AHS alum makes run on Jeopardy!

Published 11:02 am Thursday, June 2, 2011

Matt Larson, seen here at a Minnesota Twins game, won Monday on his first appearance on “Jeopardy!” He lost Tuesday. -- Herald file photo

After a wild ride, Austin High School graduate Matt Larson couldn’t survive past the first day as “Jeopardy!” champion.

Larson walked away from the show with $6,599, the amount he won on Monday plus $1,000 for playing on Tuesday. Although he answered several tough questions, Larson chased contestant Ty Cone, a New York federal law clerk, for much of the game before losing everything on the Final Jeopardy! question.

Calls to Larson were not immediately returned.

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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 previously.

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.”

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