10:57 a.m., Sept. 22, 2010----Roger Craig, a 33-year-old graduate student at the University of Delaware, has earned a prominent place in Jeopardy history by amassing a seven-day total of $231,200 in cash winnings.
Craig, whose run on the program lasted until a loss televised Tuesday, is the third highest winning contestant on the quiz show (excluding tournaments), right behind all-time Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings ($2,520,700) and David Madden ($430,400).
Craig also earned the highest one-day total during his second game, beating a record held by Jennings for more than six years.
"I had no idea that I became the third highest winner until Alex Trebek announced it. I was totally shocked," Craig said in an interview following his final match. "It obviously helped by having set the highest single game record and by my large Daily Double bets."
Craig said one of the biggest surprises was that he didn't feel nervous playing in front of a live studio audience. "I had expected to be jittery, but I wasn't at all," he said. "I think I was most nervous the first time I saw the stage during a rehearsal. It feels like you've just stepped into your television set."
A resident of Newark, Del., Craig is a doctoral student in UD's Department of Computer and Information Sciences in the College of Engineering. He plans to use the money to pay off school loans, buy a new car, travel and donate to charity.
He also plans to expand his restaurant options. "I eat a lot of Ramen and pasta so I'm hoping to treat myself to sushi more often," he said jokingly. "I think I'm going to take a lot of people out to dinner now."
When asked about his success on Jeopardy, Craig said, "My mother taught me how to read and encouraged my passion for learning. I'm also very grateful to every teacher I've had -- from kindergarten to grad school."
Craig's “Winner's Circle” interviews are available online at the Jeopardy website.
Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions Inc.