You might recognize a Jeopardy! contestant Tuesday night, Jan. 26. Stephen Newman grew up in New Hartford, living there from age 2 through his freshman year of high school. You might have some of his family's furniture in your home; his grandfather owned Winn's Furniture, in Clark Mills. Newman says getting to play on the iconic TV quiz show was beyond thrilling, and a larger-than-life experience.
"The actual board that you see on tv, it's huge, and the lights are very bright and the music is very loud, I mean, it is literally like walking up to home plate at Yankee Stadium, I mean that's how it feels. I mean it is so cool and when you -- I'm getting chills just like reliving it," said Newman, during a Zoom interview Tuesday afternoon.
It was seven months, from the time Newman saw a Facebook add about trying out for the show, to the day he got to hold the buzzer. In between, were months of his teenaged daughter grilling him about Taylor Swift, his wife quizzing him about Australia, and him studying art history-which would be a weak category for him. Newman says the producers and entire staff are very encouraging and supportive-there's even a buzzer coach, to help players learn exactly when to ring in. The short answer is, not until the host, in his case, Ken Jennings, is finished reading the 'answer'.
Newman says the Jeopardy! experience was a thrill, before he even picked up the buzzer.
"When they're ready to go, you all walk over in a line like a kindergarten class being walked in and then like BOOM you're there and it's just -- everything -- and you see all the Emmys and all the pictures and all the cameras and it's ..it is, it is beyond belief exciting," said Newman.
The episode will air on WKTV at 7:30 p.m.