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Fleenor wins fifth round on "Jeopardy!"

April 04, 2001

Fleenor wins fifth round on "Jeopardy!"



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The living room in Bob Fleenor's Martinsburg home filled with cheers and screams Tuesday night when friends watched him win his fifth consecutive game on "Jeopardy!," guaranteeing the Herald-Mail editor a spot in the game show's Tournament of Champions.

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About 50 friends who came to Fleenor's house to watch the show pulled poppers to celebrate the win, filling the house with the acrid smell of gunpowder.

"We want a speech! We want a speech! We want a speech!," chanted the crowd. The show was taped in December, but Fleenor has been bound to secrecy about his winning streak.

Fleenor, 49, secured his win at the end of the show when he gave the correct question to the answer, "This then-living man was the main target of the mid-1960s play 'MacBird!'''

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The question was "Who was Lyndon Johnson?"

Third-place contestant Anne Amenta gave an incorrect question, saying "Who was MacArthur?" Amenta had $1,200 going into the final round and bet $601, leaving her with $599.

Michael Rodriguez, who had traded the first-place spot with Fleenor in the final stage of the game, answered correctly with "Who was LBJ?" Rodriguez had $8,600 going into the final round and wagered $5,500, giving him $14,100, but it was not enough to win.

Fleenor had $10,400 going into the final round and wagered $6,800, giving him $17,200.

Fleenor's five-day total stood at $55,700. He also won two new Chevrolet Camaros.

The screaming and yelling was so loud in Fleenor's house that no one could hear what host Alex Trebek was saying to the smiling Fleenor after the win.

Fleenor donned a purple crown as the celebration reached a fever pitch.

"Oh, Lord. Did you ever see such a mess?" his wife, Carolyn, said earlier in the evening.

Fleenor excelled quickly in the game, commanding the lead after the first and second commerical breaks. He did well in categories about Gene Wilder and flags.

Fleenor said he has not been informed when or where the Tournament of Champions will be held. The championship round offers a top prize of $100,000 and has 15 contestants.

Fleenor's guests drank champagne and ate cake after the show. Then, they watched a videotape made earlier in the day that showed various local officials, including West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, congratulating Fleenor on his winning streak and wishing him luck in his fifth appearance.

The tape was made at Martinsburg High School while Wise was visiting there.

"Don't forget I'm your new best friend," Rick Deuell, a longtime friend and the outgoing principal at Martinsburg High, said into the camera.

"You know, we're all so proud of you. I wish we could crown you king," added Berkeley County Superintendent of Schools Manny Arvon.

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