Date of first appearance:
February 2nd-February 16th, 2002
$50,000 and a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
Do you have a nickname associated with your performance?
Although I didn't develop a specific nickname while on the show, everywhere I go--whether it was in high school, college or just out on the street--people are like, "There goes Jeopardy! boy." So I guess “Jeopardy! boy” would be the nickname, if I had one. It's not that special, but looking back it's crazy to have total strangers completely know you just because you spent two weeks on a game show.
2002 Teen Tournament Champion
Favorite anecdote associated with being on the show?
The funniest aspect thing that happened to me since being on the show is that most people--or at least among people my age, that is--don't remember me for being the 2002 Teen Jeopardy! Tournament Champion. If you ask any of my friends what was memorable about me being on Jeopardy!, they'll say it was because, "Bernard was that kid who didn't know who Mary J. Blige was... Like he confused her with Pink--who would ever do that?" So I knew from the moment I got two answers in a row wrong in my first appearance on the show by saying, “Who is Mary J. Blige?” that for the rest of my life, most people my age who have seen me on the show for being the person who didn't know anything about pop culture, instead of the guy who won it all.
Did being on Jeopardy! have any effect on your life?
Being on the show affected my life in a lot of ways, but I guess one of the most intriguing ways it influenced me was since I came to college. Word had gotten around campus that I had been on Jeopardy!, and done pretty well, so some friends of mine who hadn't seen the tape of me on the air wanted to, and to make it fun they created something called the "Bernard Holloway Teen Jeopardy! Drinking Game," which consisted mostly of someone else drinking when I got something right and someone watching got it wrong, and vice versa during the occasional moments where I tripped up. People also tried to do have fun with the Daily Doubles and eventually all the revelry made for a very memorable night.
Did you do anything crazy with your winnings?
Not really. I sold the car, which some people would say is crazy, but the insurance cost $4,000 a year, and I was staring down paying college tuition for the next four years. So most of my money is paying for me to go to college at UNC with a little of it spent on a summer program here and a trip there.
Is there anything else you would like viewers to know about you?
The biggest thing that I'd want people to know about me is that my commitment to student leadership and advocacy didn't end in high school--because when I was on the show, I was Student Member on the Prince George's County Board of Education. Since then, I helped to lead a nationwide effort called Freedom's Answer that mobilized over one million middle and high school students in the fall of 2002 and almost 2.5 million students in 2004 to get people to vote--not for any particular candidate or party, just to vote.
Out of our efforts came a book entitled, Freedom's Answer: Too young to vote but old enough to lead, which is a really inspiring story of how tons of students across the country came together in the wake of September 11th to start an effort to make our democracy stronger. And here in college, I'm still on the grind, working right now to start up a distinguished lecture series on campus, whose focus is bringing people outside of the mainstream to talk about outside-of-the-box topics. Fittingly, we've come to call it the State of the Union Project, or SOUP.