1994 regular appearances: $49,413
1995 Tournament of Champions: $100,000
1996 Olympic Tournament: $5,000
Favorite anecdotes associated with being on the show:
My first appearance on the show was in October of 1994. My five shows were sandwiched around that year's Tournament of Champions and, as I recall, the Celebrity Tournament as well. So it was nearly a full year before I returned for the 1995 Tournament of Champions.
In the tournament, thanks to timely help from Robert James Waller, Hippocrates and Gerald Ford, I somehow managed to win the championship against some marvelous competition.
The next year I was invited back to represent the US in the first Jeopardy! International Tournament. There I was trampled by Ulf Jenssen, a law professor from the University of Uppsala in Sweden who was very fast on the buzzer. He went on to win the tournament, and I'll never forget my amazement watching a group of players from Europe sweep through a US STATE CAPITALS category without missing a beat.
My favorite moment right after the show was being contacted by Mrs. Satchwell, my first-grade teacher from Harvey Clarke Elementary in Forest Grove. She saw me on the show one night and called me from Arizona, where she had retired. That Christmas she came to Oregon and we had a wonderful chance to catch up.
Then something even better happened: we met family we didn't know we had. My distant cousin Edith Kapfer emigrated from Germany in the 1950s and settled near Toronto with her husband Franz. When she heard the name Holznagel on television--her maiden name--she figured it had to be a relative. So she wrote to the Portland Chamber of Commerce, and they sent her a copy of the appropriate “H“ page of the local telephone book. She wrote to my cousin Herman Holznagel, who then put us all together.
Through Edith we met other relatives in Germany, some of whom had been separated by the Iron Curtain until a few years before. This all culminated in a family reunion in Oregon two summers ago that included some of our German relatives. All that has been a wonderful bonus of having appeared on the show.
What did you do with your winnings?
The great splurge with my money was a two-month trip to Europe, where I had never been, and where the money from Jeopardy! gave me the chance to relax, stay in hotels instead of hostels at times, and enjoy some great meals in places like Florence and Capri. I traveled from Stockholm (where I had dinner with Ulf Jenssen and his wife, truly nice people) through Germany (where I visited another Olympic tourney competitor, Thomas Kinne) and as far south as Pompeii, stopping in Paris to celebrate my birthday with a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The rest of the money I blew on big breakfasts, golf and subscriptions to the New York Times.
"He was the winner of the 1995 Tournament of Champions. Now, he's a writer. Originally from Forest Grove, Oregon..."
In his Round 1 game, Ryan was introduced as "a writer originally from Forest Grove, Oregon...", while in his Round 2 game, he was introduced as "a writer from Mountain View, California..."
2014 Battle of the Decades invitee: $5,000.
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 winner: $25,000.
1996 Olympic Games Tournament semifinalist: $5,000.
1995 Tournament of Champions winner (semifinalist by wildcard): $100,000.
Season 11 4-time champion: $49,413.
Jeopardy! Message Board user name: Woodnail
JBoard user name: FritzHolz