Ashtabula man wins $5,599 on 'Jeopardy!'Now in its 30th season, Jeopardy! has had many contestants, but few do as well as Ashtabula native Justin Nigro.
“It was a very unique opportunity,” Nigro said Tuesday from his home in the Chicago area. “When I heard the opening Jeopardy theme song, I felt this volt of nervous energy.”
Nigro, who is a 2002 graduate of Lakeside High School, won Monday night’s game and $5,599.
He beat the champion, Kay Thanaporn, who had won the title and $33,199 in Friday’s game. Monday night, she took on Nigro, and Robyn Stone, from Scarsdale, NY.
Nigro said his path to Jeopardy! began in college when a friend told him of an on-line test that anyone can take every January.
“There’s an expectation that you correctly answer so many questions,” he said.
Last year, Nigro took the test and was called to a live audition in Detroit, Mich.
“They set you up in a mock game with buzzers,” he said.
Nigro did well enough to take that buzzer in hand for the real thing, recently taped in Culver City, Calif.
In Round 1 of Monday’s show, Stone found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Who Knows ‘C-P-R’” under the $800 clue. She was in second place with $1,000, and $1,600 less than Nigro’s lead. She made it a true Daily Double but drew a blank.
The returning champion, Thanaporn, finished the first round in the lead with $5,400. Nigro was second with $4,800 and Stone was last with $2,800.
In Round 2, Stone found the first Daily Double in “Author Writes” under the $2,000 clue. She was in second place with $8,800, which was $800 less than Nigro’s lead. She bet $2,000 and gave the name of the work and that was wrong.
Host Alex Trebeck said, “No, we’re going for the name of the author” and then she gave it, but he said it was too late.
Nigro found the last Daily Double in “Chinese History” under the $800 clue. In the lead with $12,400, he had $1,200 more than Stone in second place. He bet $400 and he was right.
Nigro finished in the lead with $14,000. Stone was next with $11,200 and Thanaporn was in third place with $10,600.
None of the contestants got the Final Jeopardy! question right, but lucky for Nigro, he bet $8,401, so he ended up with $5,599 — making him the new champion.
He is not allowed to tell anyone the final outcome of his California taping.
“They want people to watch the show,” he said.
Nigro is the son of Anthony and Angela Nigro of Ashtabula. He received his bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science from Miami University in 2006. Recently, he was executive director at We Are One Illinois.
He and his wife, Brittany, are moving to Columbus to be closer to family.
By Shelley Terry - Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 the Star Beacon (Ashtabula, Ohio)
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