‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Speaks Out on the Part You ‘Can’t Prepare’ For on the Show

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Many fans dream of one day competing on Jeopardy!. If you have a wealth of trivia knowledge, it’s easy to play along at home. On the other hand, it’s fun to try to guess the answers even if you don’t have a ton of trivia knowledge. Just imagining being on that iconic stage and delivering answers in the form of questions is exhilarating.

If you’re serious about being a Jeopardy! contestant, you have to prepare. There are as many methods of preparation as there are contestants. For instance, one competitor listened to his parents’ vinyl records to prepare for the show. On the other hand, you could spend hours reading encyclopedias and watching documentaries.

Then again, you could do what Ken Jennings did and start an intense Jeopardy! training regimen. Jennings’ wife used flashcards to quiz him for hours a day. He also watched the iconic quiz show twice a day. However, he wasn’t just hanging out in his recliner watching the show. Instead, he stood behind his recliner. This helped him mimic the feeling of being on the stage.

Words of Wisdom from a Previous Jeopardy! Contestant

Kirsten Haas hails from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The fifty-year-old is the executive director of her local Girls on the Run nonprofit organization. She has also been a Jeopardy! fan since her college days. She and her husband watch the iconic quiz show every night. However, she didn’t start trying to get on the show until about 2010, according to an interview with The Reading Eagle.

She started taking the online test to compete on Jeopardy! every year since they started offering it. However, she was only called back three times. She made it to in-person auditions in both 2014 and 2018. However, that’s as far as she got. Finally, she made the final cut earlier this year. In March, she traveled to Culver City, California to make her quiz show dreams come true.

Hass did all that she could to prepare for her Jeopardy! debut. However, she said that there was one thing that you cannot prepare for. That, she told Reading Eagle, is the buzzer.

Even with that one hole in her years-long preparation, she wasn’t nervous when it was time to step onto the Jeopardy! stage.

Kirsten Haas didn’t win. In fact, she placed third on her episode of Jeopardy!. However, that didn’t bother her too much. She walked away with the $1000 prize that the show gives third-place contestants But, Haas said, the money didn’t really matter. It wasn’t about the money at all. About this, she said, “You love the show, you love the spirit of it, the strategy. That’s why you go on.”