RIT professor wins, advances in Jeopardy! | News
Penfield resident and game show contestant Sean Hansen will advance in "Jeopardy!" on Thursday after winning a close match on Wednesday, April 11.
The 39-year-old was able to defeat the defending champion in the final round by just $1, for a prize of $30,001.
Hansen was in third place during "Double Jeopardy," but took the lead by $400 after answering the "Daily Double" question correctly. Each of the contestants answered the final question correctly, but Hansen wagered just enough money to pull ahead for the win.
Host Alex Trebek congratulated Hansen as the crowd applauded.
"He can smile now, and he gets to play tomorrow," said Trebek.
The next episode, which was originally taped in December, will air at 7:30 on CBS on Thursday.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Hansen moved to Penfield with his family in 2010. He currently works as an assistant professor of management information systems at Rochester Institute of Technology.
As a kid, he grew up watching the show and unsuccessfully applied for it at age 16. That disappointment didn't deter him from trying again later in life, however.
"It was something I always wanted to do," said Hansen.
After filling out the online application last year, he was called back for a face-to-face audition and a practice run-through in New York City before his name was added to a pool of other hopeful applicants.
Then, last November, he got the call telling him his time had finally come.
He flew to Sony Pictures Studios in California where the show was taped in December. Although the professor is used to speaking in front of crowds, "I was a nervous wreck," he said.
Unlike some of his fellow contestants, Hansen chose to not study before the show.
"My head is already full of useless information," he said. "I figured you either know it or you don't."
Although the episode was taped back in December, Hansen has been sworn to keep the outcome a secret. He was able to share a few details from the experience, however. For example, the blue screens that show each of the clues are not only smaller in person, but many yards away, making them difficult to read.
And when Hansen and the other contestants were asked to provide a few interesting facts about themselves for host Alex Tebek to use as conversation starters, Hansen chose to share that he and his brother married two girls who are sisters.
"They're not our sisters, so it's perfectly legitimate." he joked.