What is Morocco and France for $10,000?
Four-time “Jeopardy!” champ and West Islip native Dan McShane is once again using his winnings from the game show to expand his world knowledge.
Although McShane, 25, did not land the $250,000 grand prize in this year’s Tournament of Champions, which ended Tuesday, he did walk away with $10,000 for making it to the semifinals.
“Going into the tournament, my goal was to just make it into the semifinals,” he said. “I thought it was a pretty reasonable goal to have.”
McShane went up against other successful past “Jeopardy!” contestants since the last tournament in November 2011. Not only did he hold his own, and achieve his goal, but he gave the overall tournament winner -- Colby Burnett, a high school world history teacher from Chicago -- a run for his money.
The first question of the “Jeopardy” round, which aired on Feb. 21, went to McShane and he went on the board with $200 by correctly identifying Black Sabbath lead singer and reality TV star Ozzy Osbourne. Then, he quickly built up a solid lead with his knowledge of “Heavy Metal Heroes,” Oscar Wilde quotes and other random trivia to head into “Double Jeopardy” with $7,800.
“When I was leading going into ‘Double Jeopardy’ I was just hoping for [good] categories,” he said.
But questions about a “large hadron collider” enabled Burnett to steal the lead. McShane continued to put up a fight, overtaking the eventual champion at one point, but that moment was short-lived. Ultimately, “Final Jeopardy” sealed their fate as Burnett was the only one to come up with the question “What is Stalin’s Five-Year Plan?” in the category “Russian History.”
After earning $64,001 from his four victories on shows that aired in January 2012, McShane quit his job working for a healthy living website and instead started tending bar in Brooklyn, where he currently lives. In the fall, he spent a month traveling in Vietnam and Cambodia.
He also told “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek during the semifinal that when that first check arrived, he celebrated with his friends and family in Brooklyn in a unique way. He said, “I bought a pig, a dead one .?.?. and built a pit in my friend’s backyard and we had a big pig roast.”
With his latest check from the show, which arrived Tuesday, McShane has booked a spring trip to Morocco, where he’ll attend a friend’s wedding, and southern France with his girlfriend.
As of now, McShane isn’t signed up for any more game shows.
He says, “I guess I have to look for a real job at some point.”