A biologist from Santa Barbara, California...

Bernie Cullen

First Appeared:
Sept 1996.

Total Winnings:
Won $63,102 (5-time champion) and $1,000 from ToC (first round loss to Beverly Spurs).

Favorite Anecdotes:
I was very poor on the buzzer, especially during my first game, and I only was heard from three times in the Jeopardy! round. I only won because I made a huge Daily Double wager that put me in the lead, which encouraged me to continue to make big bets for the rest of my games. It may not be a record, but I only got to ring in on 11 of 60 clues during that game and still won (and 3 of those 11 were after someone else got it wrong).

I was selected for the first taping for the fall season, right after the 1996 Atlanta Olympics ended. The first episode took a very long time to tape, because there were numerous technical glitches--the clue wouldn't appear at the right time, or something was wrong with a light, but mostly we never even knew what was wrong. All these false starts were very frustrating for Alex and the contestants, but it helped me to lose my nervousness. Unfortunately, I didn't think there would be a category on the Atlanta games a week after it ended, and hadn't studied that topic. Of course, the very first clue Alex read was about Olympic runner Michael Johnson.

The best part of being on Jeopardy! was getting back in touch with a couple of people I had lost contact with during my short life up to that time. When friends introduced me as a Jeopardy! champion, the most common reply was “What is Alex like?” The next most frequent question was, “Oh, were you on Teen Jeopardy! or the College Tournament?” I was 25 when I was on, but I guess I looked younger then.

"He was the first 5-time champion of the 1996-97 season. A biologist from Santa Barbara, California..."

2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 player: $5,000.
1996 Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist: $1,000.
Season 13 5-time champion: $63,102 + a choice of Jeopardy! video games from GameTek (First Edition, Sports Edition, or Deluxe Edition) + the Jeopardy! electronic game from Tiger Electronics + the official Jeopardy! scorekeeper + Jeopardy! Roll-a-Puzzle system from Crossword Companion.

Bernie won $1,000,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on 2001-04-15.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: BernieTheC

Bernie appeared in the following archived game:
#4742, aired 2005-03-29 Bernie Cullen vs. Pat Healy vs. Kyle Hale 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1, game 35.
Bernie previously appeared on Jeopardy! as Bernie Cullen in the following archived game:
#2812, aired 1996-11-19 Bernie Cullen vs. Beverly Spurs vs. David Cuneo 1996 Tournament of Champions quarterfinal game 2.

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