it feels to be a little bit of a celebrity; ever since then, I've felt empathy for people who are recognized and approached by strangers, stared at when out in public, and who notice when the attention dies down.

Roy Holliday Brooklyn, NY

Current Town: Nyack, NY
Subsequent Appearances: Tenth Anniversary & UTOC
Total Winnings: $72,200

Since Appearance:

Much the same as when I first appeared -- Still a practicing physician who spends as much time at the opera/ song recitals/ Broadway as my schedule allows

Anecdote:

For years after I first appeared, people I met would tilt their heads to one side and ask "Don't I know you?" All I needed to say was "Southern Authors" -- the last category on my sprint to win show #5 -- and they knew!!! What I did with money? Paid off my medical school student loans! ($57, 200 was a LOT of money in 1988!!) And with the moneys from subsequent appearances? Paris Paris & Paris!!! Effect on Life? As a Jeopardy champ, people thought I must know EVERYTHING. Fortunately Google arrived to take the place of "Let's Ask Roy"

Peggy Kennedy Menands, NY

Current Town: N/A
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $25,000

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

  • Stephen Lebowitz
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Mark Lowenthal
    Reston, VA
  • Bruce Naegeli
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Richard Perez-Pena
    Cuba
  • Steven Popper
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Michael Rankins
    Rohnert Park, CA

Stephen Lebowitz Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Pasadena, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $51,000

Since Appearance:

I have been continuing my professional career as a Cardiologist in Los Angeles. I married, then divorced, and met the love of my life in 2000, on September 11, one year before the World Trade Center terrorist attack. What a first anniversary! We have been married for 7 years. My daughter just graduated from McGill University, in Montreal. I am semi-retired now, have started clarinet lessons again. I have run many more full marathons since 1988, for a total now of 31, most recently in Venice Italy, at the age of 64.

Anecdote:

Yes indeed! Most of all, I remember the thrill of winning my first game of Jeopardy! And I remember meeting all the other Champions at the Tournament. Back in those days, I won a stay at a terrific hotel in Washington, DC. I had a medical conference there in November, after the TOC. While there, I got together with my season's TOC winner, Mark Lowenthal. At the hospital where I work, my experience of being a Jeopardy! champion has been passed down through generations of new physicians who were barely alive when I appeared. As recently as this past week, when my wife and I started Bridge lessons, we went around the room and had to tell a "fun fact" about ourselves, and the others were very impressed that I am a Jeopardy! champion. I acted as a lifeline for one of our young physicians who won $64,000 on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" I knew the answer right away, "100% certain."

Mark Lowenthal Reston, VA

Current Town: Reston, VA
Subsequent Appearances: 2005
Total Winnings: $154,901

Since Appearance:

I had two more government jobs: Staff Director of the House Intelligence Committee and then Asst Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis (CIA). Since 2005, I have had my own company, Ther Intelligence & Security Academy, which offers courses on intelligence to the govt and private sector. I have also written the standard college/grad school textbook on intelligence, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy.

Anecdote:

I was surprised by how often I was recognized after being on the show. And then, a clip of my appearance is used in the movie Rain Man -- and it is a question I got wrong! I invested my winnings. Being a Jeopardy! champ has given me something of a cachet; it is a unique achievement and even though I have had a successful career as an intelligence officer, my Jeopardy! stint often comes up and people just look at you a bit different.

Bruce Naegeli Phoenix, AZ

Current Town: Phoenix, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $64,901

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Richard Perez-Pena Cuba

Current Town: Glen Rock, NJ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $40,300

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Steven Popper Minneapolis, MN

Current Town: Topanga, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: ~$68,000

Since Appearance:

Leading economic strategy projects working with the governments in China,Korea, Mexico, Israel and the U.S.

Anecdote:

My wife got a ride home from an event with a friend who had just won a new car on TV. She came home with a bright idea. "You know how we get out of debt? We'll put you on a game show!" "Oh, no we won't," I said. "In fact, the only show I ever wanted to be on was one I loved back when I was a kid: Jeopardy." She came back to me the next day saying, "Well, I have some good news for you: guess what game show has now been revived!" The rest is history.

Michael Rankins Rohnert Park, CA

Current Town: San Francisco, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy!, Battle of the Bay Area Brains, Ultimate Tournament of Champions
Total Winnings: $103,699

Since Appearance:

Having retired from the ministry after 25 years (and after the passing of my first wife due to breast cancer), I've embarked on a new midlife career as a voice actor. It's fun combining new skills with a lifetime of performing and speaking experience to conquer new horizons!

