Harker student Michael Kwan, grade 11, will try to win $100,000 this Friday, Nov. 11, when he appears on Jeopardy! Teen Tournament. Kwan qualified to be on the show last spring by taking an online test that required him to answer 50 questions in 15 seconds. He was then invited to audition in Los Angeles, where he took another test and participated in a mock episode of the show. Some weeks later, he found himself on a plane to Washington, D.C., to film the episode.
Although Kwan was not able to share the results of the contest, he remembered a handful of “nerve-wracking moments” that occurred while the episode was being taped. “When I heard my name announced for the crowd in the theater and also for the people that would watch in their living rooms, I felt the pressure that performers feel stepping out onto the stage to perform,” he said. “Even talking to Alex Trebek during the commercial breaks made me nervous, because I was finally talking to someone that I had watched every night for a number of years.”
Aside from the taping, Kwan and the other contestants took a bus tour of Washington, to see the city’s many sights and film promotional videos for the show. “I got to connect with other kids who shared my interest in the show and the trivia knowledge that came with it, and we still keep in touch daily as a group even months after the filming of the show,” Kwan said.
Another highlight, of course, was the opportunity to meet Trebek, who met with the contestants before the show to offer them tips and inspiration.
Good luck, Michael!