The recently completed NFL season proved to be profitable for a Marine Corps master sergeant assigned to Iwakuni Air Station in Japan.

James “Woody” Biggs, 37, of Folsom, Calif., correctly guessed the outcome of 167 out of 254 selected games in the 2004 NFL season, outdistancing 1,936 other entrants for the grand prize of $1,000 in the NFL Challenge, a season-long contest sponsored by Stars and Stripes and

“I was shocked, to be honest with you,” said Biggs, assigned to Marine Aircraft Group-12.

The contest began at the start of the NFL season. Each week, entrants picked winners of each NFL game, while also putting a number of points on each game that indicated confidence in each selection.

Biggs won the first week of the contest, garnering a $100 gift certificate courtesy of, and remained in the top five the rest of the way. But he confessed to worry about “two guys with me who were really good competition.”

In Week 16 of the 17-week season, he said, he “picked a couple of games that went sour,” including San Diego over Indianapolis, a game the Colts won 34-31 in overtime. He fell to sixth place at that juncture.

“When Week 17 came up, I kept saying to myself, ‘I gotta nail it,’” Biggs said. He picked 10 of the 16 games correctly “but I put the right amount of points on the right amount of games and managed to get lucky,” he said.

Biggs, who has played the NFL Challenge all three years it has been contested, became the third straight overall winner stationed in Japan. He also became the first overall winner to snare one of the weekly prizes.

Though originally from California, Biggs proudly proclaims himself a “lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan” and entered the NFL Challenge under the pseudonym “SteelFrogWood.”

So what does Biggs plan to do with the $1,000 prize?

“Pay bills,” he said. “Christmas.”

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