'Amazing' Grace

Victor and Tammy Jih relied on legal skills to win CBS' 'Amazing Race'

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Handling million-dollar lawsuits for Disney and Warner Bros. is nothing compared to navigating a rickshaw. Just ask Victor Jih, an entertainment lawyer who can now add winner of CBS' "The Amazing Race" to his resume.

As a partner in the Century City office of O'Melveny & Myers, Jih handles a full workload of studio-side copyright and unfair competition litigation. But he jumped at the chance to put his cases on hold last fall and race around the world for four weeks with sister Tammy, a fellow Harvard Law grad and an associate in the San Francisco office of Quinn Emanuel.

"We wanted to get out of the lawyer bubble and really interact and relate with other people," he says.

The Jihs prepared for the race "as if we were lawyers," researching all 13 previous seasons of the show and conducting a "structural analysis" to identify challenges at which he and his sister might not excel.

To Victor's surprise, his legal background helped smooth over an unexpected challenge in Thailand during a dispute with the CBS lawyer who handles "Race": The Jihs were accused of incorrectly completing a task involving a rickshaw, but Victor successfully argued that based on the language of the clue, they had interpreted it correctly. The Jihs not only ended up winning that leg of the race -- but also, in their own Hollywood ending, the $1 million prize.
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