Anecdote:

Many of my fondest Jeopardy! experiences have been the result of people I've met. I've made many friends in the Jeopardy! champions fraternity, especially since the UTOC. I still, after all these years, encounter people frequently who are fascinated by the fact that I'm a Jeopardy! champion -- it's the gift that keeps on giving! Thanks to Jeopardy!, I was interviewed for Alex's first book about the show. I was also interviewed for and quoted in an article for TV Guide magazine featuring one of my personal heroes, Dr. Maya Angelou. In what universe would my humble words appear side by side with someone who writes poetry for Presidents, except because of my Jeopardy! background?

  • Bruce Seymour
    Piedmont, CA
  • Ron Trigueiro
    Caruthers, CA
  • Kate Waits
    Albany, NY

Bruce Seymour Piedmont, CA

Current Town: San Francisco, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $54,989

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Ron Trigueiro Caruthers, CA

Current Town: Caruthers, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $49,400

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Kate Waits Albany, NY

Current Town: Akron, OH
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy!; Million Dollar Masters
Total Winnings: $66,000

Since Appearance:

I was a law professor in Albany, NY and then Tulsa, Oklahoma until 2010. I then retired and moved to Akron, Ohio with my husband. (He was the Dean of the U Akron law school, and is now a professor there.) Since my retirement, I've worked for Kaplan Test Prep, but also enjoyed life as a walker, knitter, crocheter, reader, singer, cultural enthusiast, mother, sister, and friend. To say nothing of the fact that I recently became a grandmother. I continue to be active in various women's rights issues, including the domestic violence movement and reproductive rights issues.

Anecdote:

MANY anecdotes! I donated at least half of my winnings to various charities. I'm especially proud of the substantial donation I made to the battered women's organization in Albany, NY. My donation assisted in the purchase of a building for the domestic violence shelter there. Being a Jeopardy! champion remains a WONDERFUL conversation starter. Although I WAS embarrassed years ago when my husband introduced me to a distinguished federal judge, "My wife is a law professor and a Jeopardy! champion," and the judge - who could not have been more gracious - responded, "Oh, what's that?" It turned out he was too busy to watch TV! Or...how about the fact that Leslie Frates (also from the Million Dollar Masters) and I have the same birthday - AND that she and her husband were able to be part of my 60th birthday celebration in Las Vegas. I'm also in good contact with India Cooper and Bob Harris from the MDM. Finally - talk about small world - I'm in a community choir in Northeast Ohio with Bob's sister, Tara - a fact that we only discovered through total coincidence

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1987
4

THIS EDMONTON OILER WAS TRADED TO THE L.A. KINGS WITH MIKE KRUSHELNYSKI & MARTY MCSORLEY

Reveal Response

WHO IS WAYNE GRETZKY?

Show Clue
  • Keith Bell
    Alexandria, VA
  • Eric Berman
    Crown Point, IN
  • Richard Cordray
    Grove City, OH/Washington, DC
  • Jonathan Fellows
    Bellevue, WA
  • Eugene Finerman
    Chicago, IL
  • Michael Galvin
    Wynnewood, PA

Keith Bell Alexandria, VA

Current Town: Alexandria, VA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy! 1991
Total Winnings: $48,000

Since Appearance:

I have completed a career in the Federal Government, and gone on to design sound for about 60 theatrical productions for both amateur and professional theaters, including an area premier of an early Sondheim work "Saturday Night."

Anecdote:

I still remember a special moment, as a gay man. The answer: this Christopher Marlow plan was the first on this controversial subject. My response: What is regicide? I will never forget the mellifluous tone of You know who: No, it is homosexuality.

Eric Berman Crown Point, IN

Current Town: Crown Point, IN
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $42,101

Since Appearance:

After stints at radio stations in Kokomo and Fort Wayne, Ind., I've spent the last 19 years at WIBC Radio in Indianapolis, where I'm the chief political and statehouse reporter for Indy's leading news/talk station and a network of about 70 affiliates around the state. I've co-authored a trivia book and a weekly pub quiz. I've been married for 24 years; we have a nine-year-old son, about whom more below. Oh, and I beat cancer. Twice.

Anecdote:

Among other things, my winnings helped us to afford the adoption fee when we adopted The Most Beautiful Baby Boy Ever. "Jeopardy!" has followed me around for 26 years; about once a year, someone will say, "Is it true you were on 'Jeopardy!'?" Or someone will mention it in a group...and although I feel like it's common knowledge by now, there always seems to be someone who hasn't heard, and whose jaw drops open. My best "Jeopardy!" story, though, is from my first appearance. I appeared on "Jeopardy!" as a 22-year-old fresh out of college, covering high school sports part-time as I searched for my first full-time job. Three weeks after taping my shows, I landed a radio job in Kokomo. "I'm going to be on a quiz show" is not the kind of thing you bring up out of the blue as you're introducing yourself around town, so no one knew it was coming when the first show aired in July. Before Alex even finishes announcing the categories, my phone rings. It's the evening host on the radio station, with an odd tone in his voice. "Eric?" ..."Yes..." ..."This is Chip." ..."Hi." ..."You're on 'Jeopardy.'" ..."Yes." ..."What are you doing on 'Jeopardy'?"

