Jeopardy features contestant from Columbia

Thursday, January 31, 2008 | 4:41 p.m. CST; updated 11:54 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

COLUMBIA — Although “Jeopardy!” first aired more than 40 years ago, buzzing in an answer and getting a little face time with Alex Trebek is an opportunity granted to only a few people. Friday, Lisa Fritsche of Columbia joins that fraternity. “I’ve always liked ‘Jeopardy!’ and am good at Trivial Pursuit,” said Fritsche, who took an Internet audition for the quiz show last June.

“After I took it, the test basically said, ‘Thank you, don’t call us, we’ll call you,’” she said.

To watch

Contestant Lisa Fritsche of Columbia can be seen on “Jeopardy!” at 5 p.m. Friday on KMIZ.

Fritsche, who has lived in Columbia since 1987 and works as director of religious studies at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, was surprised to receive an invitation to an in-person audition in Chicago last August. She needed five prepared anecdotes that could be used during a show.

“Finding five personal stories was the hardest part of the audition,” Fritsche said, admitting she turned to friends for help. “I wanted to find a story that made me sound fun but not like an idiot.”

After passing that round, she taped the episode in October. But for now, the category is “Things You Can’t Talk About In Advance” — Fritsche has to keep mum until the show airs.

To prepare for the show, Fritsche, 47, studied an almanac and Trivial Pursuit question cards. She wasn’t nervous but said her biggest dread was the possibility of South American geography being a category.

“It became a joke among my family,” she said.

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