AHS alum wins on “Jeopardy!”

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Matt Larson, seen here at a Minnesota Twins game, won Monday on his first appearance on “Jeopardy!” He will appear on the show again tonight. -- Herald file photo

An Austin High School grad is basking in the winner’s circle today after becoming a “Jeopardy!” Champion.

Matt Larson, who graduated from AHS in 2002, won Jeopardy! Monday by a dollar after all three contestants missed the Final Jeopardy! question.

“I wish I would’ve got the final answer right to be the champion,” Larson said in a video on Jeopardy.com.

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Larson, who graduated from Wheaton College in 2006 with a degree in International Studies, works as a technical support specialist for Medtronic near Boulder, Colo.

He applied for the game show online in February 2009, answering 50 questions and doing well enough to place him in a prospects pool. Jeopardy! producers called him in May for an audition in California, where Larson took a written test and went through a trial game, answering questions from a podium so the producers could see whether he was TV-ready.

They told him he was eligible to be on the show for the next 18 months, but Larson didn’t get called. Not until last December — more than 18 months later — that is.

“I sort of figured I was out of the running,” he said.

Larson flew out with his wife Ali, his sister-in-law and his parents to throw down against two other contestants for a shot at Jeopardy! fame. The TV taping took place last February.

“It’s kind of surreal in a way,” he said. “It’s like your stepping into this TV world.”

Matt wouldn’t reveal how far he would go when reached last week, but he said it was a memorable experience.

“I’ll make you watch it to find out,” he said.

To see Larson’s Winner’s Circle video, go to: www.jeopardy.com/beacontestant/winnerscircle.