LAKE WYLIE — For all the questions he answered correctly, Ben Ingram still gets an earful about Shelby Mustangs and Kelly Bundy some of the few he missed.
Everybodys human, said the Lake Wylie resident and eight-time Jeopardy! television show champion. Im glad I have friends to help me keep my feet on the ground.
Ingram, 30, racked up eight wins and more than $176,534 on the show before finally giving way to a new champion on Thursday nights episode. The total ties him for fifth all-time in wins, eighth in earnings.
His phone spent last week blowing up with renewed acquaintances. Having filmed the episodes during two spring days, with only 10 minutes to change and begin a new contest, Ingram said it wasnt until the airings that he truly understood what hed accomplished.
I didnt really realize how quickly my knees were shaking, Ingram said. I didnt really know what I had done.
If you missed him on television, catch him live at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Thats when Ingram hosts trivia contests at McHales in Tega Cay. Game night started when word spread that he was on the show.
Ingram wasnt allowed to say how hed done, making the wait to see the show nearly as nerve-wracking as the filming, he said.
Ingram had wanted to appear on Jeopardy! since childhood and prepared for the show by practicing wagering strategy. During the game, he searched for Daily Doubles and went for high-value clues, resulting in his six-figure total.
When Johnny Gilbert would read my total at the beginning of each show, I thought, Wow, is he sure hes reading the right number? Ingram said. It didnt sink in that this was real American money for a few days, and part of me still doesnt believe it.
Ingram moved to Lake Wylie in mid-October. Hes spent time in India before that with work. Now he works as an IT consultant in uptown Charlotte. Hes mentioned house and bed shopping as possible uses for his winnings. Hes not sure when the Tournament of Champions might be, but hed love to be invited.
Ill do my best, Ingram said.