First appearance on Jeopardy!:
$55,700 and two collectors-item 2002 Chevrolet Camaros; also collected $2,500 for a cameo appearance in the 2001 Tournament of Champions.
Do you have a nickname associated with your performance?
Am credited on the official Jeopardy! message board with coining the term “Ruttered” which can be applied to any player steamrolled by the Million Dollar Masters champion (in later years, contestants were “Weikled” or any of 74 variations on “Jenningsed”).
Five-time champion, the first and (to date) only one from West Virginia.
Favorite anecdote associated with being on the show?
The West Virginia State Senate, I was told by a senator--and elected officials never lie--suspended business the night of my fifth victory so members could watch.
Did being on Jeopardy! have any effect on your life?
On the surface, little has changed since 2001. I still have the same lovely bride (who, alas, still has to work), the same friends, the same home and the same job--but a job I can get to and from a lot faster now, thanks to a Z28 with 310 horsepower's worth of Detroit muscle under the hood.
The most gratifying, humbling and enduring byproduct of my Jeopardy! experience is the pride the people in and around Martinsburg (where I live) and Hagerstown, Md., (where I work) have taken in it. Others across West Virginia, from the governor to a 93-year-old lady in a tiny town 300 miles away who hand-printed a poignant note after watching my fifth game, thanked me for representing our oft-maligned home state in a positive manner.
In recent months, quite a few people have asked (right after the obligatory “How about that Ken Jennings?") if I'd ever be going back on Jeopardy! Now that the answer is a serendipitous “Yes,” I owe those folks a good showing.
Did you do anything crazy with your winnings?
You mean other than hand most of it to Uncle Sam? Some was used to buy a piece of the “old” Jeopardy! set in an eBay auction to benefit World Vision and The Motion Picture & Television Fund.
Is there anything else you would like viewers to know about you?
I've had the chance to play the Alex Trebek role a few times, including last spring at Berkeley County's first scholastic Jeopardy! championship. This February, I created, co-wrote and co-hosted a Team Trivia Bingo competition that raised nearly $3,000 for our company's Newspapers in Education program.
"Legislative work in his home state was suspended so that lawmakers could watch him in 2001. A newspaper copy editor from Martinsburg, West Virginia..."
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 player: $5,000.
2001 Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist: $2,500.
Season 17 5-time champion: $55,700 + 2 Chevrolet Camaros.
Jeopardy! Message Board user name: Fleeboy