Volume 75
Number 4









Greg Hodgin ’00C is Emory’s most recent game-show winner. A member of Emory’s Academic Team, Hodgin battled his way into the finals of the Jeopardy! College Championship in February, ultimately placing third

and earning $10,000 for himself and a like amount for scholarships at Emory, courtesy of sponsor Volvo.

Below is a list of Emory alumni, many of them former College Bowl team members, who have appeared on game shows with varying degrees of success. We will post the names of additional contenders on our website. Contact us at:


Andres Rivera ’95C, $125,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Al Lin ’92C, $58,000 on Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

Margaret Malys Stone ’86C-’91M-’96DERM, $36,000 on Jeopardy!

Steve Saum ’89C-’89G, $35,001 on Jeopardy!

Tim Buthod ’86C, $29,000 on Jeopardy!

Tom Waters ’75Ox-’77C, $17,000 on Jeopardy!


The following information did not appear in the print version of Emory Magazine.

David Morgenstern ’92C won $10,000 on Jeopardy! in October 1997.

Dan Felsenheld ’87C won $13,201 on Jeopardy! in May 2000.

These Emory alumni also appeared on Jeopardy!

Todd Leopold ’86C

Scott McGraw ’90C

Steve Saum ’89C-’89G

Georgia Popplewell ’95C

Colleen McMahon ’95G

Yolanda Diaz ’96C

Christine Bretzlaff ’89Ox-’91C appeared on Wheel of Fortune.










EM précis
Dollars and Sense
Alumni use College Bowl experience to win big on TV game shows

“IS THAT GOING TO BE YOUR FINAL ANSWER?” Regis Philbin asked Norman “Tripp” Payne ’90C on ABC’s game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? last September.

“My final answer is Atari,” answered Payne. In the dramatic silence that followed, more than twenty million prime-time viewers stared at the question on their television screens: “The name of what toy, literally translated, means ‘play well’?” If Payne was correct, he would safely reach the $64,000 level.

“Oh my gosh, I’m sorry,” said Philbin. “The correct answer is Lego.”

“It was a ton of fun,” says Payne, a professional crossword puzzle writer, regarding his appearance on Millionaire. “It was an experience that, on some level, I’ve been dreaming about all my life.”

It makes for
good ratings and an
opportunity to net some
quick cash

While he didn’t walk away with a million dollars, he did earn $32,000–more than any previous contestant–and snagged his proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. He came home to fifty messages on his answering machine after the show aired, forty of them from strangers. For several months afterward, people stopped him at the bank, the grocery store, and restaurants to congratulate him.

Inspired by the popularity of Millionaire, other networks are luring contestants and viewers to their own shows with the promise of big money. Greed, Winning Lines, and Twenty-One have been unveiled on Fox, CBS, and NBC, respectively. As on Millionaire, celebrity hosts pose high-stakes questions to contestants on glitzy, high-tech sets awash in futuristic lighting and tension-building theme music. It makes for good ratings and an opportunity to net some quick cash–especially for alumni such as Payne who were members of the Emory College Bowl team (now the Academic Team).

In the two decades since the inception of the team, more than a dozen alumni have drawn upon their Emory College Bowl experiences to perform in the high-pressure environment of prime-time quiz shows. Now, many of them are hoping to take their hair-trigger recall to Millionaire’s hot seat.

Michael G. Dupee ’88C literally wrote the book about winning on the game show Jeopardy! The 1996 Tournament of Champions victor won $170,000 and subsequently authored How to Get on Jeopardy! and Win. A lawyer in Gainesville, Florida, Dupee is hoping to focus on his trivia web site full time within a year. In the meantime, he says, “I try pretty much every day to get on Millionaire.” He credits College Bowl (“the varsity sport of the mind”) with teaching him to deal with pressure when the game is on the line.

Todd L. Leopold ’86C, another former College Bowl player, says of his appearance on Jeopardy!, “My heart felt like it was beating against the opposite wall. I had to tell myself, ‘You are not on national TV in front of thirteen million people. You are back in college, playing against UT—Chattanooga.’ ”

Lloyd Busch (left) coached Payne, Dupee, Leopold, and others for a decade during most of the 1980s, an era when the Emory team consistently contended for regional and national championships. He no longer coaches, but he hasn’t left the game. He now runs his own company that provides questions for high-school quiz shows.

“I can’t imagine anybody being more committed to the game than he was,” says another former College Bowl player and Jeopardy! contestant, Ben A. Stone ’88C. “He brought a passion that was infectious.”

“We treated it like a sport,” Busch says. The players shared not only a love of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, but an intense competitive side as well. That competitiveness brought a very diverse group of individuals together.

The players shared not only
a love of knowledge for
knowledge’s sake, but an
intense competitive
side as well

“Oftentimes it’s hard to meet people who are different from you in terms of perspective and experience,” Stone says. “If it weren’t for those people, my time at Emory would not have been nearly as rewarding.” The late nights spent together after practice and tournaments–watching Hill Street Blues every Thursday, for instance–made them friends.

“We drove through a blizzard once–around a blizzard actually–to get to a tournament at the University of North Carolina,” Busch recalls. “We drove due east for about two hundred miles, then north, and came back west–we came behind the blizzard to get there. We were insane! And the trip was cursed all the way. We lost miserably. I locked the keys in the van. We ate dinner in a 7—Eleven, ten of us standing around a microwave eating frozen burritos.”

“I remember thinking, ‘I should have joined the tennis team,’ ” Stone says, laughing.

“In retrospect,” says Busch, “it was a lot more fun than the tournaments we won and don’t remember.”—Richard Hermes ’98C


© 2000 Emory University