When watching Jeopardy—the popular weeknight trivia show hosted by Alex Trebek since 1984—many viewers are prone to calling out answers, competing with family members and showing off whatever catalog of information they have accumulated to whoever is within the vicinity. But a select intellectual few are inspired to someday appear on the tournament and drop their knowledge on the masses.
Carroll Gardens resident Leo V. Lopez began that very mission back in January 2011 when he took an online test the TV series administers at the onset of each calendar year. Fast forward 18 months: After auditions, a reviewal process and lengthy research on topics ranging from world capitols to Katy Perry song titles, Lopez actually lived the dream when he appeared on Jeopardy July 26 and 27 and won in the first episode.
The glory of adding "former Jeopardy champion" to one's resume notwithstanding, we asked Lopez what the best parts of his experience behind the buzzer were.
And though they do not appear in the form of a question, his answers may surprise you.
Top 5 Things About Being on Jeopardy by Leo V. Lopez
5. Preparing for the show. I learned more about The Wild West, The Tony Awards, obscure cheese and The Bible than I knew it was possible to know. It bears mentioning that, if you go into Jeopardy believing you already know everything, you will lose."
4. Having Alex Trebek compliment me on my pronunciation.
3. The enthusiasm of my friends, family, and peripheral acquaintances on finding out I was on the show. I was never an avid viewer of the show, and I was fascinated to learn the prominent role it played in so many people's lives. One of my colleagues' husband told me that, as a child, he used to watch every night with his mom, and they would compete with the agreement that the loser did the dishes. Jeopardy is a true cultural staple, and it was a privilege to take part.
2. Seeing my mom cry when I won.
1. Getting to change clothes in the "Champion's Dressing Room." Self-explanatory.
Congratulations to Lopez on his incredible win and thank you for proving once again that smart people choose Carroll Gardens.
For more details behind the scenes of America's favorite quiz show, check out Lopez's expansive description of how he made it to 'Final Jeopardy' in his blog post on Frontier Psychiatrist. To watch his first episode, click here.