For 500: Who is Irene Vazquez?

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Eighth grader Irene Vazquez traveled to the "Jeopardy!" studios in Culver City, Calif. to test her trivia skills against other teens.

Eighth grader Irene Vazquez traveled to the “Jeopardy!” studios in Culver City, Calif. to test her trivia skills against other teens.

Irene Vazquez, eighth grade student, fulfilled every trivia fanatic’s dream – competing on “Jeopardy!”

After passing through two previous rounds of screening and beating out thousands of other hopeful competitors, Vazquez traveled to Culver City in Los Angeles County over Thanksgiving break to compete in the “Jeopardy!” Teen Tournament.

“Since my mom knows I’m into trivia, she recommended I take an online test in April to try and get on the show,” Vazquez said. “We didn’t really expect anything of it because I was the youngest eligible age.”

In August, Vazquez was invited to a regional audition in New Orleans to compete in mock rounds of “Jeopardy!” and attended interviews with the show’s producers.

“I had never really watched the show before,” Vazquez said. “All I knew was that you had to answer in question form. At the beginning I had a couple instances where I buzzed in before the question was completely asked, but, unlike in Quiz Bowl, that is illegal in ‘Jeopardy!’”.

“At first it was really intimidating because I was the only non-highschooler,” Vazquez said. “But when you put a bunch of` nerds together in a room, they all have similar interests.”

Two months later, Vasquez and her family traveled to the “Jeopardy!” studios to meet the other contestants and film the show.

Vazquez is not allowed to disclose how she did on the show; however, Vasquez divulged, “Alex Trebek is a very nice person. He makes you feel really comfortable, just talking to us and asking questions when we weren’t shooting.”

Vazquez’s episodes of “Jeopardy!” air on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 at 4:30 on KHOU-TV (CBS).

Christopher Zimmerman
Staff Writer

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One Response to For 500: Who is Irene Vazquez?

  1. S- says:

    Great article, Chris!

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