Alex Trebek set ‘em up and U of G alumnus Jordan Nussbaum kept knocking them down during the Toronto lawyer’s recent reign as champion of the popular television game show Jeopardy!
Nussbaum had a highly profitable victory in his first game, banking $15,800. He was on pace for a similar win in his second game, but a big losing gamble in the “Final Jeopardy” round robbed him of the throne. He did take home an additional $2,000.
A lawyer practising civil litigation at the Romano Law Office in Toronto, Nussbaum studied biology and history at U of G, earning his bachelor of arts and sciences degree before going on to law school.
“I definitely feel that the broad-based education that I received in the program contributed to my ability to answer questions in a variety of categories, as I was able to take courses from many faculty members and subject areas,” says Nussbaum, speaking of his U of G education. He took courses in European studies, geography, chemistry and political science, among others.
“I am indeed a general trivia buff,” he adds. “I was part of the Guelph Quiz Bowl team, and my friends and I regularly attended trivia night at the Brass Taps. I still go to a weekly trivia night with my friends in Toronto.”
He learned some inside trivia about Jeopardy! itself in preparation for his stint on the show. Tens of thousands of people take the online trivia test each year to qualify for the show, he learned. Few are chosen.
“I took it several times before getting called for an audition this past November. I guess they liked me enough that they called me two months later to invite me to LA.”
Five episodes of the show are shot each day and there are just 39 shooting days each year.
Bringing his best game to the game show stage was challenging, he adds. Contestants have to process the question, find the answer and press the buzzer in a split second, before two other smart people get the chance.
The championship game was a come-from-behind win. And despite playing better in his second game, he says, the miss on “Final Jeopardy” cost him dearly.
“I guess the other element is dealing with fatigue,” he adds, explaining that he got only about two hours of sleep the night before Game 2. “I was so excited that I couldn’t really relax.”