A web programmer from Knoxville, Tennessee...

Paul Wampler

Hi East Tennessee, I'm Paul Wampler from Knoxville. Watch me "knox" out the competition, on Jeopardy!

[2011-02-07 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to be the new Jeopardy! champion?
[Sighs] Well, to win the first game, it--it's still--I mean, obviously it hasn't sunk in yet, and it is still... I'm try--I'm--I will remember more than I remember now about the game, it's all--i-i-there was buzzing in my ear the entire time and it was kind of like an out-of-body experience, but, um, I'm sure it'll sink in very quickly now.

Did you guess during Final Jeopardy!?
No. Uh, I am a James Bond fan. It did not come to me right away. Um, I was with Roger--Dial "M" for Murder, uh, popped through my head, Murder on the Orient Express and then, um, sitting back and taking one more deep breath and looking at those chapter titles again, it just popped into my head.

Any messages to the folks back home?
Um, definitely want a "thank you", uh, to my wife, because she was--has been 100% supportive. She couldn't be here, um, today, but she's been 100% supportive. She's actually been picked to interview twice, um, and--for Jeopardy!--and each time, uh, had a scheduling conflict and she couldn't make it, so... um, and then I get picked and interview on my first time, so... um, I owe a lot to her.

[2011-02-08 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to win your second game?
Winning--I mean winning the second game, it--it--it's the same exact feeling I had winning the first time. It's still--there's this buzzing in my ears and I'm--everything's a little blurry on the--on the periphery, but, uh, uh, it--it's a--it's a surreal feeling that if it feels this good now, I can't imagine how good it's going to feel later, especially when, y'know, everybody who--who I care abouts gets to see it and I get to share, uh, share my excitement with everybody else.

How did you feel about your competition today?
Y-y-yeah, well, Rachel and I, um... uh--uh--uh--had done a lot of practicing--we were the very last contestants to get picked, so we had practice and played games in the audience together, um, and she was one of the two people in--in our contestant pool that really, I thought, um, had the--had the combination of knowing her material plus she had the timing down on the buzzer, which is at least as important, if not more, as--as knowing the answer, because if you don't buzz in, it doesn't matter if you know the answer or not. So she was one of the two people that I really--after our--our--our--our rehearsals I thought, she--she--she's one that that I need to watch out for and that I-I'm hoping doesn't get drawn against me.

Any messages to the folks back home?
Stay in school! No, um, I--[laughs] Um, I know how--how hard, um, ba--basically the entire Knox County school system works. Um, I have family, friends, um, that are both in the school system and teachers. I know and see how hard they work. Um, and it's all--for--for--to--to someone to have the opportunity to absorb all that knowledge and then maybe use it to win a couple game shows one day!

[2011-02-09 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to win your third game?
[Sighs] This, the--I mean--I-I-I can't--I gotta say I'm surprised every time I win, but, this one, I was so far behind at that first commercial break, that, I-I-I mean, I didn't even imagine at that point that I would be in the position to--to win, even--especially a runaway at the end. I wanted to--by the end of the first round, Jeopardy!, I wanted to get back to about even with them. And they could reveal the categories at Double Jeopardy!, and, um... I-I didn't realize I knew so much about German food and Iowa, but I'm glad that I did, and glad that maybe, uh, the other contestants, uh, didn't know so much about the categories they were picking, [laughs] so, it was a l-a-a-a good--a good mix there that helped me, uh, vault up there to the top again.

How does it feel to have a "run away" game?
Uh, when--this time, I-I didn't know it was a runaway until the very last question on this last game. It was, um--it was a Daily Double. But as soon as you--you realize that he--he missed, and as soon as he got down below half of what my total was, that's just... relief, and you can finally breathe again. It--at--at--don't--it doesn't feel like you've been breathing the entire game. You can finally breathe again. And you--there's no--unless you do... something, y'know, Cliff Claven that you're gonna be okay. And, so, I mean, the--the last--at least the last two game--or, the first and the third games I've been--y'know, if I've got a runaway, I'm not gonna get greedy, so I think it was been just a couple hundred dollars' wager each time.

Any messages to the folks back home?
[Puts up three fingers] [Maggie Speak: [coaching] "Tell 'em three..."] Three... [Maggie: "...goin' for four."] Three goin' for four.

[2011-02-10 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to win your fourth game?
Oh! Uh, okay, the fourth win, um, uh--it was my--it--it was the one show where I really had no idea--that--that I thought the outcome was in doubt the entire time, and what it really came down to was, y'know, thank goodness that neither of my other competitors knew anything about the Incas either. Um, uh, it came down to a-a-a poorly-timed Daily Double, and, uh, luckily for me a couple wrong answers on, uh, uh--on my competitors' part, and then a relatively easy Final Jeopardy! which played--[laughs]--um, y'know, I had bet to go big or go home, so luckily that worked in my favor.

Did you guess during Final Jeopardy!?
I do have--I-I do have, um--both of my sisters and both of their husbands are lawyers. I've got four lawyers in the family out of the six siblings and in-laws, and never ever would have been able to go to another Thanksgiving if I had gotten that one wrong.

Any messages to the folks back home?
Nobody, really. Well, Mr.--Mr. Elder was my chemistry teacher--in--in--a chemistry teacher in--in high school. And, um, Mr. Veight, um, was a--I guess he was a social studies teacher, but it was more like a Classics--what's where you first learn, y'know, Seven Wonders of the World, and all the Greek and, uh, Roman gods and goddesses, and for some reason that, all these years, has stuck in my head all of the way--he--'cause he made it so fun. So it--it--it's stuck in my head because of that. I can remember him saying the answers, um, when I'm--when I get one of those clues.

Season 27 4-time champion: $72,001 + $2,000.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: paul5562

Paul appeared in the following 5 archived games:
#6085, aired 2011-02-11 Paul Wampler vs. Sarah Monteith vs. Kate Rowland IBM Challenge promo: "The Television Event of the Decade"
#6084, aired 2011-02-10 Paul Wampler vs. Betsy Stephenson vs. Milind Kulkarni IBM Challenge mini-documentary: "Meet the Contestants"
#6083, aired 2011-02-09 Paul Wampler vs. Daniel Cohen vs. Sean Priest IBM Challenge mini-documentary: "What is a Grand Challenge?"
#6082, aired 2011-02-08 Paul Wampler vs. Rachel LeCroy vs. Keagan Baker IBM Challenge mini-documentary: "Watson After Jeopardy!"
#6081, aired 2011-02-07 Roger Mueller-Kim vs. Paul Wampler vs. Erin Beach IBM Challenge mini-documentary: "What is a Grand Challenge?"

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