What a difference a dollar makes. In a knowledge-nailbiter that went down to the very last moment, South Florida’s Kevin Hirsh became a “Jeopardy” champion.

On the May 31 episode Kevin was leading after the first round and going into Final Jeopardy, but the reigning champion was close enough that Hirsh had to make a smart wager and know the response to the category Business of Television. While they both knew the answer, Hirsh bet just enough so he was ahead $25,201 to $25,200, just a dollar difference.

Hirsh though got off to a slow start. The other contestants were ringing in and racking up big dollars in the opening moments, and the first time Hirsh rang in he was wrong and went to negative $200.

From there he turned it around, ringing in 19 more times getting each one correct.  That forced him to adjust his buzzer strategy mid-game.

“I think the first few clues I was trying to find my rhythm,” Hirsh said. “Initially my strategy was waiting for the clue to be finished and that wasn’t working out for me.”

There were a couple of key moments in the game. One came when Kevin found the Daily Double in the first round.

He wagered $2,000 and was correct.

Another moment was when both of the other contestants rang in and were wrong while he knew the correct response, boosting his total while their winnings went down, and Hirsh said he was in the zone.

“I honestly didn’t even think about it at the moment,” he said.

On his second night Hirsh was in another tight game and was in second place going into Final Jeopardy, and this time he was the one beaten by a dollar.

“I know, crazy right?”

Despite being a dollar short, Hirsh is proud of his time and is especially glad his episodes ran when they did.

“I appreciate the fact I was able to provide LGBTQ representation on ‘Jeopardy,’ especially at the beginning of Pride month,” he said. “There’s no better time for me to be on.”

Hirsh, who lives in the Wilton Manors area, is set to marry his fiancé Eric Scheiner in January and knows where the winnings are going.

“All the money is going to the wedding,” he said. “It’s giving us the ability to have the wedding of our dreams.”


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