What started out as a family tradition of watching Jeopardy! came full circle for Long Beach native Tyler Shattuck who a few months ago was able to compete on the infamous quiz show. The episode is scheduled to air tonight.
“I decided in high school that this was going to be one of my life goals—to get on Jeopardy!,” Shattuck said. “I have just always loved trivia.”
The 24-year-old graduate student, who’s working on a Ph.D. in British history at UC Riverside, said it all started with an online test last May, followed by an audition a few months later, and, finally, a call in November inviting him on the show.
Shattuck’s preparation included reading through random Wikipedia pages, brushing up on his Oscar knowledge and other pop culture bits.
“It’s like random haphazard, like trying to cram as much information off of the interweb,” he said.
It probably didn’t hurt that he majored in history as an undergrad.
There was one subject that did throw him off, though—Leap Day. He said he had no idea of certain historic events happening on February 29, including one involving former President Theodore Roosevelt.
“I was like, ‘What in the world?”’ Shattuck said.
[Note: A quick Google search reveals Roosevelt appointed a seven-member commission to help with the completion of the Panama Canal on this day in 1904.]
Shattuck said when it came to the day of the taping, he felt excited and calm and ready after numerous practice games. The experience also allowed him to meet a lot of interesting people such as a hardware store manager, a novelist and lots of teachers.
“Everyone was just really nice to be with and play the game with,” Shattuck noted. “I was pleasantly surprised how diverse and interesting people were.”
Though Shattuck couldn’t share the results of the game, he did say, if allowed, he’d like to participate again and is even considering trying out Wheel of Fortune.
“It was a lot of fun, I would love to do it again," he said.
Shattuck said a friend will be throwing him a Jeopardy!-watching party tonight in honor of the special occasion.
The episode is scheduled to air at 7:00PM on ABC on Monday, February 29.
All photos courtesy of Jeopardy!