Ballard brainiac tells of Jeopardy experience

With winnings totaling more than $235,000, Tom Nissley can officially be called Ballard’s resident brainiac. The recent 8-day Jeopardy champ was told after his final win that he is the show’s third-highest money winner in game history (not including tournaments.)

After going through the screening process, Nissley finally got the call in August that he would be a contestant on an episode taping in September. “That’s not a lot of time to cram,” he told us over the phone. “There’s a lot you just can’t prepare for.” Nissley says he focused on topics that come up regularly like geography and U.S. Presidents.

Once on stage, under the lights and in front of the camera he says he wasn’t as nervous as he expected. Jeopardy shoots five episodes in one day so everything happens quickly. “I think if it happened as slowly as it did on TV I’d be a lot more nervous,” he laughed. Coming up with the questions for the clues was the easy part, he says, “I was actually a lot less nervous than telling the story about myself in the middle of the show.”

During one of the shows, host Alex Trebek asked Nissley what he plans to do with the money. Nissley told the audience that he wants to help his wife’s purse business. Glitter Sweet is the brainchild of Nissley’s wife, a Whittier mom of two and another mom on Queen Anne. “Most of the bags are made in our basement,” he says. That will probably change with his recent win.

We may see Nissley again later this year during the fall Tournament of Champions, but so far he hasn’t received a call.


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Scott
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Scott

Wonder how the nice tax-man was standing behind that curtain? He now has a larger(er) bullseye on his back thanks to greedy tax collectors/government. While it might be nice to have this $$, the adjusted gross income makes him “rich” (according to libs) and will change his life, in more than 1 way, for years to come.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Congratulations! It’s nice to see someone rewarded for what they know.

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

I never realized they taped 5 shows at a time. I guess it cuts down on hotel costs for returning champions. They must have stylists there that help with wardrobe & hair to create the appearance of a “different” day. Interesting stuff!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

yeah that was awesome to know!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You should read the Bob Harris book Prisoner of Trebekistan. It’s a great book about more than just the show, but it does give a lot of good insights there too.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You must be really fun at parties (assuming anyone invites you anymore). If you stopped grumbling at the guvmint for a second you’d realize that Tom will just get taxed on what he won as income this year and that’s about it. Unless he goes back next year and wins even more or makes a killing investing his winnings, his taxes next year won’t change at all.
$235,000 doesn’t make you rich. It’s a nice windfall, but it ain’t millionaire status without at least another zero on the end.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thank you for the link to the Glitter Bags! I heard Tom mention that some of his winnings will go towards supporting his wife’s business – and I see from her website that she donates 5% to local non-profits supporting moms and kids.

MrMr
Guest
MrMr

This guy really gets on my nerves for some reason. Who cares about philip roth?!?!

Malia
Guest
Malia

Congratulations to Tom!

owlsinsomnia
Member
owlsinsomnia

I work with Tom and he’s a super nice guy and very down to earth. I am delighted to see him do well.

procrastinitis acutus
Guest
procrastinitis acutus

Yay for Tom & family!
A bit of fortune for a super nice, decent, and deserving family. And Glittersweet rocks! Sparkly yum.

JimmyTheGeek
Guest
JimmyTheGeek

Thanks. I just got it on my Kindle and I really like it.

Congratulations, Tom!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Nice! I’ll let the author know where to send the kickback check.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I watch Jeopardy and loved seeing someone local do so well. I was an amazing run.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I watch Jeopardy and loved seeing someone local do so well. It was an amazing run.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You watch Jeopardy and loved seeing someone local do so well. It was an amazing run.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You watch Jeopardy and loved seeing someone local do so well. It was an amazing run.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I hear that Alex Trebek is quite charming in person. He does have to keep the show going and enforce the rules, so it’s a little harder to be the guy that everyone likes when you’re doing that.

K.Ruby
Guest
K.Ruby

In re: that last remark, Tom has a definite chance in making the Jeopardy TOC. There have only been two other persons who’ve won five times in a row (generally the bench mark to be asked back into the TOC), Kara Spak, from Chicago, who was a five time winner, and Roger Craig, who is currently behind Tom in the all-time money winnings. The rest of the winners have not done as well as these three. So with the season roughly half-over, the odds are _extremely_ good for Tom to qualify, and I think a matchup against Roger Craig would be very interesting.