Appeared originally May 1992--May 18-22 I think. Last night was same night as Johnny Carson's farewell show.
First run of five days--$96 801. Came in third in Tournament so guarantee of $7,500 or $5,000--don't recall exactly.
Do you have a nickname associated with your appearance?
The only one I sort of have is "Buzz Saw" because Alex referred to me twice as a buzz saw on the show. The name was used occasionally and ironically by some friends.
One-day record until the stakes were doubled--$34,000. One-day record adjusted for doubling until broken last year. #2 five-day champ after Frank Spangenberg until stakes were doubled. #1 four-day (from beginning) record--$81 thousand something, until stakes were doubled.
Favorite anecdote associated with being on show:
My last day on the original run, I played against a rabbi who was an assistant as a synagogue in Hollywood. (This breaks down into a few anecdotes.) First, it turned out that he was going to officiate at a wedding of two friends of mine; he was the groom's college friend. When they were asking him to officiate, they remembered that he was to have been on Jeopardy! and they asked him how he did.
"Well, I would have done okay but I was up against this machine, this horrible guy who just cut through everybody. He set some records. But he was just like a machine."
The bridal couple looked at each other and then asked him, "His name wouldn't be Jerome, would it?"
And then he shouted at them (according to them), "Yes, Yes, that was him. Why, do you know him?" And they sheepishly replied that not only did they know me, but that I was coming to the wedding.
Knowing this, I was on good behavior at the wedding, which took place about six months later. We actually got along very well and he told me that he was going to compose his Yom Kippur sermon on the topic of forgiveness and of being on Jeopardy!; concentrating on how you have to forgive yourself when you lose, that you really didn't let anyone down but yourself. I thought that was a nice topic.
How did being on Jeopardy! affect your life?
Being a record holder was a great icebreaker. There are lots of fans. It gave me some bragging rights and still was an interesting topic of conversation even at college reunions. The money was useful, the fleeting notoriety was fun and it gives people a handle when introducing you at a party. And winning at anything is a wonderful confidence builder.
Did you do anything crazy with your winnings?
Crazy? I don't know. A little travel and a computer--I guess the least practical thing was that I bought my first piece of "expensive" art, an original work with photomontages by John Heartfield.
Anything I'd like viewers to know about me:
I'm very happy to be back and just get a chance to play the game again. Jeopardy! is a lot of fun to watch but even more fun to play.
"The 1-day record of $34,000 he set in 1992 stood for more than ten years. Still a writer from Los Angeles, California..."
2014 Battle of the Decades invitee: $5,000.
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Elite Eighteen (Round 2 winners) member, Sweet Six (Round 3 winners) member, and 2nd runner-up: $389,801.
1992 Tournament of Champions 2nd runner-up: $7,500.
Season 8 5-time champion: $96,801 + Jeopardy! 25th Anniversary computer game.
In his fourth game (#1794, aired 1992-05-21), Jerome set a new single-day cash winnings record of $34,000, breaking the previous record of $30,600 set by Frank Spangenberg in his fifth game (#1241, aired 1990-01-15). Unadjusted for doubled dollar values, Jerome's record lasted almost 10 years, until Ben Sternberg broke it with a $38,400 finish in his third game (#4076, aired 2002-04-29). Adjusted for doubled dollar values, Jerome's record lasted over 12 years, until Ken Jennings broke it with a $75,000 finish in his thirty-eighth game, the last game of Season 20 (#4595, aired 2004-07-23).
In his fifth game (#1795, aired 1992-05-22 ), Jerome set a new second-place record for regular play cash winnings of $96,801. (Frank Spangenberg's 5-day cash winnings record was $102,597.) This second-place record lasted throughout the pre-doubled dollar values era.
Won $5,000 on Win Ben Stein's Money, and later became a writer/researcher for the show.
Jeopardy! Message Board user name: JyV'92