ABC7's Reggie Aqui goes to 'Jeopardy!' audition

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Up to 3,000 people make it to the final audition of "Jeopardy!" every year, but just a fraction get on TV. ABC7 Morning News Anchor Reggie Aqui went to the Bay Area audition and found out that being brainy is just the first test. (KGO-TV)

If you watch "Jeopardy!" every night and yell the responses out to the TV, this story is for you. Every year, up to 3,000 people get invited to audition for the show. Unfortunately, ABC7 News Anchor Reggie Aqui was not one of them, but he went anyway.

It's not enough to be smart. Everyone at the audition has a mind worthy of "Jeopardy!"

Well, almost everyone.

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If you want to be 1 of the 400 who make it on TV every year, you have to beat thousands of others who pass an online test.

Knowledge gets you in the door and personality gets you on TV.

Palo Alto English teacher Marissa Klein auditioned in San Francisco for a second time.

"Favorite category, I'm obsessed with our 21st president Chester Carter. So anytime he comes up I'm excited," she said."

You also have to be good at the "Jeopardy!" rules. Please and thank you gets you nowhere. Just get to the category fast using a clear and uncomfortably loud voice.

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Then there's the buzzer.

"I've been in a panic about will I be able to push that little button in the right way?" said one woman at the audition.

Lights on the side of a big board show you when you can ring in. They go on, only after Alex Trebek finishes the answer. And no one interrupts Alex.

"If you ring in before he presses that button you are locked out for a quarter of a second," explained one worker.

Getting up and playing is the real test.

I won't be on "Jeopardy!" anytime soon. Keep looking on TV for these folks, thought. Chances are a few of them will be facing the music.

Watch "Jeopardy!" every weekday at 7 p.m. on ABC7 News.
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entertainmentjeopardyalex trebekcompetitiontelevisiondistractionSan Francisco
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