Jeopardy! TV listings

Check your local TV schedules for when Jeopardy! is set to air. Here is the schedule for Blue Ridge Cable TV customers, for Thursday Feb. 16:
ABC, WPVI: 7 p.m.
NBC, WBRE: 7:30 p.m.

WHY THIS IS A MUST READ:
Be inspired by a local college student, a WAHS graduate, whose skills have taken him to national notoriety on the popular Jeopardy! TV quiz program.

WHY THIS IS A MUST READ:
Be inspired by a local college student, a WAHS graduate, whose skills have taken him to national notoriety on the popular Jeopardy! TV quiz program.
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CULVER CITY, CALIF: Corey Schmalzle, a Wallenpaupack graduate and senior at Lehigh University, is one of the scheduled contestants on the Jeopardy! television quiz program this week.

The show where he is featured was pre-recorded in Los Angeles last month. It is scheduled to air this Thursday, February 16.

He competed against 13 other college students from across the nation on the Jeopardy! College Championship, which runs February 13-24.

Corey signed a statement saying he would not divulge how he did, until the program is actually telecast, he said in an interview with The News Eagle.

The winner of the championship receives $100,000 grand prize and a spot in the next edition of the Tournament of Champions.

“The College Championship is always a fun event for me, because I get to spend every day in the company of bright college students,” said Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek stated in a press release. “Whether they attend large institutions or small ones, public universities or private colleges, they’re all tough competitors with a great sense of school spirit.”

Corey, who is now 22, graduated as Valedictorian from Wallenpaupack Area High School in 2013. He is studying mechanical engineering with a minor in aerospace at Lehigh University in Bethlehem.

He is the son of Randy and Mary Helen Schmalzle of Lords Valley.

Mrs. Schmalzle said that knowing her son, it was no surprise that he wanted to try out for the show, but it was amazing to hear that he was chosen. She said she understood there were over 7,000 college students who applied; out of that, only 15 contestants were picked. Many of the students came from top schools in the country and were “amazingly brilliant,” she added.

Corey’s broad interest and thirst for knowledge, no matter how seemingly trivial, is a trait Corey and his mother share. “We always joke about how Corey and I show a live for useless information,” she said.

Corey’s grandparents, Dick and Mary Anne Teeter, of Hawley, expressed how proud they are of him.

According to his grandmother, Corey started reading at a very early age and has been an avid reader of a wide spectrum of books. For years Corey enjoyed entering trivia contests at Ehrhardt’s and has been involved in trivia competitions at Lehigh University. He shows an interest in many subjects, Mrs. Teeter said.

Dick Teeter added how happy he is that his oldest grandchild followed in his footsteps by attending Lehigh University.

One night having dinner

It all started one evening at college. Corey said he was having dinner with his friends, watching Jeopardy!, answering questions and joking about trying out for the program. The announcer invited would-be candidates to go online and sign up.

He did just that.

The online test involved 50 questions with eight seconds to a user each one. He thought he did “well enough.” Later on, he received an e-mail to take the test online again. Next, he received an invitation to come to New York City and do a live audition with other prospective program guests.

Not thinking he fared very well, Corey was quite shocked when he received a phone call saying he was picked to come to an actual tapping of the Jeopardy! College Championship, in California.

They paid for the flight out and the hotel room, He figured it was “pretty cool” to get a free vacation to L.A. It was during winter break. The taping was done before a live audience on January 8. The studio is on the back lot of Sony Pictures.

His parents went out as well to watch.

Nerve wracking

The contestants had no idea of the categories, although Corey did watch last year’s college championship, online. Being on camera was not as intimidating as he expected, Corey said, although waiting for his turn was a bit nerve wracking. Contestants were kept in a “green room” where they would be called out, three at a time. They had no idea which three were going next. 

Those who won from the first rounds went on to semi-finals and then the finals. Although stretched out over two weeks when viewed by the millions nationwide, it was all tapes over a two-day period, he noted.

His fellow contestants were all very pleasant and fun to be with, not highly competitive, and “very smart”- which Corey said was a little intimidating. He said they were “very impressive.” None took it very seriously while waiting in the green room, but once out on the stage, “it was serious,” he said.

They had a rehearsal before taking started. A coordinator prepped them on how to behave on camera. If someone “messed up,” during the commercial breaks the crew had  chance to edit. They had to get used to the buzzer and to remember to say “who is…” or “what is…” before their answer.

The show host, Alex Trebek, was very personable and experienced, Corey noted.

Corey said he never dreamed he might be on the show someday.

So how did he do?                                        

“Stay tuned,” Corey said.

List of contestants

Here are the College Championship contestants, in alphabetical order:

Zach Atwell, a senior at University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) from Lexington, Ky. Alex Bourzutschky, a junior at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, Calif.) from Potomac, Md. Lilly Chin, a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.) from Decatur, Ga. Esteban Fernandez, a freshman at San Francisco State University (San Francisco, Calif.) from Coronado, Calif. Mari Hanley, a junior at Stetson University (DeLand, Fla.) from Lighthouse Point, Fla. Allison Holley, a senior at Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) from Racine, Wisc. Jennifer Katz, a sophomore at Macalester College (St. Paul, Minn.) from Atlanta, Ga. Mohan Malhotra, a freshman at New York University (New York, N.Y.) from Wilmington, Del. Julia Marsan, a senior at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) from Brookfield, Wisc. Viraj Mehta, a junior at Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.) from Austin, Texas Netanel Paley, a senior at Yeshiva University (New York, N.Y.) from Teaneck, N.J. Clarissa Santori, a senior at Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) from Ellicott City, Md. Corey Schmalzle, a senior at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.) from Hawley, Pa. Gary Tse, a freshman at the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.) from Ellicott City, Md. Hannah Whisnant, a junior at the United States Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.) from Nokomis, Fla.

Follow Jeopardy! on Snapchat for exclusive behind-the-scenes content from the College Championship.

As stated in their press release, the television quiz show Jeopardy! and its host, Alex Trebek, are in their 33rd season in syndication.

With 23 million viewers each week, Jeopardy! is the top-rated quiz show on television, and has won several awards and distinctions over the course of its 30+ years on the air, including setting a Guinness World Records® record for the most Emmy® Awards won by a TV game show (33 Emmys). Jeopardy! is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company; Harry Friedman is Executive Producer. Jeopardy! is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Television International, both units of CBS Corp.

For more information, please visit Jeopardy.com.