The J!Effect Alumni Stories

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J!Alumni: Decades of the J!Effect

Career changes, charitable donations, school tuitions and new homes: These are just a few ways Jeopardy! has changed contestants' lives. Read updates from your favorites below.

Pictured: Maryanne and Michael

Dave Rowswell
Season 35

Just before Alex came around to get our picture taken with him.

Dave Rowswell

Season 35

Alex tugged my mustache

Just before Alex came around to get our picture taken with him. He stopped in front of my podium and tugged on my mustache. Some day I'd like to see Alex bring back the 'stache... I am so appreciative of each person on the J! Staff and beyond that made my experience in this year's "Teachers Tournament" a memory I will always treasure. Thanks everybody.

Jo-Ann Raines
Season 8

I didn't realize that everyone in my office was as much of a fan of Jeopardy!

Jo-Ann Raines

Season 8

Acknowledged in unusual ways

I didn't realize that everyone in my office was as much of a fan of Jeopardy! as I was until about a year later on my job, we had a Women's History Month celebration with a Jeopardy! style game at an event. My appearance on the show was the Final Jeopardy! clue and guess what?...almost everyone got the correct response!

 

 

Samuel Deutsch
Season 32

I won the 2016 Jeopardy! College Championship with my correct response for Final Jeopardy! 

Samuel Deutsch

Season 32

Vice President and Jeopardy!

I won the 2016 Jeopardy! College Championship with my correct response for Final Jeopardy! 

The clue: "During his Senate service, which lasted from 1973 to January 2009, this man cast 12,810 votes." I initially thought of people who were in the Senate for a long time and (West Virginia Senator) Robert Byrd came to mind. However, at the last second a light bulb went off in my head when I remembered when President Obama was inaugurated and responded with "Who is Joe Biden?" It's crazy to think that a sudden a-ha moment won me the College Championship.

The best part was that Joe Biden happens to be a big fan of Jeopardy! , because not only did he tweet a picture of that Final Jeopardy!, he sent me a personal letter of congratulations. It's crazy to think that the Vice President of the United States takes time to watch Jeopardy!, and for a day, he was watching me on TV instead of the other way around.

Jake Houser
Season 21

At 12 years old, as a contestant on Kids Week, Alex tried to convince me I should change my caree

Jake Houser

Season 21

Alex's Career Advice

At 12 years old, as a contestant on Kids Week, Alex tried to convince me I should change my career aspects on national television.  I'd told him I wanted to go into genetics and he suggested I become a doctor instead. Today, almost 15 years later, I haven't ended up doing exactly what I said I would back then, but I'm working at a company using genetic sequencing to help cancer patients find more effective treatments. I didn't win my episode, but the memories I have of my experience competing on Jeopardy! are one of the highlight of my life.  Experiences like the interactions I had with Alex remind me of why I wanted to pursue this career in the first place.

MICHAEL PASCUZZI
Season 35

During the show, I proposed to my long-time girlfriend, Maria, who was in the audience that day.

MICHAEL PASCUZZI

Season 35

WHAT IS YES?

During the show, I proposed to my long-time girlfriend, Maria, who was in the audience that day. We kept it secret until the air-date, and everyone found out at once. "What is Yes?" went viral - so much fun seeing the proposal pop up everywhere! And then, on April 7, 2019 we finally "tied the knot" in a small ceremony with family, friends, and a few nods to Jeopardy!...the show that truly changed our lives.

Sarah Bauer
Season 28

Greer Mackebee and I met as participants in the 2012 Jeopardy!

Sarah Bauer

Season 28

A Daily Double Shot at Love

Greer Mackebee and I met as participants in the 2012 Jeopardy! College Championship - we were even in the same Jeopardy! audition months before getting the call to be in the tournament. We both come from families that watch a lot of Jeopardy!, so being on the show truly fulfilled lifelong dreams. Greer beat me in our first round match, but I've managed to forgive him. When we both found ourselves working as attorneys in Washington, D.C. several years after our tournament aired, we naturally put a trivia team together. Eventually, we went on our first date over six years after Jeopardy! first brought us together, and we're still happily together today. And, of course, we still watch Jeopardy! together every chance we get!

What's Your J!Effect Story?

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