A Greenwood boy earned the chance to appear on Jeopardy! during the show’s special “Kids Week.” Jake Castle, a fifth grader from Westwood Elementary took the online test, the first step to becoming a contestant.
Jake’s mom, Shanna Wells-Castle, said she was just getting out of class when she was notified her son qualified for the live audition in New Orleans on December 8, 2012.
“I was in the middle of campus and just kind of jumping up and down, doing a little happy dance, trying not to look like a crazy person,” said Wells-Castle. “I was so excited.”
Jake is an avid reader who loves trivia and other word games. His mom said he is a “vault of information” which makes him the “perfect candidate” for the show.
Well-Castle has been a fan of Jeopardy! since she was young. She may have even been the early inspiration for the show’s “Kids Week.”
“When I was [Jake’s] age, I wrote a letter to Alex Trebek that they needed to have a kids week, and he actually sent me a handwritten postcard back saying that that was a good idea,” she said.
Wells-Castle said while Jeopardy! does provide travel and lodging for contestants who are selected to travel to Los Angeles for the taped show, it does not provide funding for potential contestants to travel to the auditions.
As a full-time student with four kids and working two jobs, Wells-Castle said they don’t have the money to travel to New Orleans at this time.
She’s created a Facebook page entitled “Help Jake make it to Jeopardy” in hopes of raising the $2,000 it will cost them to travel to the auditions. As of Friday afternoon, they have raised about half the amount needed.
Trivia buffs are encouraged to submit practice trivia questions to his fanpage.