For Brad Snyder, Jeopardy has been must see TV since he was in middle school.
An episode this week, is a must see for everyone because Snyder, 62, of Port Deposit, will be on it.
"Jeopardy is part of the routine. It's Jeopardy, Orioles, Ravens, and Big Bang Theory," said Snyder, who graduated from The Tome School and earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from University of Delaware.
He auditioned for Jeopardy in Washington, D.C. in April. To earn the audition, first he took an online test, answering 50 questions in 15 minutes. He said that 70,000 people take the test each year. About 3,000 people earn the right to audition.
He tried out for the show previously and wasn't selected. He used what he learned then to make it this time around. "They are looking for entertaining TV. Five years ago when I auditioned in Philly I was a white bread guy in a suit," said Snyder. So he changed his strategy.
"This time I was the class clown. They are looking for entertaining TV personalities," he said. He also abandoned the shirt and tie opting for more casual clothing.
He flew to Los Angeles on September 11 and taped a few days later. The show doesn't pay for the trip. He did get a $12 voucher to dine during filming.
"It was my first TV appearance and I was more excited than nervous," he said. He did study while in California brushing up on frequent Jeopardy categories such as state capitals, monarchs, Shakespeare, major rivers and more. "I just touched it up. I either knew it or I didn't," he said.
He is contractually bound to not reveal how he did. He is scheduled to appear on Thursday, December 22. "I can't talk about the results, but even the losers win some money," said Snyder.
He can reveal a lot about behind the scenes. Contestants stand on adjustable platforms so they are all the same height, He did meet host Alex Trebek and wore make-up for the first time in his life.
"It's all very surreal. The lights are very bright. It's super bright, super saturated colors," he said. They also serve Smart Water on set. There were more tests and questions while on the set and loads of legal paperwork to complete.
He waited four hours before it was his turn to play. Contestants also take along multiple changes of clothing in the event they win.
"I went in an played. It was nerve-wracking. I wish I could do it again. I wish that was a rehearsal. It's actually very different from playing at home," he said.
If he had the chance to play again, Snyder would remember that a series of lights "lock out" a contestant if they ring in at the wrong time.
"Once you appear, you can't do it again," he said. "It was one of the bucket list things that I will remember forever. It as a huge thing for me. I've always been that kind of smart. But there's not a living in it."When he was younger, his parents enrolled him in Mensa, the society for those with a high I.Q. He jokes that he taped his spare key to his Mensa card for times when he locked his keys in his truck.
Now he has a new memory. "It was a wonderful experience and Alex was kind of a nice guy. I really had a blast, It was a much bigger deal that I thought it would be," added Snyder. If Snyder seems familiar, he may have responded to an emergency at your house. He is a director, treasurer, and EMS Lieutenant with Water Witch Fire Company.