For Santa Clara’s Ashley Chow, becoming a contestant on Jeopardy was always an idea she had in the back of her mind.
“I’ve always liked watching Jeopardy and enjoyed trivia. So, it was something that I always was like, ‘Oh, wow, it’d be really cool if I could do this one day,’” said Chow. “But I never really thought that hard about doing it until a couple years back when I think they were doing the greatest of all-time tournament with Ken [Jennings] and Brad [Rutter]. I was watching that, and I was like, ‘You know, maybe I should just give it a shot.’ So, I took the test a couple of years back.”
While it takes many potential contestants several tries to make it on the famed quiz show, Chow, a corporate lawyer by trade, made it through the initial stages quickly. Late last year, she arrived at the Jeopardy studios to tape her episode.
“It was a lot of fun. Everybody knows they tape these shows ahead of time. So, they tape like five shows a day. You basically spend the day there playing and watching Jeopardy,” said Chow.
What Chow didn’t know before she arrived is that she would be pitted against one of the biggest Jeopardy winners of all-time, Amy Schneider.
“You don’t know who you’re playing until you get there that morning. They’ll tell you who the returning champion is. So, everybody that morning got a big surprise because we taped before any of Amy’s episodes aired,” said Chow. “They do tell you the returning champion has won this many games. And so, of course, when they said that there was like a sudden silence of shock.”
While Chow taped the episode a while ago, she didn’t get to see her appearance until it aired on Jan. 19, 2022. She watched it at home with her brother and one of her best friends, where the memories of her appearance came flooding back.
“The experience was quite incredible. I mean, despite losing to Amy, it was pretty amazing to be part of her, obviously, historic run as one of the all-time, longest-running champions,” said Chow. “It was really nice to spend some time with the contestants in between the games. It’s clear that everybody there knows a lot and that everybody there also really enjoys this game and trivia and everything. So, it was a great environment; very positive experience overall.”
Chow placed second in her match, finishing with $12,401. Reigning champ Schneider finished with $17,800.
“Amy is, I mean, she is a Super Champion for a reason,” said Chow. “I think if you had to sit down and take those clues as a written test, I think she probably would still know more than me. So, I think the right person won.”
For Chow, the experience was worth all of it.
“[My favorite part] was just getting to stand up there on that stage and just give it a shot,” said Chow.