As he sits on the blue couch in his Walkersville home watching “Jeopardy! America’s favorite quiz show,” Scott Weiss knows most of the answers.
“Being in front of everyone on the planet on TV on the show – that’s a different kind of thing!” said the assistant professor in the department of mathematics and computer science at Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, who was a recent contestant on “Jeopardy!”
The 36-year-old garnered winnings of $63,000 over four rounds.
An avid puzzles and games enthusiast with a basement full of board games, Mr. Weiss decided to take an online test (along with 99,999 others) a year ago which began the process of becoming a “Jeopardy!” contestant. He was one of the lucky ones who received a call to audition in Washington, D.C. Then he was invited to Sony Studios in Los Angeles, Calif., for a December taping.
In the process, Mr. Weiss made “Jeopardy!” history. He ended a final round in a three-way tie with two other contestants; each had $16,000 after providing the question of Bonnie Parker of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. The trio returned for a new taping when usually only one contestant advances, the first time this has happened in the show’s 23-year history – a one in 25 million odds.
“I did wager intentionally to cause the tie if we all had it right,” said Mr. Weiss. “Having watched “Jeopardy!” for so long, I knew that there had never been a three-way tie before. So I saw a chance to make history and to give away some more of the show’s money.”
The Long Island, N.Y., native held a viewing party at his home to watch his four performances. In addition, the university, where he has been employed for nine years, held a large viewing party for faculty and students.
During the weekend of March 24-25, the avid “Jeopardy!” fan participated in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Conn. where he placed 19th out of 698 competitors – his second best showing.