How did you prepare for today's show?
I prepared for today's show by watching several episodes of the show. I had 'em taped on my DVR at home, and just kept watchin' 'em, and a lot of Wikipedia, actually.
What are some of your other favorite activities?
Some of my other favorite activities are playing sports... or really just anything around sports. I'll, uh, I don't know if this [is] crossing into another question, but I'm actually looking for a career specifically in sports journalism.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully in Kansas City or just any television station or newspaper, just covering the sports team.
"His original plan was to own a chain of international hotels and become president of the United States, but now he's thinking sports anchor. From Hutchinson Community College, here's..."
2008 Kids Week Reunion player (2008-09-15).
1999 Back to School Week player (1999-09-06).
At the beginning of the audition process, I was eleven years old, and had just finished sixth grade. I was still living in Kansas City at the time after moving there back in 1990. Jeopardy! was a show that I had watched just about every day. I was really into sports, particularly football and soccer. I was planning on becoming the owner of my own chain of hotels and the first African-American President of the United States.
One day, my mom just told me that we were going to the downtown Marriott to audition for Jeopardy! The one person that I actually remember is one kid who flew all the way out from Silver Springs, Maryland because he had missed the Washington, D.C. audition. The written test that we were given wasn't that hard. Funny story: After the test, I went to get a drink of water, and my mom thought that I had been cut. When they invited all the parents into the room where the kids were, they informed us that most of the parents had not passed their test. I'm not sure if this was exactly the original plan, but they told us that it was originally supposed to be a parent-child special. But, due to the low scores of the parents, they changed it to kids-only. I made the first cut and went on to the mock game portion of the audition. I was completely killer in that portion. I think I earned more money in the mock game than I would've in the real game. Afterwards, they told that they would be in contact with us.
I actually never got the call that I was going to be on the show. My mother did, and she didn't tell me. I heard her scream when she got the call. When I ran in to ask what was wrong, she said, "Nothing." I just went back to my room none-the-wiser. I don't know if the TV station got the call and then they called her, or, the more likely scenario, she got the call from the show, and then called the TV station. I remember a knock on our door one day, and I asked who it was, since that's what my parents had always taught me. My mom said, "Just answer it." When I opened up the door, there was a camera crew from the local TV station that aired Jeopardy! in Kansas City, and they broke the news to me. The story aired on the 5 and 10 o'clock news that night.
My parents picked up a book called "Secrets of the Jeopardy! Champions" or something along those lines. I think we still have the book somewhere. It had a few tips for going on the show. I didn't really use any of them, though.
When I first arrived at the stage, I was surprised at how small it was. All the contestants of the morning group all knew each other since we already had a day or so to mingle. Everyone was real cool and excited to be on the show.
I quickly found out why jamming down on the button was not a good idea. The rehearsal game gave me a good gauge of how hard the answers were going to be. I got to play the Double Jeopardy! Round and the Final question. I ended up losing that game by one dollar.
I didn't have to wait too long to be called out since I was on the first show of the week. I felt a little rushed when I came on stage as I was literally pushed out. I was a little nervous talking with Alex, as I'm sure it looked on tape.
I started off a little slow during the Jeopardy! round. During the Double Jeopardy! round though, that's when I broke out. I went from $1,800 to $5,200 during that round. Then came the Final Jeopardy! question. Flashback to the day before. My dad was taking my mom and me to the airport and I said, "The day that they tape the show will be the 30th anniversary of the Moon landing." Little did I know how much did that piece of trivia would affect me. So fast-forward to the morning of the 20th. My mom told me, "If you don't think that you'll know the right question to the Final answer, just bet $0." Well, when the category popped up as FAMOUS AMERICANS, I freaked. The computer that handled the wagering and answering system for the Final question broke and I still put down the same amount. When Alex read the answer, I wanted to disappear. I was so mad. Although, I still say that I almost made Alex cuss when he saw my wager. The only post-show thought I had was, "Why in the world didn't I bet anything on the Final question?"
I received two Gateway computers for coming in second. We actually still have one of the computers. Of course, it's so old that it's not just a fossil, but fossil fuel by now.