As for what else David has been up to since his Jeopardy! success, you may recall that David was featured in a “champion update” that aired in July 2009. David was shown hiking from New Brunswick, Canada, to Florida to raise money for the Fisher House, a charity that provides housing for wounded veterans and their families near military hospitals. I asked David how he got the idea, and if he was still planning to write a book about the experience as indicated on his blog. He said:
“Originally I was planning on hiking the Appalachian Trail; then I decided, well might as well tack on a few more weeks and do the whole country. But eventually, that latter goal superseded hiking the Appalachian Trail, which I did for about 180 miles in Maine, but then it got kind of boring. So I went off the trail but wanted to keep on hiking, then realized that going off the trail would actually help my hiking for a cause. A friend of mine had been hurt in Iraq, and hiking the whole country lent itself well to doing something with a patriotic focus. So I began researching veterans charities and got in touch with the folks at Fisher House, an incredible charity doing amazing work. I will eventually write a book about that, as well as about setting up the National History Bee and Bowl. But not for a few years; too busy at the moment.”
By the way, David’s got another blog here.
As mentioned yesterday, David tried out for Jeopardy! with his friend Jeff Hoppes. They tried out when they were together bird-watching in California. (Incidentally, I was pleased when David said he had spent spring break of his junior year of college observing the famous sandhill crane migration in central Nebraska.) When he and Hoppes tried out and Hoppes was asked what he would do with his Jeopardy! winnings, he said he wanted to go bird-watching around the world, but his wife would kill him if he didn’t put a down-payment on a house. As it turned out, Hoppes lost to Ken Jennings in Ken’s 70th game (although Hoppes did finish with 22000). They used some of David’s winnings to bird-watch around the world, and Larissa put her winnings toward the down-payment on a house. (I had read that David was recognized in Ghana because of his Jeopardy! appearances!) Come to find out, Hoppes attended the same school as Brad Rutter! David added that the school has just signed up a third team for the South Pennsylvania History Bowl.
Go to the History Bee and Bowl sites to see if there’s one near you! I am really excited about helping at the National Championships in Washington, D.C. on April 16th and 17th. See you there?