by Kara Petrovic // Fall 2010

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and Alison Roberg

Final Jeopardy! Round: “This concept dates to a 1783 paper by John Michell, who theorized about a body with the sun’s density and 500 times its diameter?” Alison Roberg’s answer, “A black hole.” Roberg’s answer was the beginning of her three-day winning streak on the country’s No. 1 quiz show this summer. After four days of play, Roberg — an administrative assistant in the School of Medicine’s Council on Curriculum Office — won $87,000.

“For years people were telling me to try out for Jeopardy! since I know a lot of random facts, and I finally decided three years ago to see if I could do it,” Roberg says. “I started taking the yearly 50-question online contestant test in 2006, but I never heard from anyone until last December and was thrilled when I finally did.”

Roberg flew to Los Angeles for an in-person interview and audition last January. She says she left the audition feeling good, but didn’t know what would happen. When her phone finally rang at the School of Medicine in February confirming her contestant taping dates, however, Roberg says that’s when the hard part began. “I’ve always liked trivia, but I was never a huge fan of Jeopardy!,” she says. “When I finally learned I was going to actually be on the show, I started taping it and playing along at home. I used a pen to practice buzzing in. I’m now hooked on watching it.”

Roberg says she was shocked when she won the first game’s taping. She was in third place going into the Double Jeopardy! Round, but says she turned it around with the “Presidential Math” question “Reagan times Monroe” (40 x 5 = 200). “At the end of Round 1, the show’s producers were giving me pep talks and telling me it wasn’t over,” she says. “I bounced back after I nailed a Daily Double and wagered $3,000.” Roberg says she is now in the running to return and play in the show’s Tournament of Champions next year.So what’s next for this trivia savvy gal?“My husband wants me to try out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” she laughs.

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