‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Reveals Why She Would Recommend the ‘Experience’ to Anyone Hoping to Be on Show

by Josh Lanier

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Jeopardy! and thought you’d make a good contestant, one former player recommends giving it a try. It’s not easy to get on the show, she admits, but making it on was a great experience.

Grace Jeoffrey, a Duke University student, who appeared on the show earlier this month, said she took the online test several times before she got through. But since it’s an online test that you can retake, potential contestants have nothing to lose at least trying. Though she admits, it’s a difficult quiz, and some of the show’s best-known names struggled with it.

“I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants to try it. Anyone can take the at-home test right now on their own computer if they want to. And you really have no idea what’s going to happen,” she told the Duke Chronicle. “I took the test in early 2020 and I didn’t pass the first test. I took the Teen version back when I was in middle school, and I did not pass the test. James Holzhauer, who’s the guy who holds the record for the highest single-game winnings, took the test several times before he ever got on the show. You can take it a number of times and you never know because the benchmark and how people overall perform can change. 

“There were other people with me who said they had taken the test several times, and they tried every year, and eventually one of those days it works out.”

Jeffrey finished third in the June 3 episode of Jeopardy! hosted by Mayim Bialik. The student came in third behind an English professor from Illinois and Twitter obsession, Julia Markham Cameron. Cameron, a Brooklyn Attorney, went viral for her quirky facial expressions and sometimes strange reactions.

Expect A Long Wait After You Apply to ‘Jeopardy!’

The 21-year-old Duke student said the show emailed her in late October 2020, saying she’d passed the online test. After that, it was a “waiting game,” she told the paper.

“I auditioned this year, and by this year I mean this academic year so 2020-21. I took the online test in October, and to provide some extra context, the audition process differed from past years this year because of COVID-19. It was entirely virtual versus usually where there is an in-person component of the audition process. And so online I took the general test. Anybody can take this test from their home, from their computer, and that’s how the first round always is,” Jeffrey said.

After passing a Zoom audition, she played a mocked-up version of the game. This is where the show dig down to see if you’re a worthy candidate or not.

“They also kind of interview you to get a sense of your personality because at that point it’s not really about what you know anymore,” she said.

She was told in February that she’d passed the second round of auditions. Jeopardy! brought her to California in March to film her episode.