Cranston resident faces Final Jeopardy

Posted 6/28/23

All someone needs to say is the word "Jeopardy" and people either think they are very smart or a little on the dumber side.

For Cranston resident, Dan Meuse, he faced the Jeopardy rounds, final …

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Cranston resident faces Final Jeopardy


All someone needs to say is the word "Jeopardy" and people either think they are very smart or a little on the dumber side.

For Cranston resident, Dan Meuse, he faced the Jeopardy rounds, final Jeopardy and the infamous theme music on last Thursday's episode; June 22.

Dan Meuse moved to Cranston in 2005 and have lived in the same house in Oak Hill Terrace since then. He lives with his wife; Kristen, daughter Abby, who is a junior at LaSalle and son Jack a 7th grader at Providence Country Day.

Meuse is a Lecturer in Public Affairs at Princeton University. He travels down one day a week for class in the fall. He has a Bachelors from Brown and an MBA from Providence College.

"I took the online test a few times, but after taking it in the spring of 2021, I got a follow-up email inviting me to take a second test on Zoom, probably to make sure that you aren't cheating. Shortly after the Zoom test, I was invited to a game-play audition over Zoom," Meuse said.

The online games were a good practice for the real thing.

"There were 10 or so other folks and the producers from the show, and we played some mock games and talked about ourselves. At the end of the Zoom, the producer said that we were all in the contestant pool for the next 18 months. Well, 18 months went by and I hadn't heard anything and I was getting ready to take the test again, when I got a text message asking if I was still interested in Jeopardy. Of course I said yes," he said.

Jeopardy contestants pay their own travel, hotel and meal expenses when they go out to Los Angeles to be on the show.

All contestants must bring three different outfits with them to the studio, but only the host and returning champion will need to change their outfits for the next episode.

Contestants and family members are all required to sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), and the audience is strongly reminded not to leak any information of the shows outcome. Each episode is taped several months in advance of actually being aired.

"Taping was on April 13 and five episodes are taped in one day. My family came with me, but did not come  to the studio, because you don't know when you will be selected to play and it would be a long day for my kids," Meuse said.

Meuse talked about the challenges facing contestants.

"Filming Jeopardy is a mentally exhausting experience. Since I taped a Thursday show, I was able to watch the three shows before me and some of the questions were really difficult. That made all of us in the contestant group pretty nervous. Once I got on stage, though, I feel like I found my groove and I'm very happy with my performance," he said.

Jeopardy contestants are a one-and-done breed. They are not allowed to try out again.

Meuse explained what he did to get ready for his episode.

"To prepare, I watched four or five episodes a day. I stood while I watched and answered clues in the form of a question. I even fashioned myself a buzzer and used a computer program to work on my buzzer reaction time. Once you get to the Jeopardy stage, everyone knows their stuff. Buzzer reaction time and managing stress and emotions are just as important on the stage. That said, I made flashcards about Shakespeare plays and art history," Meuse said.

Meuse has advice for people thinking about trying out for Jeopardy.

"First of all - Take the Online Test. You can't be a contestant if you don't take the test. If you do get the call, I found three books incredibly helpful: Secrets of the Buzzer by Fritz Holznagel, Get Ready by Buzzy Cohen, and Answers in the Form of a Question by Claire McNear," he offered.

Meuse spilled the tea about what goes on during the commercial break times.

"So during the commercial break, we don’t talk too much. Maybe a word of encouragement after a tough miss or a Daily Double. However, five shows are taped in one day, and so the contestants who aren’t playing comment on everything and end up becoming very close. In fact, we have all stayed in touch and shared pictures of our watch parties," he said.

Contestants actually do stay in touch with one another.

"The group of us that taped this week's shows have stayed in touch via email and we are sharing the pictures of our watch parties. My watch party is at East Greenwich Yacht Club tomorrow evening with family and friends," he said.

For Meuse, watching Jeopardy these days varies from before his experience onstage.

"I definitely watch Jeopardy a little differently. I can tell when someone is struggling with the buzzer or the pressure. I can tell when someone makes a bad wager on a Daily Double or Final Jeopardy immediately. And I'm always looking out for those stumper clues and grateful they weren't mine," he said.

Meuse is confident and hopeful his son will want to take the test as soon as he is old enough.

While Meuse lost in Final Jeopardy by only five dollars, it was an exciting ending to a close game.

To try out for Jeopardy, go to


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