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Local man reflects on Jeopardy! experience

Arts & Entertainment

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DECLO — Dan Martson got a full 60 minutes of fame this week.

The Declo man first appeared on Jeopardy! on Tuesday with a thrilling victory.

“Martin was good, he was faster than me all day and (Final Jeopardy) was my one shot and I took it,” said Martson.

Unfortunately, his run came to an end Wednesday night, this time losing on Final Jeopardy.

By day, Martson is a forklift operator, but his history with trivia runs deep as a knowledge bowl participant in elementary, middle and high school.

“My junior year we played for the small class of schools state championship game at the INL tournament, it was broadcast on Idaho Public Television, I thought that was going to be my biggest TV debut ever,” said Martson.

As for the experience, it was one for the ages.

Martson is a huge fan of the show and he was honored to stand where past iconic champions stood. He’ll even list them by name.

One of those came this season, James Holzhauer, who nearly broke the show’s all-time earnings record.

The first show Martson saw live after getting to Los Angeles was Holzhauer’s final round, just dodging the “Jeopardy James” bullet.

“To come to LA and be informed that the current Jeopardy! champion has 32 wins under his belt, $2.4 million, it was pretty intimidating. I was like ‘Well, there goes the trip,’ you know. I hope I lose quick so we can go sight-seeing,” said Martson.

Now, Martson is vacationing in northern Idaho, gathered around friends and family who got to see his run in its entirety.

A run, that he’ll certainly never forget.

“I got really lucky just to be on the show, and to win was something else. I couldn’t believe it,” said Martson.