A mechanical engineer from Geneva, Illinois...

Mike Nelson

Hey, Chicagoland, I'm Mike Nelson from Geneva. Watch me try to blow away the competition on Jeopardy!

[2011-03-07 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to be the new Jeopardy! champion?
It's--it's unbelievable. I-I was not expecting it. Y'know, uh, I was kinda mad at myself with the Hitchhiker's Guide clue, but, uh, I came out with it in the end, and, y'know, sometimes it's just the way the--the dice rolls, I guess. [Edit] That's right, y'know, it--the first game was definitely the most nerve-wracking so far. Hopefully it gets a little easier from here on out--gettin' the first one out of the way and, y'know, not going home empty--empty-handed.

How did you prepare for your appearance on Jeopardy!?
Uh, a lotta--of Wikipedia. Um, a lot of watchin' Jeopardy! and Wikipedia, those were about the two main things that I did.

Any messages to the folks back home?
Uh, I'd like to thank my dad for coming. Um, I'd like to thank my parents for giving me free rent for the past year and a half. Um, it's been tough from the economy, so, uh, hopefully this money will go a long ways. And my boss for givin' me the time off, um, from deliverin' pizzas, so...

[2011-03-08 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to be the new Jeopardy! champion?
Yeah, it feels great. Y'know, uh, one time was good, two times was great, hopefully three times is even better. Um... Uh, y'know, I've had a good run, it's been fun. Uh, I keep learnin' stuff. Final Jeopardy! was a tough one. Um, betting strategy definitely came into it. I'm glad I, uh, studied it a little. Um, got suggestions, different strategies that, uh, are posted online at, uh, Jeopardy! Archive. Uh, definitely came into play today.

Tell us about the MATH category.
Yeah, y'know, I-I wanted to go to the MATH category earlier. Um, I didn't have control of the board for most of, uh, Double Jeopardy!, seemed like. Um, y'know, with the math ones, it's all about ringin' in and tryin' to figure it out in the time that you have, and, um, y'know, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for Joe, um, y'know, he rang in on a couple of 'em, and gave me a little more time to process it, and then, uh, I beat the buzzer and got in, and--and it worked out pretty well for me, so...

Any messages to the folks back home?
Well, Ken Jennings, I'd like to thank him. He definitely got me hooked on Jeopardy! along with my parents, um, my grandparents. Y'know, it's actually kind of funny. Um, most of my family friends and family members outside of my parents refuse to watch Jeopardy! with me and my--my mom and my dad, because it's far too competitive. Our--our family, at least for me, it seems like everything is a contest. So watchin' Jeopardy! every day is--is cutthroat and there's a lot of smack talk that goes on for--for people that do better, so... it's definitely incentive to, uh, know your material.

Season 27 2-time champion: $20,800 + $1,000.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: Longhorny

Mike appeared in the following 3 archived games:
#6103, aired 2011-03-09 Mike Nelson vs. Harley Savage vs. Quinn McDonald
#6102, aired 2011-03-08 Mike Nelson vs. Joe Mastroeni vs. Meg Khavari
#6101, aired 2011-03-07 Carl Bradshaw vs. Mike Nelson vs. Dawn Hart

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