Amanda Potter, educator for public and university programs here, will appear on Jeopardy! this Thursday. She was kind enough to write a bit about the experience.
“Who do we know in Culver City?” I asked my husband, while looking up the phone number of a call I’d just ignored. It was November 7, the day after the 2012 elections, and I’d long since stopped answering calls from numbers I didn’t recognize.
“Jeopardy!” he replied, and my heart leapt. Sure enough, seconds later, a voicemail arrived from one of the producers of Jeopardy! (yes, the exclamation point is officially part of the show’s name, a charming quirk not unlike our beloved The Ohio State University). Could I come out for a taping in January?
I couldn’t believe it. I was one person out of over 100,000 who’d taken the online contestant test in January 2012, and was thrilled just to be selected for an in-person audition (along with my husband) in Cleveland a few months later. To be honest, I thought I’d done well, but the odds were so great and I never thought I’d be picked, at least not my first time around (many Jeopardy! contestants try out multiple times before being selected).
Yet there I was one early morning in January, boarding a hotel shuttle for a day of taping at Sony Studios. Legally, I can’t say much more about what happened until the show airs this Thursday, May 2, but I can share that the entire Jeopardy! crew was wonderful and kind, as were my fellow contestants, and that while Alex Trebek did mispronounce the name of my hometown on air, he redeemed himself by complimenting my shoes while they were rolling the credits.
Win or lose, it was a dream come true just to be a contestant. To anyone who has ever thought about trying out for Jeopardy! or any other game show: go for it! You have nothing to lose.