A seven-game Jeopardy! champion, Stephanie Jass’ return to the game show didn’t go as she hoped.
The 42-year-old Milan, Mich., resident finished third with $13,000 in the first match of the opening round of Jeopardy!’s Tournament of Champions, in which 15 winning contestants from the previous 18 months went head to head. The show aired Wednesday. Jass, an associate history professor at Adrian College, is not out of the tournament just yet, though. Four losing players with the highest money totals will be brought back to compete as wild cards. The tournament runs through Feb. 26.
“I felt good about my chances when the game ended,” she said in an email, “but then I had to sit in the audience the rest of the day, watching the subsequent games. It was a nerve-wracking experience, wondering if my score would be good enough, and the viewing public can experience that anxiety right along with me over the next three games.
“The first five games are all taped in one day, so it was quite an exhausting afternoon, even though I was done playing. And my mom, husband, and in-laws were in a different part of the audience, so I could only imagine what they were thinking.”
During her October run on the show, Jass earned $147,570 in winnings, making her among the top overall performers in Jeopardy!’s long-running history.
The show airs at 7:30 p.m. weekdays on WTOL-TV, Channel 11.
Two Toledo contestants will appear next week on Who Wants to be a Millionaire’s Countdown to the Oscars movie-themed week.
Tim McMahon of Perrysburg competes Tuesday and Nick Montalbano of Toledo on Thursday.
McMahon is a former sports anchor at WNWO-TV, Channel 24, and Wood County bureau reporter at WTOL. Montalbano, who works in automotive sales, is married to Diana and has a 16-year-old-son, Jonah.
Hosted by the Emmy Award-winning Meredith Vieira, Who Wants to be a Millionaire airs at 12:30 p.m. weekdays on WTVG-TV, Channel 13.