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Martinsburg man wins on Jeopardy!

March 29, 2001

Martinsburg man wins on Jeopardy!



By SCOTT BUTKI / scottb@herald-mail.com

Bob Fleenor, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was the only contestant to correctly answer the final question on Wednesday's local airing of "Jeopardy!" and finished the show $12,400 richer.

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Fleenor watched the show Wednesday night at his home in the company of about 35 friends and relatives. When they realized that Fleenor, who was prohibited from revealing the outcome of the game, had won, "It was kind of bedlam," he said.

Fleenor, 49, a copy editor for The Daily Mail, will be the returning champion when the program airs tonight at 7 p.m. on WMAR-TV 2 and at 7:30 p.m. on NBC25 and WJLA-TV 7.

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Both shows were filmed in Culver City, Calif., on Dec. 12, 2000.

Fleenor got off to a good start on Wednesday's show by correctly providing the correct question for the first two answers revealed.

Going into the Final Jeopardy round, Fleenor and another competitor were tied at $6,200 and the third contestant, the champ from the previous game, had $5,800.

The Final Jeopardy category was "American Authors." The answer was: "In 1900 he sent the Library of Congress $2.20 to copyright his 'The Navy Alphabet' and another, more 'wonderful,' book."

Fleenor doubled his $6,200 by correctly identifying author L. Frank Baum, in the form of a question.

The other two contestants wrote down incorrect answers.

Since he was tied with the contestant on his left going into Final Jeopardy, betting his entire amount was a no-brainer, Fleenor said. "You had to ... It was a go for broke thing."

He settled on Baum because of the word "Wonderful" in the clue and remembering that Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was published around the turn of the 20th century. He also knew that Baum been a Final Jeopardy! answer on the show within the last two years. There are some answers the show returns to and it helps to learn those, he said.

He was visibly nervous as the show began, but as the competition got under way, that changed.

"You block it out and play the game," he said. Correctly answering the first two questions didn't hurt, he said.

For most of the show, Fleenor said, he didn't look at the scores except during commercial breaks.

Going into the first commercial break he had $2,500 compared to $1,200 for the previous day's winner and $100 for the other contestant.

Going into Double Jeopardy, Fleenor had $4,000, $2,100 more than his closest competitor.

Of the $12,400 Fleenor won Wednesday, 7 percent will be deducted for California income tax. It will also be subject to federal and West Virginia taxes.

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