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

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

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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


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