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Holznagel comes up short

Jeopardy! champ from Forest Grove stumped in Battle of Decades


Forest Grove native Ryan “Fritz” Holznagel admitted he came up “a little short” in a televised Jeopardy! tournament billed as the “Battle of the Decades.”

Holznagel wound up in third place March 4 behind fellow 1990s champions Pam Mueller of Princeton, N.J., and Dan Melia of Berkeley, Calif. Mueller will go on to the next round of competition, which will pay the winner $1 million.

The trio battled it out playing categories such as Space Stuff, World Capitals and The Last Century, with Holznagel scoring two “daily doubles.” But he was unable to gain traction in the game’s Palindromic Words and As If categories.

“Jeopardy’s questions have changed a bit over the last decade in ways that don’t benefit me,” said Holznagel, who now lives in Somerville, Mass. “Every game now has a couple of wordplay categories, and my mind just doesn’t seem to field those questions well.”

In the end, though, the 1995 Jeopardy! champ was upbeat.

“They flew me out to Los Angeles and put me up there for four days in beautiful 80-degree weather, and put me on national TV,” Holznagel said. “I can’t really complain too much.”




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