April 12, 2001 when I got to win throughout the IRS tax day weekend! Right after “Congratulations” the first thing people said was “How much did they get?”
$66,100 and two Chevy Camaros. (Gee, in chubby middle age I finally got the cool car.)
There was one major distinction to my time on Jeopardy! My first shooting date was in December 2000 and I finished in January 2001. I'm actually the only 5-day champion to have won in two millennia! I know it doesn't count because it was just on the shooting dates but I like it.
I want to thank Jeopardy! for using a clip from my shows for the Emmy Awards presentation. The clip showed me giving the question “What is Do... Re... Mi.” Then Alex said “If I wait LOOOOOONG ENOUGH.”
My aunt in Texas saw it and it was almost as big a thrill as my Jeopardy! wins!
And some people have recognized me as the “Do Re Mi Man.” I'm not so sure I want to be remembered for my “brain stutter” in front millions of people. I was hoping for something more dignified.
I think my favorite story happened about six months after my appearance. My wife and I drove our Camaro up to Santa Barbara and stopped at a coffee house we like. I was heading to the restroom when I heard a woman say, “You were on Jeopardy!” She'd recognized me as I was walking away!
“Yes, I was,” I replied.
“Your name is… Larry.”
“Yes, it is,” I replied, flattered.
“You won $66,100.”
“Yes, I did,” I replied, very impressed.
“And you took the two Camaros.”
“Yes, I did,” I replied, EXTREMELY impressed.
“I'm a big fan. I never miss Jeopardy!” she said.
“Well, you should try out for it!”
“Oh, no, I could never remember all those details."
Did being on the show have any effect on your life?
Every now and then someone will ask me if they know me. I ask if they watch Jeopardy! and usually that brings a smile to their face and a nice conversation to me. (If they say “No... Say, aren't you that guy who cut me off on the freeway?” then my life hasn't been affected at all.)
Also, if someone challenges some statement I've made and calls me a know-it-all, I can reply, “Yes, but as a 5-time Jeopardy! champion I'm a CERTIFIED know-it-all now!”
Did you do anything crazy with your winnings?
The only thing that seemed to qualify was the bagpipes I decided to get. But once I talked about that idea I found quite a few of my neighbors suggesting taking up the harp or playing recorders or learning mime instead. When I decided to buy an 8” telescope I wanted there was general rejoicing in the neighborhood. I was disappointed more people hadn't been enthusiastic about my bagpipes when I thought they were all music lovers. My wife said that was the reason they were happy about the telescope.
"He won five times in 2001, allowing him to make a big donation to charity. A bookkeeper and computer consultant from Inglewood, California..."
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 1 player: $5,000.
2001 Tournament of Champions wildcard semifinalist: $5,000.
Season 17 5-time champion: $66,100 + 2 Chevrolet Camaros.