Friday, February 1, 2019

NBU member competes on Jeopardy

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek and Sean Thompson Jeopardy host Alex Trebek and Sean Thompson

You couldn’t see it from your television screen, but Sean Thompson assures everyone it was happening.
While standing on the set of the game show Jeopardy, he appeared confident and relaxed. However, the members of the Clerical and Regulatory component represented by the New Brunswick Union said he was nervous.
“You couldn’t see it because of the podium, but my knees were shaking for the entire first round,” Thompson said. “I was buzzing in too soon and getting locked out.”
He quickly found his footing on the show which aired on Jan. 30, 2019. After the initial jitters, he began rattling off answer after answer including two Daily Doubles.
All told he finished the opening round in first place with $11,000 and had increased that total to $21,200 by the end of Double Jeopardy. Unfortunately, the Final Jeopardy clue was his undoing. He guessed wrong on the final clue, but finished with $15,200, good enough for second place.
Thompson said his appearance on Jeopardy is a culmination of his love of trivia.
“I’ve always loved games and my love of trivia grew from that,” he said.
While attending Kennebecasis Valley High School in Quispamsis he was part of two provincial championship teams from the school who competed in Reach for the Top, a trivia competition.
He went on to study both journalism and history at St. Thomas University all the while taking the entry tests online to compete on Jeopardy. During his time at STU he applied for a summer job through the SEED program and was hired by the Kennebecasis Valley Library.
“After one week working there, I fell in love with it,” he said. “It didn’t feel like a job.”
Upon graduation, he continued along this career path. He’s currently the Acting Community Library Services Assistant at the Saint John Free Public Library in the uptown portion of the Port City. He credits his job with improving his trivia skills.
“Working in the library, especially where I work, part of the job is answering people’s questions and finding answers for them,” he said. “It keeps your mind interested and making the right connections in order to help people find what they’re looking for.”
His colleagues were just as excited as him for his appearance on the game throwing him a surprise party before he left as well as making ‘Team Sean’ pins to show their support.
In addition to competing on Jeopardy, Sean and his father Stephen – who traveled with him in the trip – got to enjoy other parts of California apart from the Culver City studio where the show is filmed. They visited museums and art galleries as well as a theatre performance that reminded him of home.
“After the taping, we went downtown and a travelling company of ‘Come from Away’ was there, so we took in the show,” he said.
Come from Away is a musical set in the week following the September 11 attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland.
“I know it’s about Newfoundland, but it really hit home with me. It had a real Atlantic Canada feel.”
During the portion of the show where host Alex Trebek talks with each contestant, Thompson mentioned he’s a curler, so it was fitting he was coming off the ice at Thistle St. Andrews Curling Club as the show was airing.
“I watched it after a league game finished,” he said. “I had friends and family there. It was slightly surreal seeing myself on TV. It was a much different perspective than standing on the set during the taping.
“I’ve had a lot of support and good wishes for months,” he said of his appearance which was filmed in December of 2018. “It was a great experience.”