The J!Effect Alumni Stories
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
Our Contestant Love Story
Once upon a 2013 Teachers Tournament, Michael Townes and I met. Then we fell in love, and we got married in 2017. You might have seen it in the New York Times "Vows" section – that's us! We would never have met in the first place if it weren't for Jeopardy! Our wedding guest list included five of our fellow Teachers Tournament alums – Mary Beth Hammerstrom gave a toast to the bride and groom, and Patrick Dillon serenaded our first dance. Jeopardy! has been a huge part of our family story.
Paid for College!
The money has been a big help. I’ve used it to pay for part of my college tuition as well as to buy personally important things like a new guitar and a car. College is difficult enough to pay for and I wouldn’t have any of the other items without the winnings from Jeopardy!
My Dog Impressed Alex Trebek
Although I was only a contestant on one episode of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek and I had a chance to chat one-on-one about my corgi, Siri! She has a fairly large following on social media and Alex seemed amused by her name and her fans. Here she is, in all her goofy corgi cuteness.
Tuition, Room & Board
After graduating from the TAMS program, I went to Stanford to finish my undergrad. Jeopardy! winnings paid for a full year of tuition, room, and board – I don't think I would have been able to attend if I hadn't won Jeopardy! I guess Jeopardy! really did change my life!
Jeopardy! Is Now Part of My School's History
Being selected for the inaugural Teachers Tournament, being able to represent my school, and being a part of Jeopardy! history forever are thrills of a lifetime. One of our classrooms has no windows and the teacher wanted something to liven it up. Art students designed a mural to celebrate the first twenty years of school history, and they chose my Jeopardy! appearance to commemorate 2011! I was, and will always be, honored and touched to be part of school history, especially as Jeopardy! represents the epitome of lifelong learning.
Doing What I've Always Wanted to Do
Thanks to Jeopardy! I got out of a job that I was terrible at (I was a computer guy) and now I do what I have always wanted to do, which is to be a writer. Being on Jeopardy! made me a lot more confident. It’s made me think about what the value of learning and knowledge is, the stuff we carry around in our heads – I really feel like I appreciate it more.
What's Your J!Effect Story?
No matter if your story is big or small, personal or shared, touching or just plain funny – we want to hear it! Submit Your Story: