Last week, #TeamMindshare Canada’s Barton Wong, Senior Associate, Trading, took part in popular TV game show Jeopardy! The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in the form of questions. After 10 years of trying to get on the show, Barton finally got his big moment. He won two games in a row, but lost his third, having been beaten by the buzzer. Nevertheless, the champion took home $58,000 prize money! We caught up with Barton, to find out more about his experience:
Q: What made you apply for Jeopardy? And tell us what you had to do to get on the show?
A: I’ve always been good at trivia! I was a member of my high school “Reach for the Top” trivia team for four years, and we were Toronto city champions three times. Applying for Jeopardy seemed natural. You have to register and take an online test to start the process of being on the show. Here are some facts: 400,000 people each year take the online test; of those who pass, 4,000 are randomly selected to audition live and do a written test; then of those who audition and write the test, 400 are invited to LA each season to film. There is 1 in 1,000 chance to get on. It took me over ten years and three auditions to do just that!
Q: How did you prep for the show?
A: Buzzer speed is so important! When you audition, you’re given a Jeopardy pen shaped like the buzzer and told to practice with it at home when you’re watching the show. So, I watched old and new episodes for over a month, and as the host, Alex Trebek, was reading the questions, I would click the pen and answer as if I was on the show in real-life. Naturally, this annoyed everyone who watched with me! In retrospect however, I wish I’d practiced with the pen even more as being slow on the buzzer is what beat me in my 3rd game!
Q: What’s next? What will you do with your winnings?
A: I’ll use part of my winnings on a vacation this summer. I’m not sure where yet, as there are so many places I’d like to see! Having fulfilled my lifelong dream on being on (and winning!) Jeopardy, I think for the immediate future, I’m just going to focus on my job and personal development.
We asked Barton some quick-fire questions!
Talk or text? Talk
Netflix or night out? Night out
Pineapple on pizza? Or nah? No!
Space exploration or deep sea exploration? As a sci-fi geek, the obvious answer is space exploration.
Is a hot dog a sandwich? Of course not!
Poutine? Yes or no? Yes – as a Canadian, I’d have to apply for asylum in the US, if I said no!
If you could only use one app on your phone for the rest of your life, what would it be? No app – I’d throw away the phone and get started on all the books I’ve bought and never read that are staring reproachfully at me from my shelves.