Richard Cordray Grove City, OH/Washington, DC

Current Town: Grove City, OH/Washington, DC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $40,303

Since Appearance:

I have been a lawyer, law professor, and served in state and local government in Ohio before President Obama appointed me as the first Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January 2012. I married my wife Peggy and we have a twin boy and girl, now 14.

Anecdote:

In my first game, I bet all my money on a Daily Double in the Double Jeopardy round, and then agonized over this answer, "Two of the three countries whose name begins with the letter J." I have told the story to many school classes since, but probably would never have mentioned it again if I had gotten the answer wrong! I paid my taxes, paid off school loans, and bought a used car. The real bonus was that, though she would probably deny it, I think being a Jeopardy champion helped persuade my wife to marry me.

Jonathan Fellows Bellevue, WA

Current Town: Bellevue, WA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $39,901

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Eugene Finerman Chicago, IL

Current Town: Northbrook, IL
Subsequent Appearances: SuperJeopardy (two games), and UTOC (two games)
Total Winnings: $105,102 a vacuum cleaner and 14 bags of chocolate chips

Since Appearance:

I have enjoyed the life that Jeopardy has afforded me. The winnings subsidized my courage to quit corporate drudgery and pursue the career of a freelance writer. The glamour of being a Jeopardy champion made me a sex symbol, at least among the chairladies of Hadassah. I was getting offers from several time zones to meet daughters and nieces. No, this was not the beginning of my career as the Jeopardy Gigolo; I only was looking for a nice Jewish girl. And I found one. So thank you, Jeopardy.

Anecdote:

have an anthology of Jeopardy stories. For instance, I recently was an experiment at a major university. What made me a Jeopardy champion? Was I an extraterrestrial or a mutant with super powers? Washington University--or at least its Psychology Department--wanted to know. So I was invited to an all-expense paid interrogation to St. Louis. Once I was assured that the tests would not require any surgery or involuntary breeding programs, I agreed to be a guinea pig. Of course, you want to know about the tests. Alas, because of research confidentiality I cannot tell you. If it is any consolation, you are not missing much. I don't know if I helped advance mankind's understanding of "cognitive functions", and I certainly disabused them of the hope that I was a X-Man. (Really, what would my Super Power be: the ability to turn any situation into a drawing room comedy.) But I certainly enjoyed being the center of attention. If Washington U is willing to subsidize further audiences with me, it might want to test me for Asperger's Syndrome. Jeopardy champs could have it.

Michael Galvin Wynnewood, PA

Current Town: Wynnewood, PA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $35,000

Since Appearance:

I went to graduate school, taught history for a while at a number of colleges and universities, and then have been doing medical market research for about 12 years. I am married with two daughters.

Anecdote:

I gave Alex Trebek boxer shorts emblazoned with my high school's logo on national television...my winnings were banked and eventually turned into the down payment on my house, so you could say that we might still be living in an apartment without Jeopardy!.

  • Frank Hughes
    Torrance, CA
  • Doug Molitor
    Los Angeles, CA
  • John Podhoretz
    Washington, DC
  • John Ryan
    Santa Barbara, CA
  • Zeke Sevilla, Jr.
    Vienna, VA
  • Roger Storm
    Fairview Park, OH

Frank Hughes Torrance, CA

Current Town: Chino Hills, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $30,900

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Doug Molitor Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Ten Year Anniversary 11/30/93
Total Winnings: $61,001 ($114,051 if you count 1979 NBC-Art Fleming winnings)

Since Appearance:

After 1987, I started writing for TV shows: Sitcoms, sci-fi, crime drama, even a Western. But mainly, cartoons - I wrote 190 of them in 20 years. I'm now writing novels: 'Memoirs of a Time Traveler', and the 'Full Moon Fever' series.

Anecdote:

My winnings paid for fertility treatments which allowed my wife to give birth to our daughter...who just graduated college. And there were some zany encounters - like two years after I did the show, some people raced up alongside me on the freeway, pointing frantically -- I thought my engine was on fire. I rolled down the window, and they yelled, "You were on Jeopardy!" ("I'll take Watch Out For That Truck for a thousand, Alex!")

