‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Reveals Hilarious Reason He Nearly Didn’t Answer Call From Show

by Josh Lanier
(Image Via Getty Images)

Trenton J. Woodley is a lifelong Jeopardy! fan. He would watch the show as a young boy at home then call his grandmother when it was over to see if they both got the Final Jeopardy! question correct. So, making it onto the show has been something the 31-year-old law student always wanted to do. But he almost missed his chance because he almost ignored their call.

Woodley took the online quiz and did well enough to get a Zoom audition for the show, he told The Commerical Appeal. It went well, but he didn’t expect to hear from them on whether he’d made the show or not for a long time. But the call came quickly. It was so fast, in fact, that he almost didn’t answer. Like the rest of us, Woodley is bombarded daily with the scam, fake auto warranty calls. So, when he didn’t recognize the number, he almost ignored it. But being a man of Jeopardy! contestant quality, he recognized the Los Angeles area code.

“I almost didn’t answer because I’ve been getting those weird ‘extended warranty’ calls. But the area code was 213, so I answered, and it was Jeopardy!

Woodley taped his episode on March 23, but it won’t air until Friday. He said it was a bit surreal being inside the set he’d watched on TV so many times before. But he took a “step back” a deep breath and got into game mode.

He couldn’t say how well he performed. But, he said he wasn’t nervous. That’s because he played in the Overton High School band, which is one of the best in the country. He said he enjoys the pressure.

How Do You Get on ‘Jeopardy!’? It’s Not Easy

Getting on to a game show isn’t easy. Either it’s pure dumb luck such as with Price is Right or skill-based like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy! is a little of both.

For Jeopardy!, potential contestants will need to take an online quiz consisting of 50 questions. The contestant has 15 seconds to answer each question. When you’ve finished the test, if you’ve scored high enough (Jeopardy! doesn’t tell you your score), you’ll receive an email saying that your application has been moved on to the next stage: the audition. Not everyone who moves onto the audition will actually get an audition, however. There are too many applicants, so it’s a random draw at that point.

Game officials say they will keep you on file for a year for an audition. The audition is another 50-question test, this time via Zoom, and if you pass that, you’ll play a mock version of the game against other potential players. This is the time to shine. Be funny and interesting. This is TV after all, and they’re looking for players who’ll stand out.

If you pass all of that, you’re added to the contestant pool with hundreds of others. The show gives you an 18-month window that they may call to have you on the show. If not, then you’ll have to start over again.

To apply to be on the show visit Jeopardy!’s website.