TOMMY'S TAKE

Locals try their hands at 'Jeopardy' auditions

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(WJLA) - Popular trivia show "Jeopardy" travels the country looking for contestants each year.

D.C. locals try their hand at playing 'Jeopardy'' during an audition. (WJLA)
D.C. locals try their hand at playing 'Jeopardy'' during an audition. (WJLA)

An online test drastically narrowed this year's pool from 100,000 to about 2,500, who got to meet producers in person this week.

"My husband was like, 'Do it! Do it!'," said contestant Emily Chappell. "And so mostly I did it to get him to stop nagging me."

"I generally got to do a lot of crossword puzzles to keep my mind fresh," said contestant Thomas Silderstein.

"Jeopardy" producer Maggie Speak says it feels a lot like being "crazy den mothers and fathers."

"We kind of go through the whole process with them, from the beginning to the end," she explains.

Wannabe contestants have their answer form, they get a nifty headshot taken, and a fun "Jeopardy" pen before their interviews.

The audition starts with a top-secret, 50-question test.

"It's nice to challenge yourself against the best," Silderstein said of the test.

"I think we have the best contestants on television, and it's not because we pick them - it's because they show up at our auditions," says Speak.

Contestants remain in the "Jeopardy" pool for the next 18 months, and some will be called to Los Angeles for a shot at the big bucks - because of their big brains.

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