Local 'Jeopardy!' champ vies for a spot in million-dollar showdown

It's hard to believe, but "Jeopardy!" turns 30 years old this year. To celebrate, the beloved trivia show is asking fans to pick their favorite former champs to come back and compete for a million dollars. And of course, no "Jeopardy!" showdown would be complete without some Pacific Northwest representation.

Called the "Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades," the special engagement will bring players from each decade of the show (1984-1993, 1994-2003, 2004-2013), to 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. The single-week specials will air in February, March and April of 2014.

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.

14 contestants for each decade have already been selected by producers, but there's still one spot open for a "Fan Favorite" -- including Seattleite Tom Nissley, who took second place in the show's Battle of the Champions in 2011. If selected, Nissley would be competing in the 2000s decade.

Nissley called his fellow Fan Favorite contender "lovely people, smart players, and good friends" in a post on his blog, but explained that he's asking for votes largely because "I really, really, really want to play Jeopardy! one last time. "

Why? Because he can.

"A million dollars? Well, of course...But getting the chance to do something I only recently found out I'm really good at? Whether I get to play again or not (and no matter how well I fare if I do), I'll move on from the game-show part of my life to other things I love. But before I do, I really, really, really would like to write my name on the screen and pick up the signaling device one more time," Nissley writes.

If selected, Nissley won't be the only Seattle-area contestant on the show; Edmonds native Ken Jennings, who still holds the title for the longest winning streak in the show's history, is already scheduled to compete.

Voting for Nissley's bracket begins today and continues through next week. For more information, visit the Jeopardy! Facebook page.