New Brunswick

Saint John teacher still in running for Jeopardy! tournament

A wild card spot on the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament could still be open to a Saint John teacher, depending on how well the other contestants do on the TV show, airing Friday night.

Maryanne Lewell placed third on Thursday's show, but still has a shot at a wild card spot

A teacher from Saint John, N.B., who was the only Canadian to qualify for the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament, placed third in the TV game show that aired Thursday night.

But Maryanne Lewell may get to play again, depending on how well the other contestants do during Friday night's show.

The episode was actually filmed in California at the end of October, but Lewell isn't allowed to discuss the results.

A wild card spot could still be open for her because of the way the Teachers Tournament is structured.

Lewell aced final Jeopardy! during Thursday night's show, answering her question correctly and doubling her score to $18,800.

But she came in third — one dollar behind the second place contestant.

John Pearson, from Texas, won the game.

Lewell says her favourite part of the game was when she started to clear the Canadian geography category.

"I got Canadian geography. I had no idea that they even had Canadian geography. They are truly random, and, the American history — the first hundred years — that was a little bit more challenging," she told CBC News.

"There was a question about Shakespeare quotes that had 'ho' in them — you know, 'What ho,' and 'Oh ho.' And I kept on trying to buzzer in, but John is really really good on that buzzer."

Lewell says standing at the Jeopardy! podium is stressful, but the best thing to do is just try to block it out.

"You're in the moment, right, and you're trying to just be in that moment and to ignore everything else because if you let yourself think, 'OK, well, there's going to be millions of people watching this,' then you'd freeze," she said.

"The best thing to do is just to ignore all of the trappings of it, to ignore as much as you can — the lights, the TV, Johnny Gilbert saying your name. You know, if you ignore all of that, if you manage to do it and just play the game, you'll be fine."

Lewell had to complete an online test, an in-person audition and a mock quiz game with other contestants before she made it onto the show.

Competing on Jeopardy! was something she'd wanted to do since she was a child, she said.