Local 'Jeopardy!' champ to return for 'Battle of Decades'

Local 'Jeopardy!' champ to return for 'Battle of Decades' »Play Video
Tom Nissley

He asked, Americans voted, and now, Seattle writer Tom Nissley will return to "Jeopardy!" for its Battle of the Decades showdown, in celebration of the show's 30th anniversary. 

In a video on YouTube yesterday, Alex Trebek announced the finalists who would be competing -- and Nissley, who took second place in the show's 2011 Battle of the Champions, was among them. 

The "Jeopardy!" special is bringing back "fan favorites" from each decade of the show, who will then compete against others who played in the same decade. The players will compete for one week, which will stand alone from the rest of the show. 

Each week, five winners will emerge. They will then return in for the ultimate battle in May. The final tournament will last two weeks, and end with the winner walking away with $1 million.

When the contest was first announced, Nissley took to his blog, which is usually about books, to ask fans to vote for him. 

"I've had a happy and lucky life, and Jeopardy! has been a very lucky part of that," wrote Nissley, but explained that he really wanted to play again.

"...I's strange: it's like finding out in the middle of your life that you're about as good a tennis player as anyone else out there, getting one shot at Wimbledon, and then you're done."

Nissley says playing again is less about the money, and more about wanting to challenge himself again.

The Ballard resident was selected because the most people voted for him via social media -- which could in part be because he had a bump from another famous local Jeopardy! celeb. Ken Jennings, the quiz show's all-time leading money winner, made a cameo in Nissley's campaign video, and tweeted his support of Nissley to his over 140,000 followers.

Nissley, who is the game's third-highest money winner, says his "Jeopardy!" success has helped him quit his day job to pursue his passion of writing, and has helped his wife's handbag business take off.

The single-week specials, including the one featuring Nissley, will air in February, March and April of 2014.