SHERIDAN — Sheridan resident Patrick Geary will appear on the nationally televised game show Jeopardy on Monday.
Geary, 25, said he grew up watching the nightly game show and has aspired for many years to be a contestant.
“I’ve always been a fan of the show, ever since I was a really little kid,” Geary said. “I had thought for years and years that it was something I would like to do some day.”
So when he saw that the show was having one of its twice-yearly open audition periods, he went online to view the process.
The first step in the audition process involved an online 50-question timed test. Geary took that test in January 2012.
“Then based on your score on that, if you score well enough they mail you an invitation to come to one of their in-person auditions they do around the country,” Geary explained. “I ended up flying to Chicago to do mine and that was in May of 2012.”
The in-person auditions involved additional testing, with an overhead projector flashing “answers” and participants having just eight seconds to write down their “questions.” Next, the participants were put in groups of three to participate in a simulated show with a mock set-up, buzzers and question categories.
“At the completion, they basically said ‘We have all this information, test scores, film of the practice game and we’ll put you in our contestants database and you’ll be in there for the next 18 months,’” Geary said. “’Anytime during then we’ll call and offer you a spot or maybe we won’t.’ Honestly, I didn’t expect to hear from them.”
Much to his surprise, Geary did hear from Jeopardy producers this past March and they offered him a slot on the April 16 taping in Los Angeles.
Though trips to Chicago and L.A. may sound exciting, Geary said the trips were taken at his own expense. The show will only pay expenses for people once they are deemed “champions” and make a repeat appearance in following episodes.
“It is all on your own dime,” Geary said. “You really have to be convinced that this is something you want to do.”
Geary is not allowed to reveal how he did on the show until it airs, but he did say he found the experience exciting and rewarding.
“Getting to see the set was really cool,” he said. “It is smaller than I had expected. It is not a big auditorium, just a little sound stage with room for maybe 150 people to sit in the seating area. During commercial breaks Alex Trebek would go over and take questions from the audience. I thought that was pretty cool. We as contestants didn’t get to interact with him much until the show was over.”
“I didn’t try to cram for it or anything. There is just too much to know,” he added, about what he did to prepare. “They really do ask such random knowledge that having watched it is good as far as the mechanics of what you have to do and framing your answer in the form of a question, but it is something where you either have the knowledge or you don’t.
“You come in completely blind,” he added. “You don’t know what topics or anything. It is just a complete surprise. Alex walks out, the audience claps and he says ‘Let’s look at the categories for the day.’ Taping has begun by the time you find out anything about it.”
Geary’s episode will air at 6 p.m. Monday on CBS and again at 6:30 p.m. on ABC.