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Neil Zussman

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Neil Zussman
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionSemi-finalist
Points total758
Conundrums solved7 (+1 tiebreaker)
Neil Zussman in the 30th Birthday Championship.
Neil Zussman with Susie Dent during his original run in 2009.

Neil Zussman was an octochamp from Series 60 and a quarter-finalist in the 30th Birthday Championship.

Zussman started off with a win over Kate Richardson and followed it up with a thrashing of Kevin Pidduck. The next game was of a very high standard, with Zussman leading 101 – 94 going into the crucial conundrum. However, he avoided losing with a century by buzzing in after half a second with HAMBURGER. His next game was just as dramatic, as professional DJ Simon Greening came back from 20 points behind in the last two rounds before Zussman again scraped through on a second conundrum. His next two games featured scores of 101 and 108 before dropping down to 81 although this time it wasn't a crucial conundrum. He finished his run with 97.

Zussman was the first ever octochamp under Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley.

He returned to the finals as No.5 seed, where he defeated the No.4 seed Shane Roberts in the quarters, before meeting No.1 seed Kirk Bevins the following day. After Bevins found SUBSPACE in an early letters game, Zussman pulled the game back level with POLITEST, and with the two players remaining evenly matched upto the conundrum, Bevins solved the conundrum AMSPECIAL in half a second, ending Zussman's run.

Zussman appeared on Countdown again on 30 March 2011, where he was the audience member who solved the conundrum after it defeated both contestants.

He returned to Countdown in 2013, as one of 41 contestants taking part in the 30th Birthday Championship. After receiving a bye to the first round, he won his first match against Series 65 semi-finalist Paul Keane by a score of 99 – 81. He then beat Series 44 semi-finalist Dave Hoskisson in round 2. He finally succumbed to the Series 66 runner-up Jonathan Rawlinson, who dropped only 1 point during the whole match.

He made his Co-event debut at COHUD in 2012.

On 8 October 2012, he appeared on Only Connect with James Hall.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
4758 16/02/2009 P Kate Richardson 54 – 92 Neil Zussman Kate Humble Susie Dent 117
4759 17/02/2009 P Neil Zussman 92 – 37 Kevin Pidduck Kate Humble Susie Dent 119
4760 18/02/2009 P Neil Zussman 111 – 94 Anita Fairhurst Kate Humble Susie Dent 118
4761 19/02/2009 P Neil Zussman 86* – 76 Simon Greening Kate Humble Susie Dent 127
4762 20/02/2009 P Neil Zussman 101 – 55 Matthew Meads Kate Humble Susie Dent 115
4763 23/02/2009 P Neil Zussman 108 – 87 Heather Chidgey Graham Cole Susie Dent 141
4764 24/02/2009 P Neil Zussman 81 – 77 Rick Warburton Graham Cole Susie Dent 119
4765 25/02/2009 P Neil Zussman 97 – 48 Sheila Box Graham Cole Susie Dent 118
4840 16/06/2009 QF Shane Roberts 35 – 82 Neil Zussman Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 115
4841 17/06/2009 SF Kirk Bevins 98 – 88 Neil Zussman Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 128
5631 29/01/2013 30B1 Paul Keane 81 – 99 Neil Zussman Mark Foster Susie Dent 131
5647 20/02/2013 30B2 Dave Hoskisson 75 – 90 Neil Zussman Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 117
5648 21/02/2013 30BQF Jonathan Rawlinson 118 – 53 Neil Zussman Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 119
* includes ten points from a tie-break conundrum
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