KALISPELL — Thursday evening’s episode of Jeopardy! on KPAX will have a special Flathead Valley feel as Kalispell’s own Stuart Crane is set to compete.
Reporter Sean Wells caught up with Crane about his once in a lifetime experience on the legendary game show.
Born and raised in Montana, Stuart Crane has lived in Kalispell since 2011 with his wife and two kids.
Crane says he’s always had a passion for trivia and first applied to be on Jeopardy! back in 2017, he caught his big break this past November.
“You never know when you take the test if you’re good enough or not, some people will take the test and do well enough but just don’t get randomly selected among the many people who pass so, a little bit of luck and a lot of waiting,” Crane said.
Once he got the call, Crane says he had only three weeks to prepare for his scheduled taping in early December -- not much time to get used to the famous Jeopardy! buzzer.
“There isn’t a lot of opportunity to get used to it and It’s heftier than I thought which was nice, I used two hands so, plenty of force if I needed it,” Crane told MTN News.
Crane says a highlight of his Jeopardy! experience was being able to meet competitors from across the country who shared his same passion for the show.
Crane says his panel during taping may have also set a new Jeopardy! record.
“The panel that I was with we joked that we may have been the shortest panel ever to appear on Jeopardy!, they had to lift all of us about 18 inches off of the stage on a little riser so they could see us over the podiums,” Crane said.
Crane says going into taping he had a list of categories he was secretly hoping for including baseball cards and downhill skiing but unfortunately, those two didn’t make the cut.
“I had my bugaboo topics, I was hoping there was no poetry, of course there was, I was hoping there was not a lot of religion or bible questions, I think I did luck out there pretty well,” Crane said.
Crane says guest host Ken Jennings was funny and personable on set helping put contestants at ease.