Seven years is a long time to wait for a phone call.
But, for Jody Carlson of Fairfax, it was worth it.
Carlson, who works for a law firm in downtown Washington, D.C., said she has always been a fan of trivia quizzes and contest shows - especially Jeopardy.
Every year she faithfully took the online quiz, hoping to get a phone call.
Last year, in November, that call finally came.
Carlson says, it's a long process between the online quiz and getting the invitation to be on the show, with many hoops to jump through.
"At least once a year they do an online contestant quiz; and [from those who] pass that quiz, they pull from that group and invite you to an audition," she explained. "And if you pass the audition, you take another 50-question quiz and participate in a mock game, and then they keep your name in a pool for 18 months. If you aren't called in the 18 months, you can start over and try again."
Carlson said she took the online quiz again last year, as she had done for many years, and then lucked out when the show announced it was having auditions in D.C. soon, and she was invited to come.
"They ask you to come dressed as if you are going to be on camera," she said, and was also asked to fill out many contestant forms and have her photo taken.
Carlson said, though it's a lot of steps to go through, "It's fun, and it's free."
After the forms and the photos, Carlson passed another 50-question quiz, and then the group of auditionees were broken up into groups of three to play mock games with "clickers."
It all went well, but then came the part Carlson likes to call "hurry up and wait" - with no idea if she would be called.
"I got a call in early November," she said happily. "They invited me to be on the show in early December, so I got four weeks to be able to find a good flight, and make plans. Thank goodness for Southwest Airlines' flights to LAX!"
Carlson said, Jeopardy films two days a week, five shows at a time. She said, of all the contestants, they drew names from a hat to determine who would be in each of the five shows they filmed that day.
"When it was my turn, I just remember being up there on the stage, and I was shaking. I was very nervous," she said. "But, once we started playing, everything went so fast, I was able to tune everything out."
Carlson said, meeting Alex Trebek was exciting.
"He was very pleasant. He's a very nice man," she said, describing how he would let the audience ask him anything they wanted during commercial breaks.
See Carlson on the show Friday night
Carlson's episode airs this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on the ABC network (WJLA-TV).
For complete national TV listings, click here.
Are you a fan of 'Jeopardy?' Have you ever taken the online quiz? Tell us in the comments.
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