SmartMoney deputy editor Matt Heimer put down his abacus to compete on Jeopardy last Friday. We caught up with the self-professed FBNY fan in the game show afterglow to talk Trebek, velociraptors, and his rigorous pre-taping training. He wouldn’t tell us how much prize money he won, but he did tell friends at his viewing party that he was “not paying for all the drinks.”
Heimer had support from SmartMoney colleagues, who showed up to watch his game show debut. SmartMoney.com’s Rob Wherry and Ken Shadford even set up a practice Jeopardy game in the magazine’s video production room back in April to prepare Heimer for battle.
Heimer said he used to watch Jeopardy a lot when he first moved to New York and couldn’t afford to do much besides watch TV. He tried out and didn’t make the cut back in the ’90s, but he still felt his “really immense capacity for remembering useless information” should be put to use on-air.
“I had a blast,” he said. “My biggest hope was that I wouldn’t do anything embarrassing that I’d be teased about for the rest of my life.” He watched another taping where a category was “Financial Planning,” but Heimer didn’t get so lucky with his own game’s categories. His performance met his expectations, and he’s especially proud of his answers “Peter the Great” (a Daily Double!), “velociraptor,” and “beefalo.”
His advice to Jeopardy hopefuls? “There are a ton of media people out there [for whom] it’s worth rolling the dice.”
Go on, hit Trebek with your best shot.