By Crystal McGough, Associate Editor
TRUSSVILLE – Cahaba Elementary School physical education teacher Jake Garrett will be a contestant on Jeopardy! this coming Monday, March 20. The game show will air on CBS 42 at 3:30 p.m. Central Time.
Garrett, who is also a football coach at Hewitt-Trussville High School and formerly taught U.S. History at the high school, said he has always been a fan of the show.
“I majored in history in college, so I’ve always loved trivia,” he said. “And then one day I just thought, how do you get on Jeopardy!?”
Garrett said that getting on the show was a fairly long process, starting with an online test called the Jeopardy! Anytime Test. Those who score high enough on the test get put into a pool from which potential contestants are chosen.
“For me, it was right after the height of the pandemic (August 2020), so they did everything over Zoom,” Garrett said. “I took another little test, and then, if you pass that, they do another interview with a group of people that’s like simulated gameplay – they ask you questions and things like that.”
After the second interview, applicants are told that they either will or will not be contacted within the next 18 months. Those who are are contacted will be on the show, and those who are not can start the process over to try again.
“They said that something like 100,000 people every year end up applying and something like 400-450 people end up making it,” Garrett said. “So, that was pretty cool when I heard that. I didn’t realize that it was those odds. And they said that it takes a lot of people multiple tries, but for whatever reason, I got it on the first try.”
Garret received his phone call in December 2022, approximately 15 months after his final interview, and flew out to Los Angelas, California, in January 2023 to film the show.
“It was a really cool experience,” he said. “The whole process was really, really fun.”