John Podhoretz Washington, DC

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $45,600

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

John Ryan Santa Barbara, CA

Current Town: Richmond, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Ultimate Tournament of Champions, 2005
Total Winnings: $71,800

Since Appearance:

I graduated from college in 1987, then worked as a free-lance journalist for three years. I traveled a lot, met a lot of famous people, had a lot of fun, and made very little money. Luckily I had my Jeopardy! winnings to fall back on. Before they totally ran out, I used the rest to go to business school, earning an MBA in 1993. After working for a large law firm, where I designed software for measuring partner performance, and helping to get a start-up off the ground (it's still in business), I joined a private equity fund in 2000, where I've been ever since.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! had a huge impact on my life. I used my winnings to go to business school, and my MBA enabled me to get into the private equity industry, where I did well enough to be able to work very part-time for four years after my daughter was born. Being a nearly full-time dad was an amazing experience and a rare privilege, and I couldn't have done it without Jeopardy!

Zeke Sevilla, Jr. Vienna, VA

Current Town: Vienna, VA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy 1990
Total Winnings: $38,000

Since Appearance:

Criminal defense attorney, retired 2011. Extensive travel with family, including trips to China and Russia, Baltic cruise on 50th wedding anniversary, safari to Tanzania

Anecdote:

Original show was aired when my relatives for the Philippines were here for my daughter's wedding. As I had not told them about the show, they were surprised! Am still recognized and stopped by strangers. My son, on a research project for DOD, was denied access to parts of a university library until the curator noticed his last name and asked if he as related to a Jeopardy contestant.

Roger Storm Fairview Park, OH

Current Town: Fairview Park, OH
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy! (semi-finalist) Ten-Year Tournament (alternate)
Total Winnings: $46,200

Since Appearance:

I retired after teaching High School Chemistry for 35 years and, after a week-end in retirement, I have worked the last seven years as a education specialist in distance learning at NASA. I have also appeared around the country giving first person portrayals as Orville Wright.

Anecdote:

At the time of my first appearance I had seven children, ages 2 to 13. A few weeks after the shows aired,UPS began to deliver merchandise from the show's advertisers every few weeks and the cycle repeated when the shows were rerun in the summer. Every time the familiar brown UPS truck stopped in front of the house the cry would go up from a bunch of excited kids "The Jeopardy truck's here! The Jeopardy truck's here!" What I remember most about being on the show was how nice everyone was. My wife came down on the set after the taping and asked if she could get a picture with me and Alex. One of the cameramen said this would not be possible because the flash would mess up the white balance of his camera, but Alex handed him our camera and said "Take the picture." The winnings allowed us to by our first new appliances ever and the kids got to pick one special toy each that they had always wanted that Christmas.

  • David Traini
    Medford Lakes, NJ
  • Bob Verini
    New York, NY
  • Keith Walker
    Pomona, CA

David Traini Medford Lakes, NJ

Current Town: Cary, NC
Subsequent Appearances: SuperJeopardy! UTOC
Total Winnings: about 120K

Since Appearance:

Retired from public school teaching/administration. Moved to North Carolina from New Jersey. Am currently teaching in a small private school in Cary,NC. In my spare time I take improv and stand-up comedy classes.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! has been and will probably remain the most exhilarating and terrifying experience of my life. I distinctly remember after I won my first game. I felt as if I floated off the stage, much like the nun in the Blues Brothers. I had wanted to be on the show since it first aired in the early 60's. Despite my 14 appearances, I never was able to shake the pregame jitters. I recall saying many times to myself,"Why am I putting myself through this again?" Once the game started, however, I quickly got into the flow and forgot about those bad nerves. Jeopardy! has had a huge impact on my life. I used the winnings to go back to graduate school and become an administrator. Not only did the winnings pay for classes, but they also allowed my wife to quit working and stay home with our young son. In addition, it has, I am certain, gotten me job interviews. Muchas gracias!!!

Bob Verini New York, NY

Current Town: Van Nuys, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC, M$M, Super Jeopardy
Total Winnings: $271,802

Since Appearance:

At Kaplan I became a specialist in online learning (delivery and training), and joined the Learning Science Dept. to test and innovate data-based approaches to doing one's best on an entrance exam. I also served for over six years as Variety's LA theater critic, and continue to do film, TV and theater features for the newspaper as well as other web content deliverers.

Anecdote:

Most of all I remember how much fun we had at the ToC and the M$M, bonding with everyone irrespective of who beat whom and how it turned out. The backstage vibe was loose and fun and I think that translated to fun on screen. Most of my winnings financed theatrical ventures; too bad my windfall came before the musical of "The Producers" could warn me not to put my own money into theater. Arrrgghh! But the show has given me a visibility and credibility as someone smart and telegenic, and I'll be grateful for that forever.

