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A Wapakoneta High School 2002 graduate put up a fight as the returning champion for Tuesday’s episode of Jeopardy, but he was unable to keep the title as another contestant took the lead after the Final Jeopardy question.
Wapakoneta native Alex Wright, who resides in Upper Arlington, had a once-in-a-lifetime moment as he had the opportunity to compete on the nationally broadcasted game show Jeopardy — and not only competed in one taping of the show, he had the chance to come back for a second day to compete and test his knowledge as returning champion on Tuesday.
Wright received $25,600 for winning the game on Monday, and will go home with $2,000 after taking second place on Tuesday, equaling a grand total of $27,600.
When asked what he will do with his winnings, he said he is planning a vacation with his wife, Kristen.
“The show does not send you the money until a few months after your air date to make sure you met eligibility requirements and to make sure you don’t give away the outcome if you won a lot of money. So I’ll get it soon,” Wright said. “My wife and I will save some of it, but we are planning on taking a pretty great vacation. I’d love somewhere in Africa or Asia, but we are still planning it out.”
Not only does Wright considers this a once-in-a-life opportunity, but more like a twice-in-a-life opportunity, since he competed two days on the nationally broadcasted show.
The Bowling Green State University (BGSU) graduate said that he attended a viewing party on Monday to watch his airing of Jeopardy with family and friends.
“We had a watch party at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill in Columbus,” Wright said. “My parents, grandparents, friends, and coworkers were invited and many attended.”
On Monday night, he answered questions involving categories such as “Familiar Phrases,” “You Rock,” and “A Year Ending in ‘12.”
He also talked briefly with Alex Trebek about the opportunity of being the BGSU mascot — Freddie the Falcon, with his wife, who was Frieda the Falcon during their college years.
“My wife and I were mascots in college,” Wright told Trebek on Monday’s episode. “We would spread cheer where ever we went.”
On Monday before Double Jeopardy, he was in third place, but soon gained the lead as he received both Daily Doubles in that round.
He was in second place before the Final Jeopardy question, which was about movie director Orson Welles, and he wagered $10,000 to take the lead.
His final total on the first night was $25,600, winning by $1,600, and Wright was all smiles, as he would be returning as champion for Tuesday’s episode of Jeopardy.
“It feels great!” Wright said about winning Monday’s show. “The first game was so well played by all of the contestants. Because I was in second place going into Final Jeopardy, I had to hope the leader would miss the question to win. Once Alex announced she got the question right, I thought I had lost because I couldn’t do the math in my head fast enough. I didn’t realize I had won until Alex announced it.”
On Tuesday’s broadcast of Jeopardy, Trebek noted that Wright’s previous game was a good game.
“It was a fabulous game,” Trebek said on Tuesday. “All three contestants came up with the correct response for Final Jeopardy.”
Wright and the two other contestants Tuesday answered questions in categories “Movie Quotes,” “I’m the King of the World,” and “To Infinity and Beyond.”
Wright corrected answered questions involving the smokey eye make-up technique, the movie “The Social Network,” and platinum metals.
Each contestant chatted briefly with Trebek about vacations during the show, and Wright told the story of when he went on a family vacation to the Badlands National Park, and he got stuck in a patch of mud.
“My father had to pull me out,” Wright said. “My shoe is probably still stuck there.”
Wright was in the lead after the first round, but another contestant took the lead after the Double Jeopardy round.
The Final Jeopardy question was about historical facts and figures. The question was “This site was active from 1892 to 1954; It’s busiest day was April 17, 1907, when 11,747 were processed. The answer was Ellis Island, in which all contestants got correct.
Wright wagered $7,000, but was not enough to win, as another contestant took the championship title on Tuesday.
Wright said he was happy he made it that far and had the opportunity to compete on two episodes of the popular game show.
“I have been overwhelmed with the amount of people who have reached out to me or other members of my family,” Wright said. “It has really helped me reconnect with folks from BGSU and Wapak.
“I spent a couple of hours last night (Monday night) responding to all of the texts, phone calls, tweets and Facebook messages,” he said. “All of these social media sites make events like this a lot of fun as people can all watch and comment together.”