A senior from the University of Notre Dame...

Patrick Tucker

What are you planning to do after you graduate?
Uh, aside from living in my parents' basement, after I graduate, I hope to be in graduate school by this time next year, so...

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Uh, in ten years, I hope to be working for, uh, the federal government. Uh, I don't want too much responsibility, so...

What's harder: preparing for Jeopardy! or cramming for a mid-term?
Uh, well, based on my preparation and poss--possible performance, I would say that cramming for a mid-term is definitely harder. Uh, I didn't put in that much preparation for today.

Show your school spirit and tune in!


How did you determine your Final Jeopardy! wager?
Well, I just bet, uh, one dollar more than if, uh, Eric had bet everything and gotten it right, so... I was just banking on that I could get it right, which apparently didn't work, but, uh... y'know, well, I'll take the results, so...

What did you think of the competition?
They were great. Uh, I'm sure that--I--I don't know how it happened--how I beat them, but, uh, they were really great, and... I thought I was done for going into the final round--going into Double Jeopardy! of the, uh, last game. I got lucky with PRESIDENTS, that's just just my forte, so...

How will your professors react when they hear about your victory?
Uh, I guess they'll be impressed. Uh, they seemed--they seemed excited for me when they heard, uh... I think... I have--actually, I have a lot of work to do when I get back because of this, but, uh... They... weren't as excited to push back assignments for me, but, uh, I... I think they'll be excited.

Are you going to add "Jeopardy! champ" to your resume?
Uh, yes. Yes. This goes up there with "camp counselor" and, uh, "member of campus radio". I think this might be a little above that on my resume.

How will you spend the $100,000 that you just won?
No, I don't really know. I was planning on traveling, I'm not really sure where. Uh, I've always thought about going to, uh, Ethiopia, uh, but, that's... [laughs] I don't know. We'll see about that one.

What advice do you have for aspiring contestants?
Just have fun. Uh, try out as many times as you can. I've tried out like, three or four times for kid, teen, college, and been turned away. So... apparently if you bother them--bother the show--enough, they'll let you on--uh, give you your chance, so...

Congratulations to Patrick and the other 2009 College Championship contestants!

2010 Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist: $5,000.
2009 College Championship winner: $100,000 + a trophy.

22 and from St. Louis, Missouri at the time of the College Championship.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: ptucker

Patrick Tucker Blog Entry 4
August 21, 2009

Once again the final two games just went by very quickly, with interview segments displaying my talent for self-deprecation. I knew the other two finalists were really cool, smart people so I had no qualms about finishing in third place to them. Going into the final game I had a slight lead (channeling my mother, I thought of this as a jinx). As I said before, the speed of the game makes you forget almost all the details. After the first round, I was losing by quite a bit. The next thing I knew I was winning. Then, I made a fool of myself again in confusing Richard Warren Sears (I wasn't even sure there was such a person) with Henry David Thoreau. Being a dunderhead when it comes to math, I mentally subtracted my losses and thought I had lost the game. To my surprise, I won by some minute amount, and am now a Jeopardy! Champion.

It all happened so fast, that there was never really any time for it to "set in." After sharing a cab ride with other contestants to the airport the next day, Larissa, "A senior from Rice," asked how it felt to win the money. There's really no way to put how I felt then and feel now because this experience is so unique. In a whirlwind of five days, I flew to L.A., won some money, and met a whole lot of cool people I hope to keep in contact with in some manner. I could think of worse ways to spend a week.

Coming back to school, people keep badgering me about how I did. I don't really want to tell them, because I get a secret joy out holding the secret. Surprisingly, when I ask them how they think I did, none of my friends say that I won the entire thing. I guess they're considering the odds.

I have no concrete plans for the money right now. I made a bucket list of places to go shortly before coming on the show. Perhaps I can knock some of those locales off in the next year or two.

I encourage everybody who has an interest to tryout to take the online test. If a dim, socially challenged, bone head who looks like Nosferatu (like me) can make it on the show and win, anybody has a shot to do better.

Now I'm excited to come back to the show for the Tournament of Champions and hopefully ward off total embarrassment one more time! Keep on rocking in the free world, folks!

Patrick Tucker Blog Entry 3
May 14, 2009

On the morning of the Semifinal and Final games, the thought of winning $100,000 hardly registered with me. I had won $10,000 the previous day, more than I would make in any temporary summer employment, so I couldn't be happier. Rehearsal, makeup, and additional promotional filming had all become old hat, and thus went by quickly. Fortunately, I did not have to repeat my internment in the green room, so I was able to see the other semifinal games, both of which were very close and exciting.

Playing in the final semifinal match-up, I knew I was going to need much luck to advance. Thankfully, I hit both daily doubles and made a fortuitous wild guess on the Final Jeopardy! to squeak by with a victory. When I try to remember the details of the game, I fail to recollect what exactly happened. I was losing at one point, then I was winning. Everything goes so rapidly that you don't have time to dwell on wrong answers or congratulate yourself for correct ones. The only detail of the game I remember was when I said I would "bid" on a daily double instead of "bet," much to the confusion to Alex. This episode once again proves what a buffoon I really am. Now all of the syndicated television world can take joy in my absent mindedness.

