A Mobile native, Ed Hagar, will be appearing on Jeopardy! tonight (Wednesday, April 9, 6pm). Ed stopped by Studio10 to talk a little bit about what it was like behind the scenes.
Below is some info Ed sent to Studio10 about himself and the Jeopardy experience:
In high school, I was on trivia teams in “Scholar’s Bowl” matches held at Faulkner State Community College. I was on Shaw High School’s team; we also had a team for a similar quiz bowl format called Scott Hi-Q, sponsored by Scott Paper.
I’ve always loved reading and trivia and watched Jeopardy on and off over the years, but I became really interested in Jeopardy again in 2011 after reading a book about Watson, the IBM supercomputer that was programmed to compete against contestants on the show. Then I read a book by Ken Jennings, the all-time highest winning Jeopardy contestant. So I took the online test for Jeopardy in January 2012; more than 100,000 people take the test every year.
I advanced to the regional test in New Orleans in August 2012, where about 40 of us took part in a practice round to see how we might do on TV. They told us we’d be in their pool of contestants for a year and a half. After a year passed without hearing from them, I assumed I hadn’t done well enough, but the show called me on Halloween of 2013 and asked me to be in LA on December 18.
For the next 6 weeks, I read as much general reference stuff as possible, and studied up on common categories like state capitals, presidents, history, geography, and even art and opera and ballet. I played along at home, watching every night with a pen as a clicker and keeping track of my score. I usually get slightly more than half of the answers right, so out of 60 questions I might know 29 to 34 of them. I worked on buzzer speed, because you can’t buzz in until Alex Trebek finishes reading the question.
They film 5 shows a day, so the week that airs this week was filmed from about 11 to about 5 on the same lot next to Wheel of Fortune. We were asked to bring 3 outfits in case we won our first game. All 10 contestants went to the green room about 8 that morning, where we were briefed and went to make-up before a practice round around 10. Going on the set for the first time was amazing, then we sat in the studio audience until our turn was called.
Tune in to Fox10 tonight at 6pm to see Ed answer the questions… or vice versa.