PHOENIX, Arizona, May 31. APPARENTLY, masters swimmers are pretty smart. Kirk Nelson, a Seattle-based U.S. Masters Swimmer and recent 1650 freestyle national champion in the 40-44 age group, can now add a Jeopardy! win to his list of accomplishments.
Nelson was off to a rocky start early in the program, winning a series of $200 questions, then plummeting back to zero after a wrong answer on a tough $800 question. Then, a late surge in the race. Nelson got into the grove, collecting 4, 6 and $800 questions. He hit the Daily Double, wagered $2,000, and won the pot on a question about raspberries. Nelson was over $10,000 in the lead at this point.
The final question category, Classic Novels, was presented as host Alex Trebek announced a commercial break. At this point, Nelson was far in the lead at $18,000 and the other two contestants were tied for second at $9,000. The question asked the contestants to name the novel in which the title character told his daughter to never fall for a man based on chivalry. The previous winner, Sam Hopkins, wagered $4,500 and answered correctly with "Don Quixote," bumping his total to $13,500. The second contestant answered incorrectly, leaving the final outcome in Nelson's hands.
Nelson put a question mark for his answer, but wagered nothing. Since he was so far in the lead going into the final question, Nelson was named the winner and took home a nice check for $18,000. Not bad!