Female authors nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1938: That’s what finally ended West Islip native’s Dan McShane’s dream run on “Jeopardy!” on Thursday.
McShane, who had won on the previous four episodes taped in November, couldn’t come up with either Margaret Mitchell or Pearl S. Buck -- contestants only needed to give one -- and lost the lead he carried into “Final Jeopardy!”
Mount Ephraim, N.J.’s Brandon Libby, who went into “Final Jeopardy!” in third place, was the only contestant to get it right, naming Mitchell. McShane came up with Eudora Welty. When host Alex Trebek told McShane the answer was wrong and said Buck -- who won the Nobel Prize that year -- McShane let out a sigh of disgust. McShane told Newsday on Thursday night that he was going back and forth between Welty and Mitchell before guessing wrong.
But life isn’t too bad for the 2006 St. Anthony’s High School graduate, who managed a smile while chatting with the other contestants and Trebek as the show went off the air. The set $2,000 prize for McShane’s second place finish raised his final winnings to $64,001.
"I really couldn't be that upset or bitter after making it to my fifth game," said McShane, who is pondering using his new bankroll for world travel. "I was totally content with how I did."
Pictured above: West Islip native Dan McShane, right, stands next to 'Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek during his run as champion on the TV game show.