Local teacher a contestant on ‘Jeopardy’ tonight

"Jeopardy" TV host Alex Trebek, left, and Justin Broughman are shown during the show’s taping on Aug. 3. Courtesy photo

A Shenandoah County Public Schools teacher will appear tonight on “Jeopardy.”

Strasburg resident Justin Broughman, who teaches U.S. history and U.S. government at Central High School in Woodstock, was 4 years old when he started watching the popular TV game show “Jeopardy” with his grandparents. Later, he and his younger sister would compete to see who could answer the most questions.

“I did not know that I was practicing for the show, but all these years later,” Broughman said.

The show he was on was taped Aug. 3. He is not allowed to say how he performed on the show but that did not stop his students from trying.

“It’s been hard to keep the outcome of the game to myself,” Broughman said.

Central High School teacher Justin Broughman lectures during U.S. history class on Wednesday in Woodstock. Broughman will appear on "Jeopardy" tonight. Rich Cooley/Daily

His journey began a year ago when he took an online test that “Jeopardy” offers once or twice a year.

“If you do well, they call you for an in-person test,” he said.

Broughman, who was named the 2017 Teacher of the Year at Central, received that call in April. He took the test at a hotel in Washington, D.C., where he was filmed taking a mock test.

On June 21 he received a call from the show’s contest coordinator telling him congratulations, they wanted to book him onto the show.

“It was three days before I was to get married,” Broughman said.

After the wedding and honeymoon, Broughman studied for a little more than three weeks, mainly focusing on literature, Nobel Prize winners and other categories often seen on “Jeopardy.”

“It was like college review exam period. I have been down that road before,” he said laughing.

He was nervous the night before the show when he arrived in Culver City, California, but settled down once he arrived at the studio where the show if filmed.

“Jeopardy” game show host Alex Trebek does not spend a whole lot of time talking to contestants, Broughman said.

“Those three minutes on the show, when he is asking contestants quirky questions, is about it. During the commercials he talks to the audience. After the show he talks during the credits and then he is gone, changes clothes and is back out to tape another episode,” he said.

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