Keith Walker Pomona, CA

Current Town: Pomona, CA
Subsequent Appearances: SuperJeopardy! 1990
Total Winnings: $51,700

Since Appearance:

I continue to practice estate planning and probate law in Southern California. I have always enjoyed the puzzle-solving aspect of this type of practice. In 1991, I was privileged to serve as my brother's bone-marrow donor, saving his life. Between this and my Jeopardy! experience, I feel as though I have won the lottery twice. Maybe this is why success in the actual lottery eludes me.

Anecdote:

After one of my original appearances, I got a call out of the blue from a former co-worker, who is now my wife. Jimi brought two lovely daughters into our marriage. We are about to celebrate our 24th anniversary and are expecting our fourth grandchild. I like to tell people, when they ask how I did on Jeopardy!, that I won $40,000 and a family!

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1986
3

THIS BRITISH PRIME MINISTER WON A RARE THIRD TERM IN JUNE

Reveal Response

WHO IS MARGARET THATCHER?

Show Clue
  • Beryl Arbit
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Harvey Becker
    Evanston, IL
  • Donald Burgo
    St. Louis, MO
  • Jared Eisenstat
    Hicksville, NY
  • Chuck Forrest
    Grand Blanc, MI
  • Gary Giardina
    New York, NY

Beryl Arbit Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Encino,CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $41,001

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Harvey Becker Evanston, IL

Current Town: Evanston, IL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $56,400

Since Appearance:

I worked for a few years as a writer, then got an MBA and have ben an executive in several small businesses.

Anecdote:

Jeopardy! helped change my life. I left my job as a lawyer just prior to my appearance and thanks to winning, I was able to quit the law and try my hand at a creative career. Now, I include my Jeopardy! record on my resume and it gets more interest than any other accomplishment. Everyone always wants to know what Alex was like.

Donald Burgo St. Louis, MO

Current Town: St. Louis, MO
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $26,180

Since Appearance:

I taught at Fontbonne University in St. Louis for thirty-seven years,and was awarded the first endowed chair by it.Retiring five years ago, I have been travelling widely and reading voraciously. Great trip around the world in 1997.

Anecdote:

Although I would prefer "Gladly would he learn and gladly teach" as my epitaph some day, there are many who think it should be Five Time Winner on Jeopardy! so lasting is the honor. I especially enjoyed the writers who came up to talk with me after the tournament of champions was over. They do a great job and don't get much attention

Jared Eisenstat Hicksville, NY

Current Town: Long Beach, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $26,098

Since Appearance:

I have been a practicing trial attorney, gotten married, travelled the world. I am also a long term volunteer for at risk youth, volunteer as a teacher about the constitution on law day and sit on the Alumni Scholarship committee for U.C. Berkeley. Go Bears!

Anecdote:

You wouldn't think Jeopardy and how long it takes to get the smell of burnt rice out of your house go together but they do. Also did you know you can speak with people for hours only because they know you from Jeopardy. My Jeopardy winnnings helped me immeasureably when I owed tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and helped me taking a great trip to Canada.

Chuck Forrest Grand Blanc, MI

Current Town: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy!, Million Dollar Masters, UTOC
Total Winnings: $250,000

Since Appearance:

I have spent most of my career outside of the US; in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Italy. Right now I am the Legal Advisor to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA), an international organization headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Anecdote:

Winning Jeopardy! changed my life - it made it possible for me to graduate debt-free from law school, it launched my (very short-lived) political career, and it has given me something to talk about with strangers everywhere I go.

Gary Giardina New York, NY

Current Town: New York, NY
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy! Tournament
Total Winnings: $32,330

Since Appearance:

I continue to sing opera and musicals here in NY, and I went back to school in 1991 and became a PA (physician assistant). I have a daughter who has become a PA herself and who, following in her dad's footsteps, is singing and composing some pretty nice bluegrass.

Anecdote:

The anecdotes are endless, but my favorite remains the time I was in line to buy subway tokens and when I got to the window and asked for 10 tokens, the woman inside - without even looking up at me, just hearing my voice - said, "Giardina. Jeopardy!" Wow - the power of television. With my winnings I purchased a house and help fund a new opera company here in NY. Putting Jeopardy! on my resume got me more more auditions and jobs than my talent. No one fails to mention it!

