CULVER CITY, Calif.- Jason Keller, a 30-year-old tutor from Highland Park, rang in the New Year a much wealthier man. Keller became this season’s highest money winner, earning a total of $213,900 as a nine-day champion on Dec. 29.
“It’s surreal to win that much money,” Keller said. “It’s going to allow me to go places and do things that I would have never been able to before. This is truly life changing.”
Keller has been a fan of “Jeopardy!” for nearly his entire life. “I learned so much by watching the show and dreamed that one day I’d become a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion,” he said. He eventually secured an in-person audition after taking the online test. “It took me three tries to finally get on the show, but in all, it took me 16 years to finally realize my dream!”
To prepare for the competition, Keller reviewed a variety of trivia subjects as well as regularly read People Magazine for celebrity gossip. “I also watched the ‘Jeopardy!’ clip from White Men Can’t Jump before each taping. Believe it or not, I actually knew two answers because I watched that clip!”
Keller received a Bachelors of Arts in computer science from Cornell University, and did graduate work in computer science at Rutgers University. He enjoys crossword puzzles and is also one of the top Scrabble players in the country. Last year, he placed 19th in the National Scrabble Championship.
Keller plans to use part of his winnings to donate to charity and to travel. “I’d love to visit Israel and a Spanish-speaking country or two,” he said. “I’d also like to participate in a few Scrabble tournaments across the country and internationally.”
“Jeopardy!,” the winner of 29 Emmy awards, including the 2011 Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Program, 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.
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