Date(s) of first appearance:
July 6-12 2000
$85,400 (and a shiny new Corvette!!)
5-time champ, second-highest one-day total, fourth-highest five day total (pre-doubled dollar amounts)
Do you have a favorite anecdote associated with being on Jeopardy!?
Going into my second day of taping, I had told my niece, who lived in Santa Monica at the time, “If I win five games we're going someplace fancy for dinner, so think about where you'd like to go.” Her roommate, whom I had also invited, was confident I would pull it off (frankly much more confident than I was) so he went ahead and made reservations at Spago. Due to the fact that he had some connections, and told them ahead of time what we would be celebrating, when we arrived we had a table in the courtyard, and a complimentary bottle of champagne chilling on the table. As it turns out, Anthony Hopkins was also there that evening, two tables away, celebrating his new American citizenship (with Steven Spielberg among his guests). Wolfgang Puck came out from the kitchen and stopped to personally check on two tables--Sir Anthony's and ours. My niece got up to go to the ladies room, and three women followed her in to see who we were and if we were with “the Spielberg party.” When it was time for dessert, they brought out the most fantastic tiramisu, with the words “Congratulations Jeopardy Champ!” inscribed in chocolate on the plate.
To top it all off, while we were waiting for the valet to bring our car, I wound up standing next to Mr. Hopkins, and he turned and struck up a conversation, asking what we were celebrating and talking about his new citizenship. I congratulated him, and told him I was celebrating my fifth win on Jeopardy! His reply was “Well that's certainly a more difficult accomplishment that what I had to do. You should be very proud! Congratulations!” I'm not one who is prone to being “star-struck,” but it was a thrill nonetheless.
Did my Jeopardy! appearance have any effect upon your life?
Well, it helped me get over my fear of flying. I still don't like it, but I'm less apprehensive about doing it. I also got divorced after my appearance, but I don't think I can give Jeopardy! the credit for that. Finally, no one will play Trivial Pursuit with me anymore.
Did you do anything crazy with your winnings?
Not really. My main extravagance I allowed myself was the ice cream freezer I bought. Now I can turn out a quart of ice cream in 30 minutes, and I have to spend more time at the gym to work it off.
Anything else you'd like people to know about you?
Although I've lived in Columbus since 1986, I'm originally from New Castle, Pa. I got lots of grief from the hometown folks for not being listed as coming from New Castle or at least mentioning it in one of my conversations with Alex. So I'll put it down here, and if I get a chance, I'll give New Castle a shout out on the air.
"He was the biggest winner of the 1999-2000 season. A marketing manager from Columbus, Ohio..."
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 player: $5,000.
2001 Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist: $2,500.
Season 16 5-time champion: $85,400 + a 2000 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe.
Last name pronounced like "LASH".
Jeopardy! Message Board user name: dougslash