In 2000, I appeared on the TV game show, Jeopardy! I won four times and was the substitute player for that year’s Tournament of Champions. It was a life-changing event with the biggest payoff far exceeding the dollar winnings. Jeopardy! inspired my return to college after a two-decade absence.
Being on the show was intense but highly enjoyable. The staff was cordial and professional. They worked hard to put contestants at ease while running a tight ship, maintaining taping schedules and the integrity of the game (if you think cheating is verboten in college, you should see the rules and procedures on Jeopardy!). Many people ask me, “What’s Alex Trebek like?” Answer: the real deal. He is truly a master of the show’s vast subject matter. Add to that a sense of humor revealed during commercial breaks as he entertained the studio audience with jokes and impersonations. By the end of my run, he was introducing me as “Jason Karpf, the colorful Realtor from Thousand Oaks.”
Jeopardy! reawakened my love of learning. After receiving my winnings, I enrolled in a local community college to take my first marketing class and a math refresher. By the beginning of 2001, I was a full-time student. Today as an adjunct instructor, I plan to never be away from school again.
My lasting thanks to Jeopardy! Enlightening, encouraging and entertaining–it remains the ideal learning experience.
Click here to read “Out of Jeopardy,” an article I wrote about my appearance on Jeopardy! and return to school.
The “Jason Karpf” profile on the “J! Archive” fansite.
Jason Karpf profile on IMDb.com, listing Jeopardy! appearances along with work as child actor, screenwriter and author.