HOMER, N.Y. - Ever since he was a boy, Justin Vossler has been a fan of Jeopardy!
“My grandmother was a big fan of the show,” he says. “If we happened to be at their house when Jeopardy was on, she would always invite us inside to ‘exercise our brains.’”
A few years ago, Vossler saw an advertisement for the quiz show’s online qualification test, which is taken by about 10,000 people each time it is offered. Nothing came of it.
After taking the quiz again last summer, however, Vossler got a call in October from a Jeopardy! producer who invited him to audition in New York City. He took another test (this one was timed), went through an interview process, and was told he could expect to hear back from the show’s producers within the next 18 months.
In March, he got the call. The following month, the episode was filmed.
“Of those 2,000 or 3,000 people they audition, only about 400 are selected,” Vossler said.
Vossler, who lives in Homer, has been teaching history at Moravia High School for the past six years. The 28-year-old native of Wellsville, N.Y., received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo and his master’s degree from SUNY Cortland.
Besides teaching, Vossler says he enjoys reading, music, and traveling.
Vossler says he has already informed the Moravia school superintendent and the high school principal about his upcoming appearance on the quiz show, which is currently in its 33rd season of syndication.
“It’s become a big news item,” he said. “The kids know.”
Some students are holding their own viewing parties, though Vossler says he plans to watch the episode with his family in Wellsville.
The episode will air Thurs., July 20, at 7:30 p.m on WSYT FOX Syracuse (CBS).