Udicious appeared in three episodes of Jeopardy last week, winning $32.799.
For many years, Cherry Hill resident Sean Udicious dreamed of appearing on the television game show, “Jeopardy!”
Earlier in his life, Udicious, 23, had tried to get on the show’s kids edition as well as the college edition.
After years of trying, Udicious finally got the opportunity to be on the show. Not only did Udicious get to play “Jeopardy!” but he also won. Udicious was a two-day champion and won $32,799 during his three-day run. Udicious’ three episodes aired on television Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
“To get on the show and win it, I was at a loss for words,” Udicious said.
Udicious, an expeditor at ARI Fleet Management in Mt. Laurel, took the “Jeopardy!” online test last year. The online test consists of 50 questions that need to be answered in about 12 to 15 seconds. Udicious scored high enough on the online test to earn an in-person audition in New York.
At the in-person audition in June, contestants go through a number of stages. They have to take another test, have a meeting with contestant coordinators, go through a personality interview and compete in a simulated game. After the audition was over, Udicious went home and waited to hear if he would make it on the show.
“You get put on the list for 18 months and you’re essentially in limbo,” Udicious said. “You can get contacted during that time.”
About four months after his in-person audition, Udicious received the phone call inviting him to be on the show on Nov. 8, 2017.
“Jeopardy!” films an entire week of shows in one day. The day begins with the filming of the Monday episode, with the subsequent episodes following later in the day.
“We all got there by about 8 a.m.,” Udicious said. “The first episode started filming a couple hours after that.”
Udicious was randomly selected as one of the two challengers in the first episode of the day. He was originally hoping to appear in one of the later episodes of the day so he could sit back and watch how other players handled being on stage.
“I had no kind of grace period,” Udicious said. “On the inside, I was very nervous. The nerves didn’t’ really go away until the end of the first game.”
Though he may have felt nervous, Udicious ran away with the game in the Double Jeopardy round. Entering Final Jeopardy, Udicious had a $15,000 lead. He would finish the game with $20,000 and became the new “Jeopardy!” champion.
Udicious, who traveled to Los Angeles with his father for the filming, couldn’t believe he had won.
“At the end of the first game, looking at my father, we both had looks of disbelief on our faces,” Udicious said. “It was so surreal.”
Udicious’ favorite category came during the first round of his first game. Called “Weren’t Those College Kids Great,” the category revolved around college sports.
“A lot of the categories that ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants dislike, like sports, pop culture, I actually like a lot,” Udicious said. “Those are my strengths. Seeing that category in the first game was a huge benefit.”
Some of Udicious’ weakest categories involved science and geography. A category on the periodic table from the first game was one of Udicious’ weakest topics.
Even in categories where Udicious didn’t know much about the topic, he made sure to use hints within the clues to help himself out.
“Even if I don’t necessarily know the answer, there’s usually enough of a clue where I can buzz in, guess it and get it right based on context clues,” he said.
After the first game, Udicious had a short break to change his outfit, use the bathroom and freshen up before his second game. In the second game, Udicious again entered Final Jeopardy with a lead, this time winning by $5,400. All three contestants got the Final Jeopardy question wrong, allowing Udicious to win again with $10,799.
Udicious’ run on the show ended in the third episode when he finished in second place to John Giambrone of New York City. Udicious finished with the game with a score of $5,200. He received $2,000 for finishing in second place in the final game, bringing his total winnings to $32,700.
Udicious was thrilled to do as well as he did on the show. Just appearing on “Jeopardy!” was a thrill in itself.
“The odds are very, very minuscule that you even make it on the show,” he said. “I was also going against people on years of experience and from very intellectual backgrounds.”
Udicious said his fellow contestants were a lot of fun to speak with. He said everyone was friendly with each other. Udicious said he really enjoyed speaking with and spending time with Giambrone, the player who beat him in the third game.
“I enjoyed getting to know John within the ‘Jeopardy!’ process,” Udicious said. “He was a really good guy. We actually grabbed burgers together after filming.”
Udicious watched all three of his episodes at home last week with friends and family. He enjoyed hearing well wishes from people and re-watching his experience on television.
“I’m just glad so many people, both in Cherry Hill and further, were so invested,” he said. “This was a childhood dream that finally came to fruition.”