by Steven H Silver
From March 1 to June 13 is just over one hundred days. When you are waiting to see yourself on a show like “Jeopardy!”, it feels even longer than it is.
When I returned to Chicago, of course, everyone wanted to know how I did. Initially, I was not going to tell anyone, but I quickly realized that most people didn’t really want to be left in suspense. The course I eventually settled on was to not make any statements about how I did in a public forum, but to let people know how I did on an individual basis. Naturally, I wouldn’t say how I did to anyone who could be considered a member of the press. This resulted in a strange mixture. For instance, I was at a meeting on Friday, June 9 where some people knew the outcome of the game and some people did not (and didn’t want to). I was careful to remind the people who knew not to say anything that would give the outcome away.
As soon as I returned to Chicago, however, I did let a wide variety of friends know when my first show would be aired. I carefully decided that the notice in my e-mail .sig and on my website would inform people that they should watch for my “Jeopardy!” debut on June 13, with the suggestion that they also watch the day before so they could see Jason’s spectacular performance. Of course, if you only saw my victory on June 13, it looked like a well-played close game. Only by watching Jason the day before could you really get a feel for what I achieved by defeating him.
I also began exchanging e-mails with Meg and, eventually, Doug Souleyrette. Doug is a University of Kentucky student from Lexington who faced Jason on June 8. During my taping, the “Jeopardy!” crew only had fantastic things to say about him and, of course, his Lexington connection made me feel as if I had some link to him apart from both being on “Jeopardy!” and facing Jason. It turns out Doug is dating a girl from Chicago who appeared in last year’s “Jeopardy!” college tournament. With luck, we’ll be able to meet on one of his trips up to see her.
In one exchange of e-mails, Doug asked if I thought people would recognize us on the street after our appearance. I have a feeling that it is more likely that he is recognized, partly because Lexington is a smaller place than Chicago, but, more importantly, in Chicago, “Jeopardy!” is shown in the middle of the work day. In Lexington, it airs in the evening when it can garner a larger audience.
In May, I received an e-mail from Meg informing me that she had received the photograph they took of her with Alex Trebek. I wouldn’t receive mine for a few days after that. When it finally arrived, it was a digital photo of the two of us which had to be cut down to size. It came with a glass frame etched with the name “Jeopardy!” in the corner.