Virginia Tech professor wins big in Jeopardy, headed for another round

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - UPDATE Dec. 14, 2017 9:15 p.m.

Virginia Tech professor, Craig Tollin made Southwest Virginia proud tonight on Jeopardy! The VT professor won with the total of $22,001. He'll be back tomorrow night at 7:30.

A Virginia Tech professor is making his national television debut tonight on WDBJ7.

Tonight the professor becomes the student as he takes the timed, televised test on just how much he really knows.

"I feel I am just a person who collects a lot of kind of useless tidbits of information and they just kind of stick," said Professor Craig Tollin.

But that happens to suit him well.

Tollin recently competed in his favorite TV game show after almost a decade of trying. He said he was ecstatic when he found out he made the cut.

"I kinda I had to settle myself because I was at work that day," he said . laughing. "But I have trouble kinda working that day on the rest of the day yeah."

Tollin said he found out in June and then had a few weeks to prepare his buzzer skills and study up on the tough stuff before heading out.

"Like literature, art , Shakespeare," he said, shrugging his shoulders. "I mean it comes up on the show a lot, and I'm not great at it."

That's because Tollin is a Virginia Tech science professor, specializing in biochemistry.

After a few weeks of prep, Tollin filmed his episode on August 30. He and his wife made a vacation out of the trip to Culver City, California. He has to stay mum about the results, but said some of his students are eager to see the outcome.

“I have one student in particular who has asked me every time she sees me, she says, 'So how'd you do? How'd you do? How'd you do?'" he said. "And I say, 'I can’t tell you you have to watch.' But they really want to know."

So after weeks of prep, a few hours of play and a few months of waiting, Tollin will finally get to watch himself fulfilling a lifelong dream.

"Going out there, meeting the people, being able to actually do the game," he said, "it was exactly what I expected it to be and that was really special."

Tollin's episode airs tonight on WDBJ7 at 7:30.