News, University News

Gaur ’21 to compete on ‘Jeopardy!’

First-year student to appear on tonight’s episode to compete for $100,000 grand prize

Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dhruv Gaur ’21 poses with Alex Trebek on the Los Angeles set of “Jeopardy!” during the filming of the competition in March. Gaur said he has enjoyed trivia and the show since he was a child.

Dhruv Gaur ’21 will appear on an episode of “Jeopardy!” College Championship tonight to represent the University. Gaur joins 14 other students from colleges across the United States to compete in the quiz competition for a $100,000 prize.

The process to participate in the competition began back in October, when Gaur completed an online quiz specifically for the college championship. While he never got his score, Gaur was later notified through email that he had qualified for the live audition, he said.

A month after Gaur completed his live audition in Boston in November, he received a phone call congratulating him for making it onto the show. Producers sent him to Los Angeles in March to film the competition.

Gaur already knows the results of the competition, but he cannot disclose them before the competition airs. While in Los Angeles, the contestants spent two weeks filming the quarterfinals, semi-finals and the final round. “It goes really, really quickly,” Gaur said. “So you don’t really have time to really be super stressed — you’re just kind of going and then it’s over and you take a while to process it.”

“Jeopardy!” has been a fixture in Gaur’s life since he was a kid. “It was always on in our house and I would answer questions along” with the show’s contestants, Gaur said. “One day, my dad was like, ‘You know, you’re pretty good at this, so you should give it a shot.’” While Gaur initially dismissed his dad’s comment, he later decided to try out, “and it turned out great,” Gaur added.

According to Gaur, the college championship is more academic than standard “Jeopardy!” programming. There are fewer “random ‘70s pop culture questions, and it’s a lot of history, geography and science,” Gaur said.

In preparation for the competition, Gaur watched hundreds of old “Jeopardy!” episodes while also playing the game online against other people.

Gaur’s friend Cameron Trupp ’21 supported him throughout the training process. Because a lot of Gaur’s preparation took place online, Trupp said he just offered “emotional support most of the time.”

“When we would study, he would take study breaks” alternating between schoolwork and “Jeopardy!” questions, Trupp said. “Sometimes I would have to encourage him to go back to schoolwork because he was getting a bit sucked into the “Jeopardy!” questions,” he added.

Gaur is not the only Brown student to have a talent in trivia. Noah Cowan ’19 also competed on the “Jeopardy!” College Championship when he was a freshman. He and Gaur met to discuss the competition before Gaur left for filming. While Cowan didn’t win the $100,000 grand prize, “it was definitely a lot of fun and just like a funny thing to do freshman year, because I’m still known by some people as the ‘Jeopardy!’ kid,” Cowan said.

If Gaur does win the grand prize, he plans to take his friends out for dinner and “save most of it,” using some to pay for tuition. “I don’t really have any concrete plans right now,” Gaur said. “I feel like I can probably do better things with the money later on when I actually know what I’m doing with my life.”