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Robert Slaven, standing next to Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, won the game and $28,801 U.S. during the first round of the show's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, March 19. The second round of the tournament is expected to air in mid-April. - photo courtesy of Jeopardy

Former Yellowknifer knows his questions

Brent Reaney
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 23/05) - While he may not have all the answers, in winning the opening round of Jeopardy's Ultimate Tournament of Champions Robert Slaven knew most of the questions.

For his efforts, the former Yellowknife city councillor moves on to the second round of the tournament featuring the top competitors from the show's 21-year history.

He also has $28,801 U.S. in prize money to add to the $53,202 he won during his five straight victories in 1992.

"Obviously he's a terrific player," said Suzanne Therber, who co-ordinates the show's contestants at the Los Angeles studio. "It's always fun to see a Canadian win because (host) Alex (Trebek) is Canadian."

In late 1991, after doing some software training in Utah, Slaven went to the show's studio to take the contestant questionnaire. A score of 35 correct answers out of 50 questions, described by Slaven as "pretty hard," is needed to get on the show.

"I wanted to pay off some bills, and get a nice engagement ring for my wife," Slaven said from Vancouver, prior to the broadcast.

Although "Uncle Sam took his share" of the 1992 winnings, Slaven says he used the money to buy a very nice engagement ring for his wife Linn-Marie, and a snowmobile to commute to work while living in Yellowknife.

April air date

He left the NWT capital in 2001, but Slaven still insisted the Jeopardy announcer introduce him as "originally from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories."

After taping next week, the second-round episode is scheduled to air sometime in mid-April.

By the end of May, the 144 contestants in the show's Ultimate Tournament of Champions will be reduced to two. The final contestants will compete against 74-game winner Ken Jennings for $2 million.

Slaven was on vacation with his family, and could not be reached for a comment on the win.