Answer: Born 19 years ago in Camden, this University of North Carolina freshman graduated from high school quiz-bowl competitions and became a contestant on television's most intellectually intimidating game show,
"I am intensely excited and intensely nervous," William J. Schultz said before leaving for Los Angeles for a two-day taping of the 2007 Jeopardy! College Championship. "I hope to bring a little pride to Camden, the University of North Carolina, and Cinnaminson."
Schultz, who lived in Cinnaminson until the first grade, when his family moved to Raleigh, N.C., was one of an estimated 3,000 students who took a 50-question online test to earn a spot in the competition. The segments are scheduled to be broadcast tomorrow through May 11, said Maggie Speak, Jeopardy! contestant executive. This year was the first for tests to be offered online, she said.
"We are forever testing our contestants," Speak said, explaining that a random-selection process helped narrow the group. "They were called for auditions and additional tests . . . and played a mock version of the show with lights and ring-ins, very much like the real show." This process resulted in a total of 16 contestants, ages 18 to 20.
"What I've done is made a whole bunch of flash cards of Shakespearean plays and the Oscars and kept up with the news and current events," Schultz said of his study technique. "And if there's a question about American Idol, I'm covered."
By Tuesday night Schultz was back in his college dorm room with the competition behind him.
"It was a wonderful experience and I don't know if I have ever had such an enjoyable weekend," he said, adding that he could not reveal whether he won the $100,000 grand prize. "It helps to have stayed at the Hilton. It's a big change from the hotel room to the dorm room."