‘Jeopardy!’: Kentucky Teacher Gets Spot on Show After Trying for 13 Years

by Samantha Whidden

Following his appearance on “Jeopardy!” this week, contestant and Kentucky teacher Kris Olson reveals he has been waiting for more than a decade to have a chance on the TV game show. 

During his recent interview with the Herald-Leader, Olson stated that he has watched “Jeopardy!” His whole life. “I watched it as a child with my family. Every single night. I still remember the first question I knew that my parents didn’t: ‘He is the only person to serve as Chief Justice after serving as president… Who is William Howard Taft?’”

The “Jeopardy!” contestant also shared that he loves trivia and board games. He was also part of the academic team throughout school. While he says he didn’t want to be on the “Jeopardy!” Teen Tournament, he said it was because he wanted to be on the adult version of the show one day. 

While revealing when he decided to start really trying to get on “Jeopardy!” Olson said he gave taking the annual online test every year for the past 13 years. In 2021, he was invited to the next step, which is taking the in-person test. Upon passing the test, he was invited to do an audition over Zoom. “I got the call this February and taped my show on March 31st,” Olson recalled.

Although he didn’t place first during his “Jeopardy!” episode, the educator walked away with the second-place prize of $2,000. “It’s truly been a case of sticking with something that was important to me,” Olson said about the experience. 

Molly McComas, the superintendent at Clark Country Schools, where Olson teaches, spoke about the “Jeopardy!” contestant’s personality. “Mr. Olson is a thoughtful, dedicated, and challenging teacher with a wonderful sense of humor. His investment in his programs creates incredibly talented students.”

Jeopardy!’ Prepares for the 2022 Tournament of Champions 

Meanwhile, “Jeopardy!” is now preparing for the upcoming 2022 Tournament of Champions. According to Good Housekeeping, the tournament will feature an “elite” group of the show’s contestants who are competing for the grand prize of $250,000. In order to qualify for the tournament, contestants needed to win five consecutive games. 

The media outlet reveals that there are 15 “Jeopardy!” contestants who are eligible for the tournament with winnings that range from $1.5 million to $80,000. Amy Schneider recently revealed that the 2022 Tournament of Champions will air in November 2022. Well-known contestant Ken Jennings also confirmed the news. 

In December 2021, executive producer of “Jeopardy!” Michael Davies reportedly spoke about the upcoming event. “I can not express to you how excited everyone at Jeopardy! is for the next Tournament of Champions — we really do have massive plans. Our champions are our All-Stars — our Jordans, our Kobes, our Candace Parkers — and we want to elevate them as such.”