Despite the sweating, things were going well.

I was riding the rhythm of the buzzer.

My heart was pounding when Trebek unveiled the Final Jeopardy category: TV Theme Songs. Oh my god!

My feet lifted off the ground for a minute.


I had to ignore the spirit of Pappy and remember the lesson of Cliff.

For 45 minutes on April 27, 2011, everyone called me "Champ."

The whole piece—"by Denis Theriault, as told to Lisa Goff from Reader's Digest Magazine"—is here.