Jeopardy! crowned a new champion on last night’s show and he’s a Woodside Park resident.
Aaron Lichtig, who’s lived in the area since 2015, won $14,401 to knock off the previous champion, an astrophysicist who had just won her title Wednesday night.
Lichtig was selected for the show after first taking an online test.
“Anyone can register for that and they usually offer it once or twice a year,” he explained. “They’ve been doing that every year since 2006.
“If you pass that test, you get put into a pool of people who can be called for an in-person audition,” Lichtig said.
The audition includes a written test and a practice game, along with a personality interview. Those who pass that get put into another pool of potential players who could get called anytime within 18 months to be on the show.
“I’ve made it to the in-person interview twice,” Lichtig said. “Once in 2010 in Chicago, and I didn’t get a call after that, and I did an audition in March of 2018 in Washington, D.C and then got the call in October.”
Last night’s show was actually taped Nov. 28, he said, and he’d been quiet about it ever since, as instructed.
Lichtig faced a variety of categories, such as “creatures with blowholes,” (most of the answers involved a type of whale). Other included “things with ‘bio’ in them” (such as “biological clock” and “biosphere”) and art-related questions (the answers included Vermeer, James Whistler and “The Purloined Letter”).
The Final Jeopardy clue asked who was the first prime minister of the United Kingdom born after Queen Elizabeth II was crowned (Tony Blair). Lichtig got it correct.
At one point in each show, host Alex Trebek tells a little personal tale about each contestant. In Lichtig’s case, it was the fact that he once held a world’s record.
“Back in 2010, I was on a team that set the record for going to the most bars in a single day,” he said. “We went to 170 of them [in Chicago]. The record now, I believe, is 250. I’m a little too old to try to break that again.”
Tonight, Lichtig will try to continue his winning ways. He’s been a board member of Shepherd’s Table for slightly more than a year, and has pledged to donate a portion of his prize money to the organization.
Tonight’s show, which also was taped Nov. 28, about 10 minutes after completion of his first show, will air at 7:30 p.m. on ABC Channel 7.
Photo courtesy of Jeopardy! Productions, Inc.