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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas native E.J. Wolborsky poses for a photo with Jeopardy host Alex Trebek. (Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

An Arkansas native wagered all he had before correctly answering a question about virtual reality goggles en route to besting two contestants and securing a cool $28,800 Wednesday on TV quiz show Jeopardy!.

E.J. Wolborsky, a 33-year-old Little Rock Catholic High alumnus, was trailing Wednesday's frontrunner by $1,400 going into the final round of the half-century-old show. He bid $14,400 – all the money he had – to secure the win and double his prize earnings.

The question centered on a virtual reality device remade in 2015 after its late-1930s debut. The answer: “What is Viewmaster?”

Wolborsky said by phone after the show's airing that he remembered having a Viewmaster at home and attributed the answer to being his “best half-guess.”

“I pulled some reference point out of the depths of my memory,” he said. “Turns out I was the only one who got it right.”

Wolborsky, who spent much of his school years in Little Rock before moving to New York, said he'd watch Jeopardy! nearly every day with his grandmother, recalling it was on “right before Oprah.”

But getting on the show was a slog. It involves multiple tests and even a mock Jeopardy! game where hopefuls aren't given any feedback on their performances.

Wolborsky said after trying to get on the show for a second time, he got a call 10 months later inviting him to Los Angeles.

Following his win, he’s gotten messages and calls from former classmates and others back home congratulating him on the win, he said.

“If this brings a reason to reconnect with people back home that lost touch with over the years, it’s a blessing,” he said.

Wednesday's win also gives Wolborsky a chance to add on to his win when he returns to the show on Thursday.

“I’d definitely encourage people following to stay tuned over the next few days,” he said.


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Archived Comments

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 12, 2019 at 8:42 p.m.

    Congrats A.J.
    Lots of smart Arkansans!
    would you look at that!

  • BRR
    June 13, 2019 at 8:39 a.m.

    For those of us who watch the Jeopardy show later in the day than the broadcast time your effort at at "scoop" is an unappreciated spoiler. I live in a viewing area where the show is broadcast later in the day and I record it and watch it in the evening. Understandably news like this is of human interest, but not so critical that it can't be delayed so as not to spoil the outcome of th show for many. At least give a spoiler alert on the article.

  • gegowen
    June 13, 2019 at 5:39 p.m.

    E.J., your old teachers at Catholic High are watching! I’ve got Friday’s episode ready to record. 😎