A police lieutenant from Douglaston, New York...

Frank Spangenberg

Date of First Appearance:
January 1990

Total Winnings:
My first five shows totaled $102,597. I was on Super Jeopardy! and in the Tournament of Champions for my year, but was eliminated in the first round of the one, and the second round of the other, and do not recall what I took home. I won the Tenth Anniversary Tournament in 1993; it had a prize of $25,000 plus winnings from the last two shows, and I think I took home about $47,000 from that. I was eliminated in the first round of the Million Dollar Masters Tournament, and so took home $10,000. My total winnings all together are therefore about $170,000 or $180,000.

Records held/Stats:
During my initial appearance in 1990 I set a five-game record of $102,597. This record was reached under the old rules (that is, in addition to a five-game limit, the top value for a question in Double Jeopardy! was $1,000), and lasted from 1990 until 2003, well after the dollar value of questions had been doubled. At one time I also held the one-day record with a total of $30,600 won on my last show, but this record did not last nearly so long.

Favorite anecdote about being on the show:
I won the Tenth Anniversary Tournament in 1993 by being able to name Wendy Wasserstein as one of the three female playwrights who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in the 1980s. Wendy then contacted me and took me out to dinner--she said that her family and friends made more of a fuss about her being a Final Jeopardy! answer than she did about winning the Pulitzer Prize, and she wanted to meet the man who knew her name.

Did being on Jeopardy! affect my life?
It removed--for a surprisingly long time--a great deal of the everyday anonymity we all take for granted.

2014 Battle of the Decades invitee: $5,000.
2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Nifty Nine (players with byes into Round 2), Elite Eighteen (Round 2 winners) and Sweet Six (Round 3 winners) member: $105,199.
2002 Million Dollar Masters tournament quarterfinalist: $10,000.
1993 10th Anniversary Tournament champion: $41,800.
1990 Tournament of Champions semifinalist: $5,000.
1990 Super Jeopardy! quarterfinalist: $5,000.
Season 6 5-time champion: $102,597 (winnings capped at $75,000 per the rules of the show at the time; $27,597 donated to Frank's selected charity, the Missionaries of Charity in New York City, an order of nuns that runs a hospice in Manhattan, a branch of the Calcutta mission administered at the time by Mother Teresa).

Frank held the record for cash winnings in regular games ($102,597) between January 1990 and April 2003, when overtaken by Brian Weikle with the advantage of doubled dollar amounts. As adjusted for doubled dollar values (to $205,194), Frank's record stood for 29 years until broken by James Holzhauer (#7968, aired 2019-04-10), with $298,687.

In his fifth game (#1241, aired 1990-01-15), Frank set a single-day cash winnings record of $30,600, breaking the previous record of $27,800 set by Kevin Frear (#902, aired 1988-07-05) and tied by Bob Blake in his second game (#1149, aired 1989-09-07). Frank's record lasted for over two years, when it was broken by Jerome Vered's $34,000 finish in show #1794, aired 1992-05-21.

Frank appeared on Grand Slam on 2007-08-12. He was defeated and eliminated in the Sweet 16 round by Twenty-One 6-time champion David Legler.

Frank appeared in the following 4 archived games:
#4778, aired 2005-05-18 Jerome Vered vs. Frank Spangenberg vs. Pam Mueller 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 4, game 2.
#4777, aired 2005-05-17 Frank Spangenberg vs. Pam Mueller vs. Jerome Vered 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 4, game 1.
#4773, aired 2005-05-11 Shane Whitlock vs. Grace Veach vs. Frank Spangenberg 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 3, game 3.
#4768, aired 2005-05-04 Frank Spangenberg vs. Bev Schwartzberg vs. Paul Gutowski 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 2, game 16. (Jimmy:...
Frank previously appeared on Jeopardy! as Frank Spangenberg in the following archived game:
#4078, aired 2002-05-01 Bob Harris vs. Rachael Schwartz vs. Frank Spangenberg 2002 Million Dollar Masters quarterfinal game 1.
Frank would later appear on Jeopardy! as Frank Spangenberg in the following archived game:
#6769, aired 2014-02-06 Phoebe Juel vs. Mark Lowenthal vs. Frank Spangenberg Battle of the Decades: The 1980s game 4.

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