Date of first appearance:
Shows aired April 1985
$53,500 in the five regular shows; $1,000 in the 1985 Tournament of Champions
For quite some time, I was the youngest five-time champion (23 when my shows aired). I believe this record stood until Jim Scott won five games (and the Tournament of Champions that year), but I'm not sure.
Favorite anecdote regarding my original appearance:
When I flew to Los Angeles to tape the shows, the movie on the plane was The Natural, with Robert Redford. I was irritated that I couldn't recall who wrote the book on which the film was based, so I paid careful attention to the credits, where Bernard Malamud was acknowledged. Sure enough, in my first game, there was a $1,000 literature question: “Though most of his novels concerned the plight of the Jews, his first work, "The Natural", was about baseball.” Talk about a lucky coincidence!
What I did with my winnings:
I gave a great deal of them, involuntarily, to Uncle Sam. I paid some of my law school tuition with the remainder.
What's going on with me now:
I'm now an attorney in San Francisco and live in Marin county, but I'm still a Columbus, Ohio boy at heart. I'm getting married in March to a wonderful woman who, like me, is an attorney originally from central Ohio. Hopefully, I won't embarrass myself too much in the UToC. I once was a very formidable player, but those days are long gone.
"As an MBA Student, he won 5 games in 1985. Today he's an attorney. From Tiburon, California..."
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 player: $5,000.
1985 Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist: $1,000.
Season 1 5-time champion: $53,500.
Michael played a single-player Final Jeopardy! in his fourth game.
The signaling device lockout system was instituted after Michael used a strategy of continually jiggling the signaling button throughout the game in his original five games in order to ring in first on virtually every clue. This is described in The Jeopardy! Book (pages 59-60) and in Harry Eisenberg's exposé (page 75 of the first edition and page 79 of the revised edition).
Jeopardy! Message Board user name: MikeDay