Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tech Grad Sets One-Day Jeopardy! Winnings Record
Virginia Tech College of Science alumnus Roger Craig (above with Alex Trebek), who set a one-day winnings record of $77,000, ended his reign as the show's champion this week, amassing a seven-day total of $231,200 in cash winnings.
He was beaten by Winston-Salem writer, commedian and marathon runner Jelisa Castrodale (right). She beat Craig with a one-day total of $39,399 (which is about what Craig averaged over his run), but lost the next night. (Her interesting Web page is here.
Castrodale beat Craig in Final Jeopardy (coming from behind) when the category was "Sports and the Media." She has a communications degree from Wake Forest and writes for the Winston-Salem Journal and NBC.com.
Craig, a 33-year-old graduate student at the University of Delaware earned a prominent place in the show's history by becoming the third highest winning contestant on the quiz show (excluding tournaments), right behind Ken Jennings ($2,520,700) and David Madden ($430,400). Jennings’ $75,000 one-day total was the previous best.
“I had no idea that I became the third highest winner until Alex Trebek announced it," Craig is reported to have said. "I was totally shocked. It obviously helped by having set the highest single game record and by my large Daily Double bets.”
A native of Newark, Del., Craig will earn a Ph.D. in computer science this fall. He says he plans to use the money to pay off school loans, buy a new car, travel and donate to charity.
(Photo of Roger Craig from the Jeopardy! Web site. Jelisa Castrodale's photo from nbcsports.com.)