Date of First Appearance:
Five victories in the regular season: $57,902
Tournament of Champions (finalist): $11,600
Super Jeopardy!: $10,000
I was a five time winner; that used to be impressive. In the finals of my Tournament of Champions, I came in third place (damn Daily Doubles). On Super Jeopardy!, I had the distinction of being the first mere mortal to beat Frank Spangenberg.
My favorite anecdote associated with Jeopardy!:
I had a favorite video store, a small business that specialized in foreign and independent films. It was staffed by film students, and I enjoyed discussing movies with them. The intellectual level of the conversation was therapeutic, especially after a day in public relations. I was a regular customer; the video store was my version of Cheers. The staff didn't yell "Norm" when I entered but the rapport was similar.
A new hire, a college boy there for the summer, had only a nodding acquaintance with the garrulous, middle-aged know-it-all. He heard me refer to the store as my Cheers. Thinking himself clever (after all, he was an Ivy Leaguer) he asked me, "And how did you do on Jeopardy!?"
He certainly didn't expect this Cliff Claburn to reply, "I was a five-time winner and I came in third in my Tournament of Champions."
His jaw literally dropped. He turned in disbelief to another employee. She nodded her head, confirming my credentials and his embarrassment. He turned back toward me and uttered a few disjointed syllables.
Sometimes the world is perfect.
How Jeopardy! changed my life:
Jeopardy! made me glamorous. People now were eager to fix me up with their better-looking sisters and cousins, the ones who weighed less than me. I now am married: one of the fix-ups definitely worked.
Did I do anything crazy with my winnings:
The money afforded the chance to be a real writer. I quit my job in public relations to write intentional satires. I was certain that the New Yorker was just waiting to discover me. Unfortunately, I seem to be hard to find. So, to sustain a middle-class standard of living, I have crawled back to public relations--at least in a free-lance capacity.
"A finalist in the 1987 Tournament of Champions, he's a writer. From Northbrook, Illinois..."
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 winner: $25,600.
1990 Super Jeopardy! semifinalist: $10,000. Defeated Frank Spangenberg in his quarterfinal game--the first time Frank Spangenberg was defeated.
1987 Tournament of Champions 2nd runner-up: $11,600.
Season 3 5-time champion: $57,902 + a vacuum cleaner + 14 bags of chocolate chips.
First syllable of last name pronounced like "fin", not "fine".
Web site at FinermanWorks.
Jeopardy! Message Board user name: EugeneF