PORTLAND, Ore. - Did you ever sit at home watching the Jeopardy! game show on television and play along with the contestants? Perhaps you did so well you thought to yourself, "I should be on the show!"
That's just what Escanaba native, Lindsay Reese, had the opportunity to do. Reese, who is now living in Portland, Ore., with her husband, Dan Dockter, will appear on the popular game show on Wednesday on Fox TV Channel 11 at 7 p.m.
Born and raised in Escanaba, Reese is the daughter of Dave and Mary Theoret of Escanaba and the late Michael Reese of Gladstone. The 2002 Escanaba High School graduate received a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, in 2010 and currently works as a postdoctoral fellow at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where she studies Alzheimer's Disease.
Former Escanaba resident, Lindsay Reese, pictured on a recent trip to Paris, will be a contestant on Jeopardy on Wednesday evening. Reese, who currently lives with her husband, Dan Dockter, in Portland, Ore., said the segment was taped in December and will air at 7 p.m. on Fox 11 from Green Bay.
Reese said she found out about the testing for Jeopardy! online.
"I also learned there are 100,000 people who apply but only 3,000 are asked for an interview, and only 400 are selected," she said. "I was very fortunate to be one of those selected."
Reese went to Seattle, Wash., for testing on a mock show and after she was chosen to be a contestant, she went to Los Angeles in mid-December to tape the actual show.
Accompanying her to the taping was her aunt, Judy Ebbesen of Gladstone. Ebbesen has her own game show claim to fame. She made an appearance on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" in 2000 and was only too happy to go with her niece to offer her some pointers.
"We have a winter home in Arizona so it wasn't very far to go to be with her," said Ebbesen. "And it was fun to see the taping."
So how does one prepare to be on Jeopardy! when the categories are so varied?
"It isn't something you can study for," said Reese. "I ended up buying a book about Jeopardy! champions that was a really good study, but it was written back in the 80's, so there were lots of answers relating to the USSR. But I think it was helpful anyway."
In addition, Ebbesen said her niece played computer programs to practice and watched an episode of Jeopardy! the night before in their hotel room.
"She used a pen as a buzzer and ended up answering almost every question," Ebbesen said.
Once she arrived at the studio, Reese said she and the other contestants were sequestered during the day-long process. During the introduction, Reese said each contestant is allowed to give a "Hometown Howdy" that is only aired in their particular viewing area.
"When I gave my "Hometown Howdy, I said Escanaba because I figured more people know me back there than here," she said.
Although she doesn't remember all five categories of questioning, Reese said two included "First Ladies" and "2011 Tony Awards."
"I was really upset with myself when I had a question about the brain that should have been right up my alley with my study into Alzheimer's," she said. "The correct question was 'What is a clot?' and I answered 'What is an embolism?'
What the television audience does not see is when an answer is challenged, the taping ceases while the question is being researched and each contestant must turn his/her back to the game board until the question is settled.
"I ended up missing the answer, but it was only for $200 so I wasn't too unhappy," Reese said.
Reese and Ebbesen are both sworn to secrecy and are not revealing the results of the show until after it airs.
With obvious amusement in their voices, the pair's only response is "I can't say."
Ironically, this isn't the first attempt to appear on Jeopardy! for Reese. When she was in high school, she qualified to be on Teen Jeopardy! but when she went for a mock test in St. Louis, Mo., she unintentionally uttered a mild expletive in front of a live mike when she missed a question and was disqualified.
"At least that's the reason I gave when I didn't get called for the taping," Lindsay laughed.