Late, great “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek cared about ending homelessness. So it’s perhaps a fitting gesture to his memory that a returning champion on “Jeopardy!” this week had worked to prevent evictions in his community.
Trebek once donated $500,000 to a Los Angeles-area homeless center, the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. The center was subsequently renamed in Trebek’s honor.
As for the contestant, Kevin Hirsh from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he said he became a lawyer because he wanted to serve his community. And one way he did that was to try to stop evictions in public housing.
“When I was in law school, I participated in a clinic, it was called the tenants’ rights clinic,” Hirsh explained. “It assisted people who were relying on public housing with avoiding eviction from their landlords. And honestly, just that ability to provide service to my community is really what even inspired me to be a lawyer in the first place.”
In recent months, landlords in South Florida have reportedly been getting around the federal eviction moratorium by simply declining to renew month-to-month leases, which are relatively common in South Florida, according to WLRN. In March, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) extended the moratorium through June 30 of this year.
Watch the “Jeopardy!” clip here:
‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Was Determined to Get on the Show
According to South Florida Gay News, appearing on “Jeopardy!” was a longstanding dream of Hirsh’s. But he had to take the online test several times before he received an invitation to audition.
It’s often a matter of luck who gets picked to audition from among those who scored well on the test. Hirsh finally got a call about two years ago, and was slated to appear as a contestant on a February 2020 show. The pandemic wrecked those plans, however.
“A year passes and I figure I’ll email the producers and see what’s going on, and that’s when they scheduled me for this taping,” Hirsh told SFGN.
So Hirsh practiced hitting the buzzer using a pen, and he carefully scrutinized how the clues are written. He believes he can intuit the answers from subtle hints built into the clues. And so far, he seems to have had good luck with that strategy.
Meanwhile, Hirsh’s mother couldn’t be prouder. She bought a new television set and borrowed a projector just to watch her son’s “Jeopardy!” appearance.
“My mother is so excited about the whole thing,” Hirsh said. “She’s organizing a watch party at her house. She’s having the whole thing catered, she’s really outdoing herself.”