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Montana man talks about his "Jeopardy!" win

Stuart Crane of Kalispell
Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 16:32:09-05

Stuart Crane of Kalispell competed on "Jeopardy!" on the episode that aired on Thursday, February 4th - and he won, defeating Gina Damico and returning champion Nicole Kozdron. A graduate of Helena High School, Crane has lived in Kalispell since 2011 with his wife and two kids. He is a graduate of Montana State University.

The Final Jeopardy answer was: "In March 1979 Tip O'Neill & then-Representative Al Gore were the first politicians to speak on this new cable channel." The correct response was C-SPAN; Stuart and the other two contestants all got it right, with Stuart adding $3,000 to his total and winning the game with $21,800.

He applied to be a contestant in 2017, and finally got the call to compete in November 2020. “You never know when you take the test if you’re good enough or not, some people will take the test and do well enough but just don’t get randomly selected among the many people who pass, so a little bit of luck and a lot of waiting,” Crane said.

Crane says going into taping he had a list of categories he was secretly hoping for, including baseball cards and downhill skiing, but unfortunately those two didn’t make the cut. "I had my bugaboo topics, I was hoping there was no poetry, of course there was. I was hoping there was not a lot of religion or Bible questions, I think I did luck out there pretty well,” Crane said.

Crane says his entire experience on the set was amazing, including his time spent backstage with his fellow competitors: "We got to use the Wheel of Fortune studio as our staging area because we could spread out in there, they weren’t taping Wheel of Fortune as we were taping in Jeopardy. I did learn that you do not bring donuts to a gathering during COVID times.”

You can watch Stuart take on two new competitors on KRTV at 6 p.m.