  • Lionel Goldbart
    Miami Beach, FL
  • Danny Green
    Las Vegas, NV
  • Mark Leinwand
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Gary Palmer
    Palm Springs, CA
  • Jay Rosenberg
    Chapel Hill, NC
  • Paul Rouffa
    Forest Park, IL

Lionel Goldbart Miami Beach, FL

Current Town: Miami Beach, FL
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $34,997

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Danny Green Las Vegas, NV

Current Town: Las Vegas, NV
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $26,000

Since Appearance:

Taught for 30 years (Chem/Physics) in High School in Las Vegas. Did 20 years of underground and mission work in the Soviet Union and Estonia. Was awarded as a staff member of High School of the Year for Nevada. Took care of my disabled wife for 30 years until she died in 2005. Wrote some church articles about mission work in Estonia. Got remarried to a wonderful lady I met at a dog park - I had to ask her 3 times to marry me (Oh Well)

Anecdote:

The excitement and anticipation before the show - oh yes - having make-up put on me for the first time. My late wife used the winning to buy a minivan and pay medical bills. After the show, I was interviewed for an article in TV Guide and was filmed for the awarding movie "Wise Guys". Generally being on Jeopardy was of those rare moments in which my 2 young daughters saw their father as a hero - of course I became a clown in their teenage years.

Mark Leinwand Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Agoura Hills, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $43,700

Since Appearance:

Retired from law, now writing stories about an unusual character.

Anecdote:

People recognized me on the street and in restaurants far longer than I would have expected. People watch these shows! It was all a very enjoyable experience, from the tapings and the shows to the aftermath (until I blew out in my first game on the next year's TOC!)

Gary Palmer Palm Springs, CA

Current Town: Waltham, MA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $18,400

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Jay Rosenberg Chapel Hill, NC

Current Town: Chapel Hill, NC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $49,600

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Paul Rouffa Forest Park, IL

Current Town: Downers Grove, IL
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy, 10th anniversary alternate
Total Winnings: $56,100

Since Appearance:

Married and raised a family, moved a few times, acting, video editing, sales

Anecdote:

Jeopardy enabled me to advance my acting career. Auditions became much easier when I didn't have to worry about getting the part to pay my rent. Irv Kupcinet called me "Chicago's wealthiest actor" in his gossip column

  • Eric Schoeck
    East Haven, CT
  • Marvin Shinkman
    Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Guy Tonti
    Vallejo, CA

Eric Schoeck East Haven, CT

Current Town: East Haven, CT
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $21,499

Since Appearance:

I worked for an NPR affiliate in California hosting public affairs programs, and I was Broadcast Advisor at the University of California. In 2002, I moved back to New England, and I am currently an assistant professor of English and Humanities at a private liberal arts college in Connecticut.

Anecdote:

I grew up in Toronto in the Sixties and watched Alex Trebek on Canadian television (Reach for the Top). When I met him on Jeopardy! in 1986, I recounted my fond memories of idolizing him. With a pause--followed by an arched eyebrow, Alex warned, "We're both too young for that." What I remember most about the experience is that next time I need to bring more wardrobe changes! My winnings were spent on the ordinary: an Apple computer (Mac SE!), a new car, and a roof (not necessarily in that order). Jeopardy!'s effect on my life: It's a great ice breaker; it helps establish my professorial power (if and when my students learn I've been on the show), and it made me study up on Gregorian chants (a final Jeopardy! answer I missed). Finally, being on Jeopardy! in 1986 has kept me young, waiting with baited breath for a return performance.

Marvin Shinkman Sherman Oaks, CA

Current Town: Sherman Oaks, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $39,203

Since Appearance:

I'm still an active stamp dealer with customers all over the world. This year, my lovely wife, Laura, and I will celebrate 46 years of marriage. Other than that, I try to enjoy myself doing what I love.

Anecdote:

What I remember most is having a beautiful woman coming into the dressing room and yelling at me to put my clothes *on*. What I did with the winnings was pay some bills, take a vacation and - buy more stamps! What changed in my life being a Jeopardy! champ is that people not only remembered me 27 years ago, but even now to this day - just last week, I spoke with a man who said he saw me on Jeopardy! I think that's amazing.

Guy Tonti Vallejo, CA

Current Town: Cornville, AZ
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $29,800

Since Appearance:

Raising a family, getting to travel the world and meeting phenomenal people everywhere, building a multi-generational family compound, now owning my own business.

Anecdote:

When you are young, you borrow money from your parents, and say "if I win money on a game show I will pay you back"...so we did. And over the years the "pay it forward" generosity has made our lives be fulfilling in all ways! My Jeopardy win makes people think I am smart (I am not, just a very good memory). I get invited to play in a lot of trivia tournaments!

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1985
2

KIMBA WOOD WAS CONSIDERED FOR THIS CABINET POST BUT RAN AFOUL OF NANNYGATE

Reveal Response

WHAT IS (U.S.) ATTORNEY GENERAL?

Show Clue
  • Elise Beraru
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Ron Black
    Raleigh, NC
  • Paul Boymel
    Potomac, MD
  • Liz Caccese
    Van Nuys, CA
  • Paul Croshier
    Camp Pendleton, CA
  • Michael Day
    Columbus, OH

Elise Beraru Los Angeles, CA

Current Town: Lynchburg, VA
Subsequent Appearances: 1990 Invitational (first show of tournament only)
Total Winnings: $42,350

Since Appearance:

Finally became an attorney, spent 18 years practicing, then retired, moved from Los Angeles to Virginia and am primarily an author (published under my own name and as Alyssa Lyons) and fabric artist.

