Covenant Pastor Makes It on Jeopardy!

Post a Comment » Written on February 18th, 2009     
Filed under: News
VALLEY SPRINGS, CA (February 18, 2009) – Scientists, mathematicians, theologians, and writers of dictionary entries say that eternity is an endless expanse of time. Gavin Dluehosh, the associate pastor of adult ministries at Good Samaritan Covenant Church, knows better.

It is half a second.

That is the length of time Jeopardy! contestants are locked out from answering questions if they buzz in too early. Dluehosh says he experienced that version of eternity more than once when he competed on the show recently.

The clicker—even more than knowing all the answers—is the key to success, Dluehosh says. Contestants are not allowed to buzz in until the lights above the board flash on. “I tried to time it exactly right.”

Dluehosh participated in at least one game last December that will be aired Friday. Did he appear in more than one match? He’s not saying.

Members of the church and other friends have been reflecting on his travel schedule to try to figure out whether he won. The show films five episodes each Tuesday and Wednesday.

They also have looked for a new car or other high-priced purchases, but the curious won’t find any clues that way. Contestants don’t get paid until 150 days after the show, he says.

Dluehosh auditioned for the show last August when the program’s Brain Bus made a scheduled stop at the Jackson Rancheria Casino. He laughs as he is quick to point out that he only answered questions at the casino—he didn’t gamble.

The Brain Bus tours the country, providing opportunities for people to audition to be on the show. The first 1,000 people who show up are guaranteed the chance to answer a 10-question quiz. Dluehosh passed and was invited to return with others the next day to answer 50 additional questions.

He barely made it back in time, rushing in as employees closed the door. The day finished with 12 would-be contestants participating in mock games and interviews.

Afterwards, Jeopardy! representatives told Dluehosh he was in the pool of contestants and could be scheduled to appear any time in the next 18 months, although participation was not guaranteed.

Dluehosh did not have to wait long. He filmed the show December 3.

Months before, the show sent him a fake clicker device, which he likened to little more than a pen. He practiced for his appearance by standing and “buzzing in” while standing in front of the TV.

Dluehosh says that when he walked on to the actual set, “It was just sort of surreal.”

He struggled with nervousness early on. “My heart was pounding when the music started up,” he says. He became more comfortable as the game went on, however.

His primary goal was not to win—it was to go into the final round with a positive balance. Contestants with a negative balance at that point are not allowed to proceed.

Participants have little contact with host Alex Trebek, other than during the game itself. Trebek also has his picture taken with each contestant after the match.

To view Dluehosh’s “Hometown Howdy” on the game’s website, click here.

For air times check local listings.

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