Local teacher to compete on ‘Jeopardy!’ tonight

Palo Alto High School teacher Trevor Crowell with "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek.

Daily Post Staff Writer

A Palo Alto High School teacher will be showing his smarts on national television tonight (May 7) as he competes for $100,000 in the “Jeopardy!” Teachers Tournament.

Trevor Crowell, a first-year Spanish teacher who lives in Mountain View, will appear on the show at 7 tonight on Channel 7.

But when Crowell told his students that he would be on the show, some of them asked, “What’s Jeopardy?”

“That really surprised me,” Crowell said.

Other students were “super pumped” to see Crowell compete and told him they were planning a watch party.

Crowell said he’s been a fan of “Jeopardy!” all his life. He took an online test to qualify for the show, then was invited to an audition in San Francisco in July.

In February, he was chosen as one of the 15 teacher contestants, and the show was filmed on April 1 and April 2. “You can brush up on some areas you think you’re weak in,” Crowell said, but “you can’t really cram for it.”

Crowell said that to prepare, he got into the habit of watching “Jeopardy!” reruns every night and reading past contestants’ accounts of their experiences.

Some fans also gather and publish data on “Jeopardy!” questions, which can provide pointers on which subjects are likely to be covered.

Common topics include U.S. history, international geography and state capitals.

Crowell said his strongest areas were sports, U.S. presidents, state capitals, Latin America and Romance languages.

Some of his weak spots were fine arts areas, including opera, ballet and Russian composers.

Crowell wouldn’t say whether he won the $100,000 prize, but said he enjoyed meeting 14 other teachers from all around the country.

“It was tons of fun to meet them, and they’re all super cool,” Crowell said. “We kind of have a network now.”