Fittest loser
Article updated: 1/3/2014 9:06 AM

Arlington Heights "Jeopardy" champ wins $120,000

Eddie's Restaurant and Lounge in Arlington Heights hosted “Jeopardy” watching parties in honor of hometown son Jerry Slowik.

Eddie's Restaurant and Lounge in Arlington Heights hosted "Jeopardy" watching parties in honor of hometown son Jerry Slowik.

 

Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

Jerry Slowik

Jerry Slowik

 
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The win streak is over.

Jerry Slowik came in third place Thursday on "Jeopardy!", but the 28-year-old from Arlington Heights still took home more than $122,000 from his five wins on the television game show.

Thursday's show was rough for a number of reasons, Slowik said after the episode aired. He said a heavy lunch and difficult categories including "Jane Austen" and "Tunnels" were enough to put him off his game, leading to a finish in last place.

But, Slowik had five wins under his belt from appearances beginning Dec. 26 and he said his winnings will be enough to help him accomplish his goal of moving out of his parents' home.

Some money will also be put away for a future trip to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, he said.

With the episodes filmed in early October, Slowik said it was difficult not to let people know how he did on the show. His contract with the show forbid him from talking about how he did.

"It was a bit of a challenge, but a nice problem to have," said Slowik, a writer and security guard at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights.

Although, Slowik won't be moving on to another episode this week, he said his game show fame may not be over quite yet. Slowik's winnings were enough to qualify him for the show's Tournament of Champions, usually aired at the end of each season.

"I'm happy with how I did. I could have gone for a longer run, but I don't have any regrets," Slowik said. "I still consider myself in training; this was just stage one."

A 2004 Buffalo Grove High School graduate, Slowik said last week he believed his ability to do well on tests and his participation on the school's Scholastic Bowl trivia team helped him on "Jeopardy!" He had a perfect score on the SAT in high school and a near-perfect 34 on the ACT, he said. He said his specialties are in movies, literature and Russian history.

A lifelong "Jeopardy!" fan, Slowik said it was a thrill for he and his family to watch his appearances on the show.

"This was the only game show I've ever had any ambition to be on," he said. "Mission accomplished."

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