A minister and writer from Rohnert Park, California...

Michael Rankins

Date of first appearance:
June 1988

Total winnings:
$62,098 (plus a prize package valued at $7,700 for winning Jeopardy! Battle of the Bay Area Brains)

Records held/stats:
Five-time champion, ToC semifinalist (1988), Super Jeopardy! participant, Champion, Jeopardy! Battle of the Bay Area Brains

Favorite anecdote:
TV Guide interviewed me in 1996 when the controversy involving Maya Angelou's criticism of the apparent dearth of minority contestants on Jeopardy!

How did Jeopardy! affect your life?
Even after all these years, Jeopardy! still makes a marvelous “calling card.” Whatever else I've accomplished in life, my history as a Jeopardy! champion is always the achievement people find most remarkable, and most want to hear about.

Do anything crazy with my winnings?
With my original five-game winnings, I took my then-seven-months-pregnant wife to Hawaii. Had we scheduled the trip even one week later, her doctor would not have released her for air travel. My daughter, who's now nearly 16 years old, still hasn't quite forgiven her mother and me for the fact that her only trip to Hawaii thus far was taken in utero.

Anything else?
1. I collect original comic book art.
2. I'm an associate editor and film critic for the largest DVD review website on the Internet (www.dvdverdict.com).
3. I've performed three times in international competition in an a cappella chorus.

"A 5-show winner from 1988, he has been a minister with the same church for the past 18 years. From Rohnert Park, California..."

2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 winner: $41,601. Lost to Grace Veach along with Brian Weikle.
1990 Super Jeopardy! quarterfinalist: $5,000.
1988 Tournament of Champions semifinalist: $5,000.
Season 4 5-time champion: $52,098.

Won $5,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on 2016-12-05 and 2016-12-06.

Michael won $162,500 on The Chase with Daniel Donohue on 2021-01-28, facing James Holzhauer as their chaser.

Web site at swanshadow.com.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: SwanShadow

Michael appeared in the following 2 archived games:
#4765, aired 2005-04-29 Grace Veach vs. Michael Rankins vs. Brian Weikle 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 2, game 13.
#4709, aired 2005-02-10 Michael Rankins vs. Rachael Schwartz vs. John Genova 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1, game 2.
Michael previously appeared on Jeopardy! as Michael Rankins in the following archived game:
Super Jeopardy! #10, aired 1990-08-18 Bob Blake vs. Michael Rankins vs. Keith Bell vs. Peggi Malys Super Jeopardy! quarterfinal game 8.

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