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Former Ohio AG Cordray To Return To Compete On Jeopardy!

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UPDATED: Thursday January 30, 2014 4:43 PM

Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, an undefeated five-time Jeopardy! Champion in the 1980s, will be returning to the show next week.

"I was a Jeopardy! champion 27 years ago, so it was quite a long time ago," said Cordray. "It was exciting, it was intimidating.  You recognize suddenly when you get there that two of the three contestants lose their game and you're just hoping you can make a good account of yourself."

Cordray says a friend first suggested he try out for the show, but he was reluctant to do so.

"I had a friend who had been on the show and he came back, and he had done pretty well, and he told me I should try out for the show and I said 'yeah, sure, right' and dismissed it, " said Cordray.  "After I graduated from law school I actually thought I would give it a try.  So, I went to Los Angeles, took the test and tried out for the show.  Then I went home, as everyone does, not sure if I would get on.  Then they called and asked me to come on and it was a very exciting thing."

Cordray went undefeated during his five appearances on the show.

"When I was a contestant in my first game I had a Daily Double question come up in Double Jeopardy and I bet all my money," said Cordray.  "If I had missed the question we would have never have had  this conversation.  So when I got that right, and I wasn't sure of myself, and Alex said 'that's correct' that was a very good moment."

Cordray says newer champions have had the benefits of modern technology which he didn't.

"Back then I used books, now I suppose people use the computer, but of course we didn't have the computer back then," said Cordray.  "That's been a big change."

Cordray was also a semifinalist in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.  In total, he won $45,303 during his six TV appearances.

"I paid my taxes, which they chase you down to do before you even leave the set," said Cordray.  "I bought a used car.  I paid off some money I had borrowed from my father to go to law school.  And I took a trip with a friend of mine who had helped me study for the show."

Becoming a Jeopardy! champion also brought with it a level of recognition that Cordray later utilized in Ohio political campaigns.

"I was surprised how many people watched the show and recognized me after I became a champion," said Cordray.  "I got a couple marriage proposals, I was not married at the time, but now I am happily."

After serving as both state Treasurer and Ohio's Attorney General, Cordray was confirmed last year to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

While he works in Washington, his wife and children still reside in Grove City.

Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades 1980s week will air February 3-7 on 10TV.

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