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Clark Dawson: The ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Who Waited 10 Years to Be on the Show

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Jul 12, 2022
08:00 P.M.
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Clark Dawson's perseverance paid off after a long time when the producers of the famous game show "Jeopardy!" picked her to appear on the show as a contestant. Let's look back on the unforgettable participation of Clark Dawson in the legendary program.

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"Jeopardy!" is the longest-running game show on American television and continues to be one of the most popular programs today. The first show aired from 1964 until 1975.

The popular game show program "The All-New Jeopardy!" was reintroduced in 1978 and ran until 1979. The program was renamed after its original title, and brand new episodes premiered in 1984.

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WHO IS CLARK DAWSON? ALL WE KNOW ABOUT THE JEOPARDY CONTESTANT WHO WAITED 10 YEARS TO BE ON THE SHOW

Clark Dawson, a lawyer from Columbia, South California, was one of the fortunate few who entered the game as an official participant. But it was not an easy path for her.

In a recent interview with The State, Dawson revealed that she had waited for a decade to be part of the game show. It had been a long time coming; she had been taking the exam repeatedly every year.

To become an official contestant of the award-winning game show, potential contestants must first complete an online "Jeopardy!" exam with 50 clues from 50 categories.

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Participants have 15 seconds to respond to the provided clue; if they fail, they may only take the test once every 12 months. Those who pass the test and meet the minimum requirements are placed in a pool and picked at random.

Dawson received a call and was picked as a contestant in November 2021. The show aired on January 13, 2022, and was hosted by Ken Jennings, a book author, and television presenter.

Ken Jennings of the "Jeopardy!" pictured in December 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Ken Jennings of the "Jeopardy!" pictured in December 2019. | Source: Getty Images

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To participate, Dawson and the other selected participants flew to California and slept in hotels at their own expense. She also said that the "Jeopardy!" team was extremely kind and even provided them lunch.

Dawson recounted her experience on the set of the most prestigious game show, where she and the other contestants filmed and rehearsed the program's episode.

According to Dawson, mastering the buzzer was the most challenging aspect of the program. But she soon learned it, saying one should learn the buzzer's rhythm.

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Dawson and her family in Columbia had long been avid viewers of the classic game show, so she was already familiar with it. Since she was a little girl, she had been captivated by the game. Dawson said:

"It was a really big bucket list for me."

Dawson said she was pleased with how far she got on the program, despite her 15 minutes of fame being brief. Her whole family, especially her grandma, was proud of her.

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Despite missing the last question, which involved a quote from Victor Hugo, Dawson still managed to come in third place and win $3,995. She lost to Amy Schneider, who eventually $32,800.

When Schneider won for the sixth week in a row, she set a new record for the longest-reigning winner on the program. It means that she has accumulated over a million worth of winnings.

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Schneider has the third-most wins in the game show's history. Meanwhile, Dawson, who has a young daughter, said Schneider was formidable. She described her opponent as "genuinely kind."

Amid her loss, Dawson earned praises online. The University of South Carolina Colle of Law took to Twitter to support her inspiring journey to be featured in the acclaimed game show.

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WAS THE EXPERIENCE WORTH THE WAIT FOR CLARK DAWSON?

Dawson thought the long wait to join "Jeopardy!" was worthwhile. The real estate attorney described the experience as "overwhelming" since many people had approached her after her brief appearance on the game show.

She also recommended that potential participants interested in testing their luck on the program should consider participating. Dawson continued, saying, "It's not hard, and it's fun."

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