Lockport native competes on Jeopardy

Contributed Photo

Audrey Watkins-Fox, right, is pictured with Jeopardy host Alex Trebek on the set of the popular game show.

Lockport native Audrey Watkins-Fox achieved a lifelong dream during the summer when she appeared in an episode of the popular game show, Jeopardy.

Last month, Watkins-Fox traveled to Los Angeles to film the show, which will be the second episode of Jeopardy’s 32nd season. The new season starts today, while the episode that features Watkins-Fox will air at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday either on channel 4, WIVB-TV or channel 7, WKBW-TV.

Watkins-Fox was a natural fit for the show. She pretty much grew up watching Jeopardy, thanks to the influence of both of her grandmothers.

What, for some, was a simple television game show was a family tradition for Watkins-Fox and her relatives. They would sit at the dinner table, watching the show and answering the questions.

“I was a huge nerd, and I always watched Jeopardy,” Watkins-Fox said. “It came to the point that I would get questions right 30 times in a row.”

Throughout her time at Lockport High School, Watkins-Fox told her friends that she would make an appearance on the show one day.

“I always joked about it with my friends and family,” Watkins-Fox said. “I couldn’t believe it was actually happening.”

After completing a general online test – which Jeopardy hopefuls can only complete once a year, Watkins-Fox received an email telling her she was selected out of 70,000 people for an audition in Boston.

In June, she made her way to Boston where she and 4,000 people went through a round of interviews, tests and mock games. Following the audition process, she was told she would be contacted within the next 18 months. That left Watkins-Fox with some doubt as to whether she made the cut.

However, a month later she received a phone call at work. She was one of the 400 contestants chosen to participate on the show.

“I started crying at work and told them that I was of course available,” Watkins-Fox said. “I dropped everything and went to LA, it’s always been a lifelong goal.”

As August rolled around, Watkins-Fox found herself in the studio of Jeopardy and standing next to host Alex Trebeck. She felt prepared, thanks to her extensive knowledge in history, English literature and art history, results from her studies at SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Albany.

“I took all the classes that one necessarily wouldn’t use in most jobs, but it paid off,” Watkins-Fox said. “Those were the subjects I liked the most and they are the categories on the show.”

Watkins-Fox wasn’t able to divulge any information about the episode itself, but that didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s excitement.

“It’s really exciting,” Watkins-Fox said. “My family is really excited. They even rented out a bar or banquet room and invited 50 people to watch the airing of my episode.”

Contact reporter Rachel Fuerschbach at 439-9222, ext. 6246.

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