HOT NEWS FROM WABC TV NEW YORK: Tom Nissley, a 43-year-old online books editor from Seattle, Wash., is celebrating the holidays a much richer man. Tonight, Nissley won his eighth game of “Jeopardy!” – amassing a total of $235,405, making him the third highest-winning contestant ever in the history of the quiz show (excluding tournaments), right behind all-time “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings ($2,520,700) and David Madden ($430,400).
“It feels wonderful, and a little bewildering,” Nissley said in an interview following today’s match. “It all happened so suddenly. It’s hard to imagine that out of all the ‘Jeopardy!’ players, there are only two others who have won more!”
Nissley said he had no idea that he’d earn this much money. “My only hope was to have fun and not embarrass myself. I wanted to win one game so I could say that I was a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion. I can’t believe that I’m still winning,” he said.
Regarding his experience, Nissley said he’s become more confident with each game. “In my first game, the returning champ actually leaned over during a break to remind me that I had to say my answer in the form of a question,” he said. “I had forgotten to do this because of my nerves.”
Nissley plans to use his winnings to pay off his mortgage and student loans as well as save for his children’s college tuition. He’d also like to help expand his wife’s business, which started out of their basement. “She makes these cool, sparkly vinyl handbags that have become really popular among the moms at our kids’ school. The extra money will help us stock up on some giant rolls of material to make them,” he said. Nissley would also like to take his family on a trip to Paris. “My wife and I went for the first time this past spring. We’d love to bring our boys back with us to experience it.”
Nissley, who returns to the “Jeopardy!” stage tomorrow, is excited to keep playing. “I’m ready to come back and keep on winning! It’s been an amazing experience,” he said.
“Jeopardy!,” the winner of 28 Emmy awards since its debut in 1984, was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most awards won by a TV Game Show. The series is the #1-rated quiz show in syndication with nearly 9 million daily viewers. “Jeopardy!” is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Television International, both units of CBS Corp.
View Nissley’s winning moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_WxEtXyPDE