Anecdote:

I was the first undefeated champion, which nobody expected, so as the taping went on, everyone got very excited and the other contestants applauded as I went back to change clothes. Before one show a beckoned to the gallery and said, Who's next I bought my first color TV and VCR with my winnings, but had an injury just after I got the money, so I lived on my winnings while I was disabled and couldn't work. The best part of being a Jeopardy champion is that I still have knowledge people don't expect, and many of them have said, You ought to try out for Jeopardy!, to which I respond, Been there, done that!

Ron Black Raleigh, NC

Current Town: Winston-Salem, NC
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy
Total Winnings: $60,401

Since Appearance:

I have changed careers from law to teaching, have raised two kids.

Anecdote:

One of my high school classmates was giving birth and I was appearing on the TV in her room. When she told the nurses, "I know that guy", they thought she was hallucinating. I show my games every year to my students. At first they said, "Mr. Black, you're so smart." Then they started saying, "Mr. Black, you were so young." Now they say, "Mr. Black, that's Mrs. Dabney you're playing against!" Turns out that a lady I beat became an actress on Disney's Good Luck Charley. Anyway, I definitely need something new to show them.

Paul Boymel Potomac, MD

Current Town: Potomac, MD
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $66,200

Since Appearance:

I quit my job, went back to school, and began a new career, using my Jeopardy! winnings. In my leisure time, I act and direct in community theater (my favorite role--the maniacal Jonathan Brewster) and spoil my grandchildren rotten.

Anecdote:

The most enjoyable part of the experience was Alex Trebek's dinner-time trivia challenges which consisted of the questions that were rejected as too hard to use on the show.

Liz Caccese Van Nuys, CA

Current Town: Van Nuys, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $34,500

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Paul Croshier Camp Pendleton, CA

Current Town: Pismo Beach, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $36,500

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Michael Day Columbus, OH

Current Town: Mill Valley, CA
Subsequent Appearances: UTOC
Total Winnings: $59,500

Since Appearance:

A week after my UTOC show aired in 2005, I got married. My wife and I (both attorneys) are now the proud parents of a three and one-half year old daughter, Kate, who will probably be a much better Jeopardy player than I am.

Anecdote:

In the fourth game of my original five-game run, I was the only player left in Final Jeopardy. For quite some time afterward, all my friends teased me for not betting enough on the Final Jeopardy question in that game. I don't believe a one-player Final Jeopardy happened again for twenty years, until the UTOC in 2005.

  • Bruce Fauman
    Vancouver, BC
  • Larry Floyd
    Bridgton, ME
  • Jerry Frankel
    Buffalo, NY
  • John Genova
    North Hollywood, CA
  • John Hnat
    Cleveland, OH
  • Ric Moser
    The Woodlands, TX

Bruce Fauman Vancouver, BC

Current Town: Vancouver, BC
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $43,398

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

Larry Floyd Bridgton, ME

Current Town: Valencia, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $35,800

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

Jerry Frankel Buffalo, NY

Current Town: Venice, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $32,650

Since Appearance:

Deceased

Anecdote:

N/A

John Genova North Hollywood, CA

Current Town: Granada Hills, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $50,595

Since Appearance:

No Information Available

Anecdote:

N/A

John Hnat Cleveland, OH

Current Town: Bay Village, OH
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $37,100

Since Appearance:

Community theater has taken up most of my spare time since my last appearance. Since 1990, I have appeared in over 40 theatrical productions over a twenty-plus year period. I have split my time between musicals and straight shows. Some of my favorite roles have been John Dickinson in "1776", Lucien P. Smith in "The Boys Next Door" and Gibson McFarland in "Artichoke", a quirky play that takes place in the Saskatchwan Prairie. I have also directed and assistant directed many shows during this period. As a director, they are all my babies, but "Dial M for Murder" and "The Diary of Anne Fran" were two of my favorites. I met my current wife during a production of "Blithe Spirit" in 1999. I directed the show and cast her (she was the best actor at auditions). Though not love at first sight, we were engaged less than three months after the show and married on Sept. 2, 2000. I also have spent time being a grandfather to eight grandchildren; five girls and three boys.

