The answer is: what it takes to be a contestant on “Jeopardy!” The question: what is a lot of knowledge and a little luck?

Kevin Hirsh is living the quiz show dream as a contestant on the show.

“I used to watch ‘Jeopardy’ a lot as a kid. It was a family bonding activity that I used to do with my dad in particular,” he said.

Hirsh said it’s been a long-time dream of his to be on the game show.

Getting past the first round is hard enough.

Hirsh took the computer test several times before he got called for a regional audition. That doesn’t mean it took that long to get a good score, it just means it took that long to get lucky.

Thousands do well on the test each year. From that group the show randomly chooses who moves on. He got the call nearly two years ago and was set to be a contestant in February 2020. Because of the pandemic, the set of “Jeopardy” shut down before Hirsh could do his shoot. Finally, he got his chance.

“A year passes and I figure I’ll email the producers and see what’s going on, and that’s when they scheduled me for this taping,” Hirsh said.

Hirsh spent his evenings watching old episodes using a pen for a buzzer.

“It was easy to watch two or three episodes a night and practice with a pen for the buzzer. That’s what’s important ultimately,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you have all the knowledge if you’re not good with the buzzer.”

He also studied how the clues are revealed.

“The thing about ‘Jeopardy’ clues is that they’re written in such a way that they give you a lot of hints as to how to answer them properly,” he said. “The writers have a certain way of writing clues that if you watch the show enough times you can figure out their line of thinking and you can probably figure out what the answer to the question is.”

The guest host next week will be Mayim Bialik from “The Big Bang Theory” and “Blossom.”

“I found her to be a wonderful host,” Hirsh said. “She did a really good job of keeping the pace going with the game. She was very approachable, very friendly. She took the time to get to know us when cameras weren’t rolling. She was really lovely and a very sweet person. I really loved having her as my host.”

Hirsh is an attorney who was born and raised in Miami Beach, and moved to the Wilton Manors area last year with his fiancé, Eric Scheiner. His very proud mother bought a new television and borrowed a projector for an optimal viewing experience.

“My mother is so excited about the whole thing,” he said. “She’s organizing a watch party at her house. She’s having the whole thing catered, she’s really outdoing herself.” 


You can catch Hirsh on “Jeopardy” Monday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. on WPLG channel 10.


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