Hey Kansas City, this is Jesse Cuevas from Leawood, Kansas. Watch me smoke the competition on Jeopardy!
[2010-10-26 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to be the new Jeopardy! champion?
It--it feels great. It's been a long time comin'. I--I've been watchin' Jeopardy! since I was a little kid, and my family has big on trivia. My sister's a huge Jeopardy! fan, and, uh, we both tried out together, I got on the show, and she didn't, so, a little bit of animosity there, but I'm--hopefully--hopefully now she'll forgive me, uh, that there's been some success here, so...  I'm doin' a happy dance inside! Right now.
Any messages to the folks back home?
My sister Cecilia, who is, uh, who's always been a great competitor of mine--her and I have been competitive throughout the years, whether it's coloring contests or, uh, dance contests, or just family trivia games--and so, uh, I'd like to dedicate this to her.  Uh, I want to thank--yeah, absolutely--the--the--the wonderful teachers and staff of the Shawnee Mission School District from Kansas City who taught me most of what I know, back when I was just a little, uh, a spry little kid.
[2010-10-27 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to win your second game?
Uh, it feels more than two times better than being a one-time champion, I'll tell you that much. I think, finally, the stress was off, I finally feel like I'm at--at home a little bit up here. Uh, uh, so I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm starting to have fun with it.
Does your job give you an advantage when playing Jeopardy!?
Well, you know, it--it's similar in the sense that, you know, you're in charge of a lo--large body of information, you've got to have it down cold, you've got to be able to manipulate that at the right time and the right sort of way, so I--I think it certainly prepares oneself. Uh, I can't say it's nearly as fun as I'm--as, uh, as what's going on here, but, uh, it's a good balance to be able to do both, I think.
Can you tell us a little about your relationship with your sister?
Yeah, yeah, so my sister and I are very competitive, and growin' up, y'know, trivia was--was something I usually came out on top of, uh, with her, and so it's something I, y'know, practiced, because I wanted to be able to, y'know, beat her at family trivia games, or when we were uh, in front of the TV yellin' at the screen. Uh, the one thing she'd always beat me in was--was coloring contests, was the one thing I could never get. And I have all these "torrible" stories about having to go to awards shows for my sister for coloring contests or music performances, and I would just sit there and scowl for hours, so I'm finally happy to say maybe I can make her scowl for a little bit.
[2010-10-28 Winner's Circle interview]
How does it feel to win your third game?
It feels, uh, I think three times better than the last time we talked. So, pretty good. Pretty darn good. I thought I was, uh--I thought I was goin' home there. [Maggie Speak: "Give us the move you did at the end when you won."] So I--I s--s--[makes sliding motion with hand] slipped right in there on the Final Jeopardy! I figured I had got two right--it wasn't going to be a three in a row.
Tell us about Final Jeopardy!
Yeah, the answer came right to me, and I thought for sure George had it and that I was going home, but, uh, I met--obviously glad it worked out.
How did you prepare for your appearance on Jeopardy!?
Uh, you know, I had read--I had read one of those books... uh, y'know, Secrets of the Jeopardy! Stars--Chuck Forrest's book--and it made a big point about, uh, y'know, the most valuable thing I got was meeting a great cast of characters. At the time, I thought, "Oh, y'know, forget that, we're supposed to be competing against these people." But you guys have done a great job of making it clear that we're all on the same team here, and the board is our enemy, not each other, and I have met, y'know, fifteen very interesting people from across the country that I hope to stay in touch with that I would never, ever have the chance to meet, so that's probably, I don't want to say the most valuable thing, but a very valuable thing I've come away with from today.