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Television Media Puzzle Games (Games)

Slashdot Gameshow Experiences? 55

Rev Wally asks: "Next Tuesday, I hope to achieve one of my life long goals, as I've been selected to try out for Jeopardy! in Boston. I am looking for any words of wisdom from any one else who has appeared on/tried out for any game shows. Also, from any one at all, I am looking for you to throw random trivia questions my way, to try to sharpen my skills. Any help will be much appreciated, And I will try to keep any updates in my journal."
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Slashdot Gameshow Experiences?

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  • by students ( 763488 ) * on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:49PM (#10481157) Homepage Journal
    Trebek: The worst trolls on slashdot.
    You: What is FP?
  • by robolemon ( 575275 ) <nertzy AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:55PM (#10481196) Homepage
    This post couldn't be more timely! I went through the tryout process for Millionaire over the summer and was just selected to tape down in NYC on October 19th.

    A few observations: it helps incredibly to give a good interview. Sure, you can get the good trivia questions answered, but what will interest viewers at home? Think hobbies, quirky facts, personality traits...

    Also, I have some friends who have tried out for Jeopardy!, and they tell me you can expect to play a mock game if you make it far enough, and that it's hard for middle-aged white males to make it on (they get a ton of those, if you can imagine).

    And, sadly, I must tell you that there are a lot of people that make it to the tryouts and very few that make it onto the show! You really have to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

    If Jeopardy! is anything like Millionaire, you won't be able to tell anyone the results of the show until it airs. For Millionaire, you don't even get paid until 30 days after your air date (mine is January 24th, by the way). So if you get on, get ready to keep a big secret.

    • FWIW, my brother was on the UK Millionaire last year, winning GBP250,000. Don't know how it works in the States, but the cheque he was given by the host (Chris Tarrant) in the studio was the real thing; he just had to wait for the broadcast date to cash it, as that was the date on the cheque.

      The only reason he had to wait a couple of weeks was that they were recording a few weeks ahead, as Tarrant was going on holiday for a month. But as I say, YMMV over in the US.

  • cliff (Score:4, Funny)

    by Konster ( 252488 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:06PM (#10481267)
    With a name like Cliff, you should do alright!'s a little known fact...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You read the subject.
  • I've been thinking of trying for Jeopardy myself in LA.

    I'm curious... how many days do you need to take off work to do the interviews, etc?
  • Will you be the next Ken Jennings?
  • I (a Canadian) tried out for Jeopardy! a few years ago and just barely missed the 35/50 needed on the test they gave to go on to a fake game. Of course I blame it on missing a couple of questions like who was vice president in 1882, and who was first lady in 1920. Yes, I'm bitter, but I was bitter before, so you don't need to lecture me about how Jeopardy! is an American show, and therefore American oriented.

    Being Bostonian you should already know American history fairly well, but my point is that it is worth memorizing a few lists, like

    • vice presidents
    • 1st ladies
    • 1st ladies' pets (seriously!)
    • supreme court judges, past and present
    • losing presidential candidates
    is essential.

    There are other possible lists, like national capitals, but personally I'd rely on general knowledge for those, while the above lists come under "things I couldn't bring myself to bother studying even when I knew I had a Jeopardy! tryout coming up". That was a mistake. I know most people advise that you can't really study for Jeopardy!, because it covers such a broad range of topics; you just have to know it from lifetime experience. That's mostly true, and most questions are not studiable. A few are though, since the above lists are a relatively small body of knowledge, and it can make a big difference if you hit one on a daily double. I know from watching that most of the 5-time champs know this stuff cold.

    Good luck!

    • I thought that was the question and answer list for getting a Green card.

    • I think we all think we "just barely missed" but since they *don't actually tell you how many you got wrong* there's no way to actually know.

      I will definitely agree that it totally feels like you just missed a couple "silly questions" that you just *know* you could have gotten right. What I realized is that I didn't get them right and in the heat of the moment and stress of being on TV, I probably wouldn't have gotten them right at that time either.

      So I definitely give kudos to those who can make it thro
      • I think we all think we "just barely missed" but since they *don't actually tell you how many you got wrong* there's no way to actually know.

        Yes, I should admit that I was going by my (usually pretty good) hunch of what I got wrong and right. But they *might* (it was several years ago) have given us the answers while we were waiting for the marking to be done. On the other hand we were lucky enough to have Alex there to entertain us.

        Anyone else wanna see Ben Stein compete in Celebrity Jeopardy! (agai

        • Some of the questions are about very recent music, movies, or TV shows, and the champs astound me with their ability to get them. How do they have time for that much nongeeky stuff along with the geeky stuff? Especially when the question's about a plot detail in the middle of a movie or TV season - you'd think you'd have to watch it in real time instead of speed reading that stuff.

