Iowa City native returns for 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions

Nelson won $54,900 back in November, tournament episodes begin airing Feb. 13

  • Photo
Diana Nollen

Iowa City native Paul Nelson will be back at the button, hoping to come up with the right questions in the "Jeopardy!" Tournament of Champions. Taping started in mid-January and the episodes begin airing Feb. 13, 2013.

Nelson, now 24, had a successful six-episode run on the venerable game show back in November, winning $54,900. (He won another $2,000 for finishing second in his final appearance.) He was a legislative correspondent in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Washington office at the time. He is now in the U.S. Navy's Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., and is in a communications blackout, according to his father, Scott Nelson of Iowa City.

Among Nelson's opponents is Stephanie Jass, a history professor from Michigan, who is the show's all-time highest winning female, at $147,570. They will be vying for these prizes:

  • Champion: $250,000
  • 1st runner-up: $100,000 (or the player's two-day finals total, whichever is larger)
  • 2nd runner-up: $50,000 (or the player's two-day finals total, whichever is larger)
  • Semifinalist: $10,000.

"Jeopardy!" airs at 11:30 a.m. weekdays on KWWL (Channel 7) in the Corridor.

Tournament of Champion contestants are:

Colby Burnett, a high school World History teacher from Chicago, $100,000

David Gard, a retail horticulturist from Jamaica Plain, Mass., $84,700

Stephanie Jass, a history professor from Milan, Mich., $147,570

Jason Keller, a tutor from Highland Park, N.J., $213,900

Dave Leach, a game merchant from Atlanta, Ga., $98,054

Dan McShane, a bartender from West Islip, N.Y., $62,001

David Menchaca, a law student from Long Beach, Calif., $115,503

Kristin Morgan, a NASA strategic analyst from Huntsville, Ala., $69,098

Paul Nelson, former senate staff aide for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) from Iowa City,  $54,900

Joel Pool, a real estate developer from Oakland, Calif., $116,800

Patrick Quinn, a high school German teacher from Chesterfield, Mo., $100,000

Jason Shore, a medical student from Plano, Texas, $85,200

Monica Thieu (college champion), a psychology student from Dallas, Texas, $100,000

Keith Whitener, a research chemist from Charlotte, N.C., $147,597


Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.