Date of first appearance:
$193,100 and a plethora of parting gifts: an autographed copy of Treasure Island, an “I Survived the Fourth Podium” T-shirt, and a case of red wine vinegar, just to name a few.
Teen Tournament champion and ToC semifinalist, '89.
Semifinalist, SJ! '90.
(Only had to wait 12 years for a rematch with Verini, too...)
Teen Reunion Tournament champion, '98.
Runner-up, M$M '02.
Had the honor and pleasure of playing straight man to Bob Verini, Eugene Finerman, Dave Javerbaum, Bob Harris, and numerous other players far funnier than myself.
Do you have a nickname associated with your performance?
“Powerhouse.” The kind of parting gift you can't put a value on, I suppose. Thanks for that. I mean, it's clever and probably makes for a nice tattoo and all, but really. “Well Alex, my interests are translating David Foster Wallace into English, station wagons, a nice Australian Shiraz, and hunting down Vash the Stampede in cold blood before I die. Can I have BEFORE & AFTER for $1000, please?”
Favorite anecdote associated with being on the show:
There are many, but probably the strangest involves someone who was apparently a very devoted fan screaming my name across a crowded concert hall for several minutes until I finally made my way across to see whether he wasn't related or something. Not having a pen on him, he would not be placated until I had at least used his cigarette to burn a sizable hole in his T-shirt, which he'd probably just dropped about $25 on. (I'm sure there's a lesson buried in there somewhere.)
Did being on Jeopardy! have any affect on your life?
I can see! Seriously. When we did the Reunion in Boston in '98, one of the other players in the tournament [Dana Venator, '87] said she was going to put her winnings toward laser surgery for her eyes. As I was fast approaching Coke-bottle territory too, eventually I looked into it myself and now I can buy and lose countless pairs of regular sunglasses just like anyone else.
Did you do anything crazy with your winnings?
Crazy? I know no “crazy.” Although, needing to make a grant conference in South Florida last summer, I opted to pass up the convenient three-hour flight in favor of a two-week drive (in the immediate wake of Hurricane Jeanne, no less--fortunately, she got there before I did). But that isn't crazy; that's taking the scenic route. Besides, it was the most fun I've had in my car in years, and a valuable learning experience too. I learned many, many things. Such as the fact that I'm never going to Tennessee again without at least a V6.
Is there anything else you would like viewers to know about you?
A bit of friendly advice: if you ever play poker with Eddie Timanus, leave your wallet at home. Trust me on that one.
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Nifty Nine (players with byes into Round 2) member: $25,000.
2002 Million Dollar Masters Tournament 1st runner-up (semifinalist by wildcard): $100,000.
1998 Teen Reunion Tournament winner: $50,000.
1990 Super Jeopardy! semifinalist: $10,000.
1989 Tournament of Champions semifinalist: $5,000.
1989 Teen Tournament winner: $28,100.