          Definitely agree there...perhaps I didn't mention that because I'm sorely lacking and that area as I don't really watch TV anym

  • by kjones692 ( 805101 ) <the.cyborganizer ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:13PM (#10481316)
    Trebek: This is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.
    You: African or European variety?
    Trebek: Well, I don't know that... AAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!
  • Good Luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BigT ( 70780 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:38PM (#10481448)
    When you try out for Jeopardy you first take the written test. It's 50 questions, and you have less than 10 seconds to answer before you get the next one. Most of the questions are of the $1600 double jeopardy level of difficulty. You have to get at least 35 out of 50, but it's tougher than it sounds. Less than 10% typically make it to round two which consists of on-camera interviews and a mock game.
    I tried out in Seattle 2 years ago and didn't make it but it was fun. Let us know how you do.
    • That was the high school/teen proceedure in 1995, I was, at the time, one of the 20 best Gen Knowledge competitors in Kentucky and that test absolutely smoked me, I had a 26/50, it was the hardest test I took in high school by far.
    • I tried out for Jeopardy a long time ago in a "cattle call" in Atlantic City. There was a ten-question test designed to be passed by 100-150 of the 5000+ people they expected to try out over three days. After years of running entire Jeopardy boards, I got TWO of the ten questions right. It was the hardest test I've ever taken anywhere.

      OTOH, last week I auditioned for Millionaire, passed the 30-question test, interviewed, and am now waiting to hear if I've made it to the contestant pool or not.
  • I went on this game show called Jerry Springer. Don't pick the thing behind door number two.
  • Definately bone up on Presidents, Vice Presidents, and First Ladies. I would also be sure you know the important classical musical pieces as well as a lot of the literature canon and a concrete science understanding.
  • buzz with your index finger, not your thumb.
    • Why, is it faster? I'd do it with two hands (one to hold it, one to push it with the palm of my hand). But I have finger problems, so that might be why.
    • Having played trivia with buzzer systems in high school and college- use your thumbs, not your fingers. Thumbs are faster (especially if you play video games), and you can depress the button until just before the point it rings in, speeding response time. Hard to do that with a finger.
  • It is very important that you follow the lead of this fine young gentleman: []

  • by Big Sean O ( 317186 ) on Sunday October 10, 2004 @11:33AM (#10486049)
    Yes, I knew Colin Quinn when he was funny...

    And Ken Ober when he was famous...

    And Kari Whuler when she was an A-cup...

    I won the game but I didn't do so good with naming the videos. What can I say, I'm a trivia geek, not a music geek.

    The buzzer is the key to success. There's an off-camera light that appears that signifies when you can buzz-in. Get used to buzzing in after that light appears.

    If you know the answer, it's really hard to wait until the right moment. If you can keep calm, relax, and be the first one in, then you will get points for the questions you know.

    There's nothing worse than knowing the answer and having the other person beat you on the buzzer.

    If you need practice with trivia questions, try to get you hands on "College Bowl" questions. They're uniformly excellent.

    Anyhow, being on remote control was one of the high points to life so far (bigger deal than Graduation, smaller deal than my wedding). Hope you get a chance!
  • Don't play against Ken Jennings. You will lose. I've heard the rumors about him losing, but I don't believe it. If youwalk on stage and see Ken's smiling face, turn right back around and save yourself the trouble of playing.
  • Thank you all for your advice. I will try to take it as much as possible. I have been doing as much studing as possible in the past few days, And I am now in crunch time (Its sunday 6pm, the test is on tues. 2:30pm). The info about the "racial profiling" is definatly interesting, and was something that I had suspected (not that its a bad thing, it kinda makes sense, ratingswise). I am a white male (Strikes one and two), but I'm hoping that the fact that I'm younger than the average contestant (28), and
    • "I have been doing as much studing as possible in the past few days"

      I'm sure your sister is quite satisfied, but how is that going to help you for the show?

  • First you take the written test. As others here have said, it's a tough 50-question test. While you used to have to get 35 or better correct, they've changed that, and now they don't say how many you have to get correct -- I think it changes based on how many people have passed in each city, but again, they're not talking.

    I passed the written. Next, they took the people who passed the written test and played a mock game with us. It's fun! They give you hints on how to click the buzzer (and how not t
  • I wrote a little story about my failed attempt to try out for Jeopardy almost 10 years ago...

    check it out - I was a Jeopardy Rejekt []

    Executive Summary: The Jeopardy tryout tests are VERY hard. 9 out of 60 people in my group even made it to the 2nd round. I was not one of them.
  • Like Ken, the current computer programming jeopardy champion, you need to have funny smart ass remarks.

    As seen here: eopardy.mpg []

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