'Jeopardy!' Champions Reveal How They Spent Their Winnings – WorldNewsEra

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Jeopardy! has been on the air for almost 60 years and, in that time, has aired over 8,600 episodes and crowned countless champions, some becoming millionaires off the back of their winnings. What those contestants go on to do with their earnings varies; some invest, others pay off bills and help out friends and family, and some treat themselves by splurging out on luxuries. After winning $100,000 in the Professors’ Tournament, fan-favorite Sam Buttrey donated over half his prize to a CSU Monterey Bay scholarship fund. Meanwhile, the show’s first-ever winner in 1964, Mary Cabell Eubanks, spent her $345 going to see shows on Broadway, and Chris Ban put his $15,000 toward a memorial boathouse in tribute to his later brother. Recently, Business Insider spoke to seven former contestants about how they spend their money, which you can check out below. Nanette Donohue bagged herself $50,000 back in 2002 and used the majority of her winnings to pay off her student debt. She also indulged in travel and fancy meals with the money she had left. Dennis Golin, who won $60,000 in 2015, chose a “weird splurge” with his earnings, buying an electronic drum kit and full set of KISS band-member costumes for a public access television sketch that never ended up happening. “That ended up being really stupid,” he told Business Insider. Golin also used his money towards travel and investing in cryptocurrency, at one point turning $3,000 into $60,000, but he didn’t cash out at the right time. Carter Lockwood won $19,401 in 2022 and has mostly used it to pay his rent. However, he does have one strange purchase in mind. “I want to spend some of it on a T-shirt cannon like you see at sporting events,” he said, referring to it as a childhood “whimsical fantasy.” Jennifer Quail walked away with $230,800 after an 8-game winning streak in 2019 before earning another $100,000 as the first runner-up in the 2021 Tournament of Champions. While she’s used a lot of that money on her mortgage and rebuilding her garage, she did admit to one “weird purchase”… a Chincoteague pony, which she bought through an online auction for $4,400. “She’s basically a big pet, a hobby horse, a pleasure horse,” Quail said. Michelle Bemis won $2,000 last year and rather than spend it on bills, she decided to treat herself and her boyfriend. “I took my boyfriend on a trip to Universal Studios,” she told Business Insider. “If you’re in a position where the bills are paid, and you can afford to have fun with it, why would you not?” Russ Schumacher, who competed on the show in 2003, then again in 2004’s Tournament of Champions and 2014’s Battle of the Decades, was responsible with his $340,000 winnings. He used part of the money on an engagement ring for his then-girlfriend and an open bar for their wedding guests. Later, the winnings went towards the couple’s house, honeymoon, and a small business. “I tried to be as responsible as I could because it was a really meaningful amount of money,” he shared. Austin Rogers is one of Jeopardy!‘s more recognizable champions, going on a 12-game streak in 2017, winning $411,000 + $2,000. He later added another $50,000 as second runner-up of the 2017 Tournament of Champions and split a $75,000 pot in the 2019 All-Star Games. He spent some of that money on traveling across Southeast Asia, purchasing a couple of cars, a fancy coat, some artwork, and donations to charity. But he said that only made a “little dent” in the total, meaning he had a healthy “rainy day” fund for when the COVID-19 pandemic came around and times got tough. “It was the emergency money I had saved that made a finer impact on my life and allows me to better appreciate the gravity of the situation of people forced — like I’ve been at certain times — into the desperation incumbent upon low-wage or paycheck-to-paycheck living,” Rogers stated.

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