‘Jeopardy!’: One Contestant Prepared for the Show by Listening to His Parents’ Vinyl Records

by Jennifer Shea

Arman Ramnath realized that “Jeopardy!” questions draw on a broad range of trivia knowledge. After all, he’d grown up watching the show with his family almost every night.

So the Ohio-bred lawyer did something to prepare that might not have occurred to the other contestants. He prepped for the show by playing his parents’ old vinyl records, such as The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Ramnath also studied up on pop culture, both present-day and historical.

“I was hoping for some of that,” he told the Dispatch.

‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Appears on Thursday’s Episode

Ramnath will be competing in the episode that airs this Thursday with “Today” show co-host Savannah Guthrie guest hosting. He told the Dispatch he’ll be watching it with a large group of friends and family in his parents’ Upper Arlington, Ohio home.

“I never expected the community to be so excited about it,” Ramnath said.

His parents are especially tickled. Ramnath’s father, Rajiv Ramnath, teaches computer science at Ohio State University. He said competing on “Jeopardy!” is quite the achievement.

“We’re really pleased that he ended up here,” the senior Ramnath said. “I am totally thrilled. It’s a highly competitive show.”

Of course, Ramnath’s family and friends will be watching the show in suspense, as contestants are sworn to secrecy and are not even allowed to share the outcome with those closest to them.

Show Is in the Midst of Search for Permanent Host

Meanwhile, “Jeopardy!” is in the middle of a search for a permanent host to replace the legendary Alex Trebek, who died of stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, 2020. Guthrie has said she is not interested in the permanent hosting job. But other guest hosts – including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and actress Mayim Bialik – have suggested that they are.

Executive producer Mike Richards explained on a recent episode of the Wall Street Journal podcast “The Journal” that the decision will ultimately be up to Sony executives.

“They’ve been a part of it,” Richards said of the decision-making process. “They know what’s going on in the studio. They’re watching the feed, the tapings. It’s very extensive. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of, as far as testing in its size and scope.”

“Jeopardy!” is relying on “analytics and real testing” to make the decision, Richards added, not just subjective impressions.

“We’re a pretty cerebral group, the ‘Jeopardy!’ team,” he said.