Goad competes in `Jeopardy' final

Tournament of Champions round to be aired Nov. 20

by Ben Gerdemann

Amanda Goad, a Sid Rich-ardson College freshman, competed in the "Jeopardy" Tournament of Champions earlier this week.

Goad was a winner in the Teen "Jeopardy" Tournament in February and then advanced to the Tournament of Champions competition.

Goad cannot reveal the results of the tournament until it airs on national television on Nov. 20.

In the teen tournament, Goad won $31,000 after playing in three rounds of four games.

For the first time in the tournament's history, there was a tie. Goad correctly answered the tie-breaker question in the category "U.S. cities." Although Goad could not remember the exact wording, the question was "something like `the 1995 Bosnian peace accord was signed in this city.'" Goad correctly answered "Dayton, Ohio."

Goad became interested in "Jeopardy" at a young age after watching the show. She has also competed in high school quiz bowl, and is competing in Rice's intramural college bowl.

"You can't really study, but you can watch `Jeopardy' a lot, because they use the same kinds of questions over," Goad said. "I watch it with a click-pen to serve as a buzzer."

Goad sometimes practices with her parents."My mom is a staunch fan of `Jeopardy,'" she said.

Goad's favorite "Jeopardy" categories are history and word derivations.

"Sometimes they have categories that are just plays on words or starts with something, and those are usually pretty easy," Goad said.

To become a contestant on "Jeopardy," Goad went to New York City to take a written test, compete in a practice game and be interviewed. According to Goad, "They also screen people out based on whether they're going to act enthusiastic on TV. They have to have a screen presence."

Goad offered a few tips for potential contestants.

"Don't be psyched out by your opponents, no matter who they are," she said. "Try to ignore the fact that people are watching you .

"It's nerve-wracking if you think about how many people you're in front of, but I was too wrapped up in the game to worry about that too much."

How will "Jeopardy" benefit Goad in the future? "The money is nice," Goad said. "And a lot people recognize me. Plus, I know a lot of weird trivia that may be useful later on in life."

The "Jeopardy" Tournament of Champions begins airing on Nov. 18, and Goad's round airs on KHOU-TV Channel 10 at 3:30 p.m., on Nov. 20.

This item appeared in the News section of the October 18, 1996 issue.

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