Who is… Tom Kunzen?
Answer: This UCF alumnus won more than $134,000 on Jeopardy!
That’s right — Tom Kunzen, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at UCF in 2004 and 2006, respectively, competed in six episodes of the popular quiz show, which were filmed in November and aired this month.
He used his winnings to purchase a new car, and is hoping to buy a home after taking care of his taxes. He called the entire experience one of his greatest life accomplishments.
During the competition, Kunzen beat his opponents by thousands of dollars, and he beat one by just $1. He even got a “Final Jeopardy!” question wrong and still won.
However, his winning streak ended with a “Final Jeopardy!” question on the “Garments of the World.” It was: The custom of hijab, Arabic for "veiling," can include this garment, mentioned by Kipling. Kunzen wrote down “sari,” which was incorrect (the correct answer was “burka”), and had bet his entire daily total of $18,800.
A fan of Jeopardy! since childhood, Kunzen said betting high was part of his strategy of “Go big or go home.”
He hopes one day to make a return appearance on the show’s “Tournament of Champions,” but for now, he’s continuing to work in Orlando as a geotechnical engineer.