After winning my second game, my shock took the wind out of me. I had gone farther than I had ever expected. Unfortunately, this meant that the winners were secluded from the other contestants at lunch, but it was paid for by the show, so who am I to complain?

Patrick Tucker Blog Entry 2
May 11, 2009

After meeting the other contestants in the lobby of the Hilton and the seemingly endless bus ride, we finally arrived at Sony Pictures Studios. (Little did I know that my entrance to the green room would be the start of a day of purgatory; locked in a small space with strangers, waiting for my number to be called.) In all seriousness, all of the contestants were much friendlier and more normal than I expected. No one was overly competitive, save for a heated game of Egyptian Rat Screw, and though everyone was extremely bright, nobody felt the need to flaunt their knowledge. Since I was expecting the academic equivalent to a children's beauty contest, I was pleasantly surprised.

Although I don't go out of my way to make a fool of myself on a regular basis, I didn't mind shooting the promos and doing interviews. When you accept the fact that you're not as cool as you'd like to be, life is somewhat easier. Still, I did note that I was glad I no longer attended high school: the "game face" I had to make for the camera might have gotten me beaten up at lunch.

When we finally went on stage at about 4:45, after meeting at 7:30 that morning, all my previous nerves had evaporated. The multiple rehearsals and viewing of the inspirational "Seabiscuit" in the green room made me not worry so much about embarrassing myself on national television. Even when that mythical Canadian, Alex Trebek, walked out on stage for the first time, I didn't let the magnitude of the show distract me from having a good time.

What I most worried about before the taping was how I would interact with Alex during the interview portion. I predicted correctly that he would not find my penchant to make up information as a Capitol Hill tour guide as amusing as I considered it. Nonetheless, I hope my awkward charm shines through when the episode airs.

The actual game went by much more quickly than I expected; there's very little time to be nervous or worry about your score. With many of the categories, I got lucky, particularly the Final question about Henry VIII and an early question about Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin.

After the game I was excited to come back the next day. Having made it as far as the semifinals, I was satisfied with however I would do.

Patrick Tucker Blog Entry 1
May 4, 2009

Hi, I'm Patrick Tucker from St. Louis, Missouri and currently enrolled as a senior political science major at the University of Notre Dame. After graduation I will most likely be attending William and Mary to earn a Masters Degree in Public Policy. With this degree, I hope to work for the federal government. Although I flirted with an academic career, I decided to choose the only profession with less possible responsibility. In my spare time I work for Notre Dame's campus television and radio stations. Our audience consists of club members and their relatives, so I'm used to people not paying attention to me.

I registered online to take the test in September for the October 1st test. On a rather somber note, the day I took the online test was the same day my grandfather passed away. I almost didn't take the test, but I didn't exactly feel like doing anything else at the time, so I went for it. Having taken a few online tests before, I thought this was the hardest one yet and that I had done very poorly.

Luckily I passed and went to Chicago a month later. Since I live in South Bend, I took the 7:00 am train and headed to the Westin for the audition. I had gone to Chicago two years previously to try put, but I failed miserably when playing the mock game. This time I just relaxed when playing and tried to enjoy myself.

By the time March rolled around, I had all but given up hope of being selected for the show. When I saw that I had a voicemail from an unlisted number, I assumed it was this dentist office that kept calling me as a wrong number and almost deleted it without listening. Obviously when I discovered it was not someone to confirm a root canal I was ecstatic. After running up and down the hallways of my building, shouting with glee, I settled down and told my friends the good news over dinner. People have been really supportive of my "hard work" to get on the show. My friends have made posters and even thrown a surprise party (which I nearly skipped) to wish me good luck. After the party, I told them I appreciated their friendship and support, but they wouldn't get one cent of my winnings.

To prepare for the show, I've been annoyingly clicking a pen while watching the show. In terms of studying, I haven't been doing anything in particular. This is probably a poor strategy, but if there is a category on basic cable reality television stars, I'll be okay. Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the pre-show preparation has been my search for a Notre Dame sweatshirt. Apparently, I'm the least spirited member of our student body, and I don't own anything that just says "Notre Dame." Also, i have inherited a cheapness gene from my father, so I expect someone else to pay for my sweatshirt. This past week I've gone to numerous offices, looking for someone in the university to reimburse my purchase. Unfortunately, I had to buy it myself. Perhaps, Jeopardy! will let me wear it with the tag still attached so I can return it at a later date.

Patrick appeared in the following 4 archived games:
#5695, aired 2009-05-15 Eric Betts vs. Patrick Tucker vs. Laura Myers 2009 College Championship final game 2.
#5694, aired 2009-05-14 Eric Betts vs. Patrick Tucker vs. Laura Myers 2009 College Championship final game 1.
#5693, aired 2009-05-13 Patrick Tucker vs. Erica Greil vs. Mark Petterson 2009 College Championship semifinal game 3.
#5690, aired 2009-05-08 Andrew Ceppos vs. Ariella Goldstein vs. Patrick Tucker 2009 College Championship quarterfinal game 5.
Patrick would later appear on Jeopardy! as Patrick Tucker in the following archived game:
#5916, aired 2010-05-10 Ryan Chaffee vs. Liz Murphy vs. Patrick Tucker 2010 Tournament of Champions quarterfinal game 1.

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