‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Makes Debut After Trying Out 9 Times Over More Than 2 Decades

by Madison Miller
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Virtually everything about “Jeopardy!” is harder than it appears to people watching on TV at home. From the pressure of playing on the studio stage to the pressure of earning money, “Jeopardy!” can be pretty high stress.

Beyond that, even being able to get on the game show is hard enough. That’s what one specific contestant learned over the period of 25 years.

According to WTNH News 8, one man finally got to fulfill his lifelong goal of competing on the “Jeopardy!” stage. His name is John Prokop, a legal assistant from Connecticut. He first tried out for the show 25 years ago but was turned down. He didn’t stop there either.

Instead, Prokop has tried out for the show about nine different times over the years. Finally, “Jeopardy!” gave him a shot and called him this winter.

Although Alex Trebek was no longer the host, Prokop got to play as Anderson Cooper hosted the show. He unfortunately didn’t walk away as the winner of the show, but being able to play was enough of a win.

“It was like ‘wow, this is it.’ It was like ‘wow’. It was marvelous,” Prokop told News 8.

While another contestant else walked away with the most money, Prokop was elated with his $2,000, a “Jeopardy!” hat, and some other small gifts. He said it was “better than any birthday he’s ever had.”

Getting on ‘Jeopardy!’

Unless you’ve tried to audition, you likely don’t know just how hard it can be to end up in the final stage of “Jeopardy!”

A Boston Globe article from 2015 explored just how difficult it is to land a spot on the show. In 2014, there were about 70,000 people that took the online test hoping to be picked. However, only 3,000 were picked for the regional auditions. Then, from there, 400 were picked to actually be on that season of the show.

Landing a spot on “Jeopardy!” is about more than just being astoundingly good at trivia. Possible contestants do have to get a certain amount of questions correct on the online test. However, it’s even more about luck. Once you do answer a certain amount correctly, you would still be hoping for the luck of the draw to move on in the auditioning process.

While the auditioning process is not easy, it certainly has something to offer at the end of it all. On top of earning a lot of money, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Outsider.com