Carmel Valley resident Barry Cohen appears on ‘Jeopardy!’

Carmel Valley’s Barry Cohen, right, with “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, appeared on the show on March 22. Courtesy photo

By Karen Billing
Staff Writer

Carmel Valley resident Barry Cohen, a long-time “Jeopardy!” viewer “sofa champion,” appeared on the real TV game show on March 22, finishing second and winning $2,000.

Cohen admits answering the questions in your living room without cameras, lights and the studio audience is a lot easier than being on the actual show and competing against “30-something reflexes,” but he still had a great time.

“It was terrific,” Cohen said. “A tremendous amount of fun.”

The 10-year Carmel Valley resident, originally from Nashville, Tenn., has worked for Kaludis Consulting, a higher education consulting firm headquartered in Washington D.C., for 32 years.

For years people told Cohen he should try out for “Jeopardy,” especially his wife, Patricia Hall, and son David.

“They were my boosters, encouraging me to continue going after it,” Cohen said.

Cohen has tried out for the show twice, once in 2000 (he did not make it) and the second time in 2009. Potential contestants are given a series of questions, with a new one appearing every nine seconds, to see how many they can answer correctly. They also do some simulated game play with the buzzer.

At the end of the day, Cohen was told that he would be in the pool of eligible contestants for 18 months. A year went by before Cohen was called, traveling to Culver City’s Sony Pictures lot for the taping back in November.

“Jeopardy” tapes five shows a day, two days a week, with tapings beginning at 9:30 a.m. The contestants get very little interaction with host Alex Trebek, save for their anecdotal stories at the first break. The rest of the time Trebek entertains the studio audience and Cohen said he was very personable.

Waiting in the audience for his name to be called for a game, Cohen watched as the two-time champion Tom Kunzen won three more games; by lunchtime, Kunzen had become a five-time “Jeopardy” champion with earnings of $133,000.

Cohen was called for the fourth game of the day, against Kunzen and Megan Barnes.

“I was hoping for the categories of sports or colleges and universities,” Cohen said. “British monarchies would have been one I’d not have relished.”

Cohen said doing well on “Jeopardy!” comes down to three key factors: luck of the draw on categories; quick reflexes to get control of the board; and hitting well on the Daily Double.

Cohen hit the Daily Double early in the first round so he had very little money to wager.

The game went by in such a blur that afterward Cohen said he couldn’t remember a single category or answer except for the Final Jeopardy category, which was “Garments of the World.”

At that point Cohen was in a “distant third” with $11,000.

“My only hope was if they bet a lot and got it wrong and I bet a lot and got it right,” Cohen said. “I didn’t want to end with a goose egg so I bet all but $2.”

The clue was: “The custom of Hijab, Arabic for ‘veiling,’ can include this garment, mentioned by Kipling” and Cohen said he had a total brain freeze, writing “What is …” on his screen. He ended up with those $2.

Kunzen bet it all and got it wrong. Barnes correctly guessed “burka” and won. She went on to become a three-day champion, winning $103,000.

Those two dollars ended up being the difference between Cohen placing second instead of third, and winning $2,000 instead of $1,000.

For now, Cohen will continue to play from his couch, but he wouldn’t rule out playing another TV game show — he said he would consider taking a spin on “Wheel of Fortune.”

Related posts:

  1. Carmel Valley resident’s company kept stars safe at Super Bowl
  2. Carmel Valley residents to perform in ‘Seussical the Musical’
  3. Carmel Valley resident admitted to prestigious American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive program
  4. Carmel Valley resident hopes neighborhood tire swing can stay
  5. Carmel Valley resident’s MODA by Sofia clothing line created for all women

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=23180

Posted by admin on Apr 12, 2011. Filed under Carmel Valley, Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

  • FRONTLINE CANCER: Exercise, exercise, exercise!
    Regular exercise improves health in ways most of us already know. It helps control weight, maintain strong bones, muscles and joints, reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Exercise quite literally makes us feel better, physically and mentally. […]
  • Hunger Games in the Real World
    At age 6, Nya, a girl living in San Diego, was suffering from malnourishment because her father, a single parent was struggling to raise (and feed) his children on an $11-an-hour job. For long periods of time their cupboards were bare, and Nya, who is now 18, subsisted on a diet of ramen noodles and free lunches provided by her charter school. She was in cri […]
  • Fall brings the call to learn something new
    Local gems like UCSD Extension, Osher Lifelong Learning, La Jolla Community Center and La Jolla Library all offer a variety of opportunities for personal growth — and all welcome newcomers. […]

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Rancho Santa Fe Invasive Plants and Better Alternatives
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs In California we are lucky to live in a mild climate that allows us to grow amazing landscapes. Because of this mild climate, plants from other parts of the world often thrive; and some grow so well they become known as invasive. These plants ‘jump fences’ and ‘throw seeds.’ Their […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District’s robotics program receives new funding
    The Rancho Santa Fe School District is making its school’s robotics program more robust this year, allocating $42,500 in stipends to staff coaches just like the district does for its athletics program. “I think the program has taken a big step,” said Superintendent Lindy Delaney. “I think we’re on our way toward developing a great program there.” John Galipa […]
  • Back to School for R. Roger Rowe students
    Students at R. Roger Rowe School bid a fond farewell to summer and headed back to school Aug. 25. Photos by Jon Clark. […]