WASHINGTON — When he is not getting grilled by lawmakers, speaking at conferences or crafting sweeping rules for the financial services industry, ever wonder what Richard Cordray does in his spare time?

Tune in to Jeopardy! on Wednesday to find out.

Turns out that the chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was a former champion on the legendary game show before entering public life.

But, apparently, his appearance 27 years was not a one-time performance.

Cordray recently made his return to Jeopardy! as a contestant on the show's special "Battle the Decades," competing for "1980s week." His appearance — during which he faced off against Tom Nosek from Torrance, Calif., and Leslie Shannon from Espoo, Finland — is scheduled to air Wednesday, Feb. 5.

When the CFPB director first appeared during Season 4 on the show, he won $45,303. The result of his most recent appearance is not known, although now as a federal government official he stated beforehand that he would not keep any of the money if he won.

Cordray has also appeared in online promotions the show has done in connection with the retro competitions. Reflecting on his past appearance on the show, he said it was "exciting" and "intimidating." He also may not have expected what happened after he won in the eighties.

"You recognize suddenly as you get there that two out of three contestants lose their game. You just hope you make a good account of yourself," Cordray said. "I was surprised at how many people watched the show and recognized me after I had become a champion. I got a couple of marriage proposals. I was not married at the time but now I am, happily."

With the money he won, Cordray said he bought a used car, paid his father back money he had borrowed for law school and took a trip with a friend to Northern California.

Oh, and he also paid the taxes on his winnings.

"They chase you down to do [that] before you even leave the set," he added.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.