Anecdote:

I appeared on one of the strangest episodes of Jeopardy!. I may have been the first contestant to play final Jeopardy by myself. This occurred on my second appearance. It may not have made for good TV, but it sure took the pressure off me for that game. After the shows were aired, I was recognized by voice while shopping in a toy store. Someone came around the corner and asked if I had just appeared on Jeopardy! I never thought I had such a unique voice, but it apparently registered with some people. I think that I am remebered most by my family and friends by the wrong questions I gave. I have several gifts of Dopey figures after missing my first Final Jeopardy answer (The number of characters singing the song Heigh Ho). The best example came when I missed my last Final Jeopardy answer in American Literature; that Christmas I received a copy of the novel "The Old Man and the Sea". Though my friends and family are all very proud of my achievements on Jeopardy!, they love to let me know when I was wrong - they keep me humble!

Ric Moser The Woodlands, TX

Current Town: Calico Rock, AR
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $44,200

Since Appearance:

I've had a diverse career, including newspaper editor, radiation safety officer and human rights investigator. The last decade I have been heavily involved with community improvement efforts, including rehabilitation of deserted housing into modern, inexpensive housing for the elderly, low income and disabled families.

Anecdote:

My favorite Jeopardy! moment came in my third appearance when one of the other contestants, Hal Ackerman, appeared wearing a cardboard tie made for him by his daughter. His interview segments were among the funniest ever on the program. The winnings facilitated a move to Arizona and re-entry into the newspaper arena. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given by the greatest game show ever.

  • Paula Tupper
    Westfield, NJ
  • Steve Rogitz
    Gardena, CA
  • Nathan Walpow
    Queens, NY

Paula Tupper Westfield, NJ

Current Town: El Cajon, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $34,298

Since Appearance:

Had my Jeopardy winnings baby in 1986, who is now all grown up. I graduated from law school the same year (paid for also with my Jeopardy winnings) and practiced law for 25 years, now retired. Had a second child during that time. Married happily to the same man for 40 years this October. Fought and beat kidney cancer. Involved in Victorian and Regency re-enactment. Travel with my husband and with my 20 yr old daughter; attend a LOT of theater in San Diego, LA and NYC. Still play along almost every night.

Anecdote:

It was such a big deal. All my lawschool classmates watched the show in the school lounge while I was on, and we had a huge party to watch the final game. One of my professors actually came to class late because he HAD to see me finish a game. Friends' parents all over the US videotaped the shows and mailed them to me, but my own mother could not watch because it made her too nervous. Used some of the money to finally take a honeymppn after 12 years of marriage. Came back from Cancun thinking I had turista and it turned out to be my Jeopardy Baby, who is now 27 years old. Got recognized all over town. Even had a whole restaurant full of people stand up and applaud me. Had Judges later mention my winning on Jeopardy while they were sitting on the bench during a court hearing. Thought I was being suspected by a security guard who just wanted an autograph. Had a groupie call me up on the phone, who thought he was in love. Made friends with an elderly lady across the country who wanted to share some silent movie memorabilia with me because I had mentioned it on the show. Received a LOT of instant credibility because I was bright enough to be a winner on the show.

Steve Rogitz Gardena, CA

Current Town: Gardena, CA
Subsequent Appearances: Super Jeopardy & 10th Anniversary Tournament
Total Winnings: $51,000

Since Appearance:

I have retired from the air freight business and moved to Murrieta, Ca. I now have four grandchildren.

Anecdote:

I remember that it was a lot of fun being on Jeopardy. I really liked most of the other contestants. Right after my appearances on the show, I would occasionally be recognized, and that is good for the ego? It is amazing the amount of respect that I haved received from people (even today) when people learn that I was. Winner on Jeopardy.

Nathan Walpow Queens, NY

Current Town: Culver City, CA
Subsequent Appearances: N/A
Total Winnings: $38,900

Since Appearance:

Oh, yes, that 5-time rule did me in. I could've kept going for weeks ... I was in the zone. I still impress (and annoy) everyone with my knowledge of arcane facts. And there's so much more stuff to know today than there was in 1985, so I can annoy them even more. After The Jeopardy! Years (i.e., the mid-eighties; that chunk of my life was defined by my experience on the show), I went on to become a mystery writer, with four novels and a story in the Best American Mystery Stories series. And I also do Web design. That's right! Creative and technical both! Two brain hemispheres filled with random knowledge! You missed out on having my lovely face in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. This is your chance to remedy that. I will be good! I will be funny! I will be as one with the buzzer! Oh, and if you include me, it'll stop my wife asking when I'm going to go on Jeopardy! again and me having to say I can't and her going "Bah!"

Anecdote:

My best memory is total strangers stopping me in the street. I used my winnings for living expenses while trying to make it as an actor. Being a Jeopardy! champ seems to make people regard me as some kind of superior being. When I go to mystery writing conventiions, people want to hear about Jeopardy! more than about my writing. Oh, and I saw Alex again when I did a pilot for a game show that he was emceeing.

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