During Kids Week on Jeopardy!, a trivia quiz television show, rising Newtown Middle School eighth grader Thomas Hurley will have his first television debut aired on July 31, at 7 pm.
Thomas said he had the idea to audition to be a contestant after watching the show one night and learning about Kids Week, when all participants are youth from around the country.
He applied to be a contestant online by taking a test. After passing that, Thomas went to New York to take another test in person. At least 100 other students participated in his session of the New York test. There were three testing sessions in New York, and there were also three other sites in the country where testing was completed. Finally, all of those hopefuls were dwindled down to the students who would test their knowledge during Kids Week.
Thomas said he was one of 15 students who went to Los Angeles during the first weekend in February to film Kids Week. While Thomas said he was not allowed to say much about his time filming his episode of Jeopardy, he did say he met Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.
Thomas also sat in the studios where the show is filmed as other students took their turns being filmed on Jeopardy! The other participants, Thomas said, “were nice kids.”
When it was his turn, Thomas said his family was allowed to sit in the audience, and eventually they were allowed up on the stage afterward with the family members of other participants.
“I was nervous,” Thomas said. But once he and two other contestants walked up to their podiums, Thomas said everything started rolling.
He was asked all sorts of questions, ranging in topics from sports to history.
Thomas is not allowed to say how well he did on Jeopardy! until his show airs, but he did share his secrets in preparing for the show: he read books on many subjects.
He also said participating on Jeopardy! was a “neat experience.”