After competing on “Jeopardy!” for six days, Tom Kunzen’s run is up, but the University of Central Florida graduate hopes to make a return appearance to the game show.
Kunzen, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCF in 2004 and 2006, walked away with a total of $134,402 after winning five rounds.
His winning streak ended with a “Final Jeopardy!” question on the garments of the world. Kunzen answered the question wrong, and had bet his entire daily total, $18,800.
A fan of “Jeopardy!” since childhood, Kunzen said betting high was part of his strategy of “Go big, or go home.”
He used his winnings to purchase a new car, and is hoping to buy a home after taking care of his taxes. He called the entire experience one of his greatest life accomplishments.
But keeping his success to himself was difficult, Kunzen said. He had to remain mum about his progress on the show because of a confidentiality agreement in his contract.
Although the show filmed in November, it first aired last week. Kunzen kept his winnings a secret from his family, friends and girlfriend.
“They knew I did well, but didn’t know exactly how well,” he said.
He hopes to one day compete on the show’s “Tournament of Champions,” but for now, he’s continuing to work in Orlando as a geotechnical engineer.
“I’m trying to remain as low-key as possible,” said Kunzen.