RUSS SCHUMACHER OF FORT COLLINS, COLORADO WINS A QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR GRAND PRIZE ON "JEOPARDY!" TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
(CULVER CITY, CA) October 1, 2004 - Russ Schumacher, a graduate student from Fort Collins, Colorado, has won the prestigious Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Schumacher, 25, competed in the two-week tournament which showcased the quiz show's top players from recent seasons.
Previously, Schumacher won $64,800 in October 2003.
Asked how he won the tournament, Schumacher says, "I think it was a combination of being in-sync with the buzzer and studying books, almanacs and the internet. All that studying obviously paid off."
Will winning $250,000 as Jeopardy! champion change his lifestyle much? "It's hard for me to think about that now," he said, "but I think it will be a nice cushion. I'll be able to save for the future, travel and put some money towards my January wedding and honeymoon. I will do things I wouldn't be able to do otherwise."
Schumacher, formerly of Chaska, Minnesota, was joined by fellow Jeopardy! alumni, including an actor, bartender, cab driver and crime data specialist, to name a few.
"It was a great honor to be back to compete against some of the best Jeopardy! players," he added. Prior to their appearances on the Tournament of Champions, the 15 contestants had cumulatively earned over $1 million in cash.
Schumacher, who has watched Jeopardy! since he was in grammar school, is currently a graduate student studying atmospheric science at Colorado State University. He attended Valparaiso University as an undergraduate, where he earned a B.S. in meteorology. When he's not studying, he enjoys playing golf, baseball and music.
The top prize for Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions was $250,000 cash. Second place finisher Tom Walsh won $50,000. Arthur Gandolfi finished third and won $25,000.
The six players eliminated in semifinals each pocketed $10,000.
Players eliminated in the first round received $5,000.
With the Tournament concluded, current champion Ken Jennings returns to defend his record-breaking run on Monday, October 4, 2004.
Jeopardy!, a winner of 24 Emmy awards since its debut in 1984, was listed among "The Greatest Game Shows of All Time" by TV Guide, and continues to be a ratings champion. The series is the #1-rated quiz show in syndication, and has held that title for over 1,000 weeks.
Jeopardy! is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, and is distributed domestically by King World Productions, Inc. The series is also distributed internationally by CBS Paramount International Television.