Law Student from Long Beach wins more than $115,000 on ‘Jeopardy!’
CULVER CITY, CALIF. (June 21, 2012) – David Menchaca, a 26-year-old student at Boston College Law School from Long Beach, Calif., earned a big payout on “Jeopardy!” by winning a grand total of $115,503 as a five-day champion.
“I never expected to do that well. It felt incredible and a bit unreal,” he said. “I came on hoping to win at least one game and perhaps $20,000 if I was lucky. The fact that I did so well is an immense validation.”
Menchaca said that he didn’t feel nervous while competing. “I discovered that I was actually pretty good with the buzzer timing. That went a long way to allaying any fears,” he said. “I also knew that my opponents were nervous. Being the calmest person on stage gave me an advantage.”
Menchaca has wanted to be on “Jeopardy!” for years and qualified after trying out his first time. Though he admits that he didn’t study much for the competition. “Law school didn’t give me a whole lot of time,” he said. “The majority of my studies involved looking at the large world map in my room and reading through a trivia book on the plane ride to Los Angeles for the taping.”
An avid reader, Menchaca credits his natural curiosity and education for his success on “Jeopardy!” He earned a Bachelors of Arts in music and anthropology from Amherst College and is expected to graduate from Boston College Law School in 2014. In his free time, Menchaca enjoys traveling, music, food and amassing vast quantities of trivia by reading. He is also a classically trained vocalist.
Regarding his winnings, he plans to use most of it to pay off his student loans and to travel either to London or Italy.
“Jeopardy!,” the winner of a 2012 Peabody award and 29 Emmy awards, including the 2011 Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Program, was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most awards won by a TV Game Show. The series is the #1-rated quiz show in syndication with 25 million viewers each week. “Jeopardy!” is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Television International, both units of CBS Corp.