VIDEO: Jackson High School graduate to be on Jeopardy Friday

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A lot of us have probably wondered, how would we do if we were on Jeopardy? You might see a question you know the answer to and you think “hey, I could do that.”

However, for Gautham Nagesh it’s always been more than just a thought.

“Oh I’ve been watching Jeopardy since I was a kid when I didn’t even know the answers,” Nagesh said.

Nagesh is a journalist living in Los Angeles, but he was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan.

“I have always been very proud to be from Jackson specifically and Michigan of course,” Nagesh said.

Before the pandemic set in last March, Nagesh took the online Jeopardy test and made it to the live auditions. He was invited on the show but production was canceled because of COVID-19.

Then he was invited back again in November, but it happened to be a week before Alex Trebek passed away and he was sent home again.

“It was you know a bucket list item for me so it was sad, nothing compared to the fact that Alex had passed away of course and then I kind of just let it go,” Nagesh said.

But just a month later, Nagesh was invited back again. This time with a new, temporary host, Ken Jennings. Jennings is known as the Jeopardy G.O.A.T., the greatest of all time, with the record of 74 consecutive wins.

“He gave that really moving tribute to Alex before that first episode and there wasn’t really a dry eye in the studio and it was really interesting to watch and I think he grew into over the course of it. I was the last show of the day and I could see him improve pretty rapidly,” Nagesh said.

“I thought he did a really good job it’s an almost impossible task to replace Alex Trebek but he kept the same spirit. It felt like Jeopard, which I think is the hardest thing and he kept the focus on the game, the questions and the contestants and he’s you know a likeable guy and he made us feel comfortable and I think that’s the hosts job,” Nagesh said.

Even though it was an experience he had always dreamed of, Nagesh said you couldn’t help but think of Trebek.

“It felt like history to watch the first show after Alex. especially since we were doing it in tribute to Alex and I think that that spirit has continued,” Nagesh said.

Nagesh said that when he got there he found out a lot of the other contestants were what he called “more of true trivia-nerds” and said he prepared by watching Jeopardy and doing a bunch of reading.

He said that actually the hardest part for him was learning how to use the buzzer.

As for how Nagesh did, we’ll have to wait and find out this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

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