UD grad student has Sept. 13 date with 'Jeopardy'
Answer: UD grad student Roger Craig. Question: Who's that standing with Alex Trebek on the 'Jeopardy' set?


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2:37 p.m., Sept. 10, 2010----Roger Craig, a University of Delaware graduate student in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, is slated to appear on Jeopardy! America's Favorite Quiz Show, on Monday, Sept. 13.

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The popular game show airs at 7 p.m., weekdays, on WPVI-6 in the Delaware-Philadelphia viewing area and on WMAR-TV in Baltimore. On WPVI, the Sept. 13 show is being pre-empted for a special, but it will be broadcast at 7 p.m. on the digital channel 6.2 (Comcast channel 245; Verizon FiOS channel 466), and will air during late night on the regular Channel 6 after the Oprah rerun at approximately 2:05 a.m., Sept. 14.

The Johnstown, Pa., native was invited to appear on the show, which has already been taped, after answering a 50-question online test held each January. Applicants have 10 minutes to answer the questions.

“If you do well on that, they might invite you to an in-person audition a few months later,” Craig said. “Everyone who is at the in-person audition is in the 'pool,' but only a small portion are called and invited out to Los Angeles to be on the show.”

To appear on the show, Craig flew to the Golden State, where the show is taped at the Sony Picture Studios in Culver City.

“The show has three contestants on at a time, each competing solo, so it's one against one against one,” Craig said. “My favorite areas are science, music, literature and movies. I tried to avoid questions on food and fashion.”

Craig said Jeopardy tapes five shows a day, twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Wednesdays of various weeks, all of course hosted by Alex Trebek.

“Alex Trebek is very funny and cracks a lot of jokes. During downtime he chats with the audience and answers questions,” Craig said. “A contestant doesn't get to talk to Alex until he plays his individual game. That's the only time you interact with him.”

What surprised Craig was the fact that he wasn't the least bit nervous about being on the long-time nationally televised program.

“I didn't know anybody else there, except the contestant coordinators whom I had met in my audition,” Craig said. “Any two contestants who know each other are not allowed to play against one another in a game.”

Craig, who grew up in Annandale, Va., received bachelor in science degrees in biology and biochemistry, both in 1999 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

While he wasn't nervous during the actual taping of the Jeopardy taping, Craig said that “when you first see the set, it's a bit of a 'wow' moment, because it feels as though you have walked inside your television set.

“I would sum up the experience as both surreal and fun,” he said. “I had never been on TV, and the whole process was very interesting. The fact that I could win some money too made it doubly surreal.”

Because Jeopardy contestants are not allowed to reveal results ahead of airtime, viewers will have to wait until after the show airs to find out how Craig did.

Article by Jerry Rhodes
Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions Inc.