Hey San Diego, I'm Ari Stern, and I know the sun's always shining here, but I'm gonna try to make it rain on Jeopardy!
[2010-10-22 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to be the new Jeopardy! champion?
Oh, it feels fantastic to be a Jeopardy! champion. I'm so excited. Uh, one of my first memories of watching Jeopardy!, uh, was seeing my father on the show when I was about five years old, and he didn't win. I've--ever since then I've wanted to come back and, uh, and hopefully, uh, y'know, stick up for the family name. But, uh, I know he's going to be really proud of me. Uh, and, uh, my wife has been fantastic through all this, sitting here, uh, for the whole tape day. She's been my sample Alex Trebek at home going through, uh, sample questions, uh... she's a little better looking, if I do say so myself, but don't tell Alex. Um, yeah, I just wanna say "Hi" to all my students at, uh, UCSD. If you watch this, uh, y--sorry, you still have to, y'know, get the answers right on your homework, but, uh, but I'll appreciate it if you come up and say "Hi".
Tell us about Final Jeopardy!
Oh! It was nerve-racking when I made my wager, uh, because I-I bet $3,001, because I knew that if she had, uh, gone--gone for doubling her money, that would've made me win by $1, but she anticipated that, and if I had gotten it wrong, uh, I actually would've lost by exactly a dollar, and it made--it made me so nervous, because I thought, oh, my gosh, if I had gone for the tie of $3,000, we could've been co-champions. And I just--woo! Yeah, my math students wouldn't have forgiven me for, uh, for that. They would've said, "Aw, come on, what's wrong with you. I--we can subtract! Come on, $3,000. Do the math." But, uh, I--yeah, I'm really excited. This is a great opportunity for me, and I'm looking forward to defending my title.
If you were to play against dad, who would win?
Yeah, I-I think--I think I'd definitely be a little faster than my dad, but, uh, his knowledge is immense. He's--he's a really smart guy, and he's had a little more experience than I have, uh, in years, uh, so, uh, and he's traveled all over the world, so I-I think I'd be a pretty good match. I'd--I'd give him a run for his money.