‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Speaks on Stress of First Game After Applying for 16 Years

by Leanne Stahulak

Earlier this week, Minneapolis meteorologist Eric Ahasic usurped 16-day “Jeopardy!” champ Ryan Long in an incredible game.

Ahasic took the lead over Long early in the game, slowly extending the distance between the two up until the “Final Jeopardy!” round. When Ahasic was the only contestant to answer correctly, he knew he had it in the bag.

While fans were sad to see Long go, it’s always exciting to meet a new contestant (and potential super champion). Earlier, Ahasic sat down with local station MPR to talk about his first “Jeopardy!” game.

Per the outlet, Ahasic has been applying for the game show for 16 years, ever since he was in high school. It’s incredible to see him try so long and finally succeed, taking down a super champion in the process. But despite making it this far, Ahasic felt as stressed as any other first-time contestant.

“It was honestly, I think, one of the most nervous I’ve ever been,” Ahasic told MPR. “The whole morning leading up to it and then getting to the studio and hearing that you’re gonna go up against a 16-game champion, Ryan Long, who’s won almost $300,000, definitely didn’t help the nerves. But everyone on staff there is so great at just calming everybody down in what is obviously a very high-stress situation for all the contests there.”

Luckily, once the game got underway, Ahasic settled into a groove.

“Honestly, when you’re in the game, it just goes so fast you don’t really have time to be nervous,” the “Jeopardy!” champ continued.

New ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Eric Ahasic Reveals Nerves Over ‘Final Jeopardy!’ Question

It sounds like Eric Ahasic’s experience on the game show was an emotional roller coaster. He constantly seemed to shift between nerves and concentration.

“The ‘Final Jeopardy!’ question at the end where you wager your money and write it on the prompter there, my hand was shaking,” Ahasic revealed. “And I have pretty bad handwriting to begin with. So I hope it didn’t look even worse than it normally does with my hand shaking trying to write that final answer down, which I was lucky enough to get right. I credit Wikipedia for that one — it was a random word I read on Wikipedia one time.”

Everybody prepares for “Jeopardy!” differently, and if Wikipedia worked for Ahasic, then we’re not one to question it.

Ahasic kept his streak going last night when he won his second consecutive game. The meteorologist established a huge lead over his competitors once again, ending the “Final Jeopardy!” round with $21,600 compared to results below $5,000.

For his two-day total, Ahasic has now earned $40,001. Fans will have to tune in tonight to see if Ahasic extends his streak after unseating the 16-day champion.