Ask Cathy Markwiese About Jeopardy! ... but not just yet

Posted by Lisa Strand on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 in Libraries in the News
Milwaukee--Milwaukee Public Library's own Cathy Markwiese (Database Maintenance) will be appearing on Jeopardy! the week of July 25th. But don’t ask her about it just yet. Cathy is under contractual obligation not to discuss how she did until after her appearance. But be sure to tune in the week of July 25th to see for yourself.

Cathy took the online test for Jeopardy! in January of 2010. “I had just finished chemotherapy and was feeling kind of broken,” Cathy said. “I wanted to do something that would make me feel like myself again.”

After completing the online quiz, Cathy was invited to Chicago in August to compete with other finalists before being chosen to appear on the program. “I met some really amazing people,” Cathy said. “The whole experience was really kind of mind-blowing for me.”

So what’s it like onstage at Jeopardy!? The show only records on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  A week’s worth of shows are taped in a single day.  Each contestant station has an individual elevated platform that can be raised to make all the contestants appear at the same height. “At each filming break one of the crew would come running over and say ‘Can we help you down, Cathy?’ since my platform had to be raised quite high.”

The buzzers are super-sensitive and you’re “blocked out” if you try to answer the question too quickly. A member of the crew activates a frame of lights around the board to signal when contestants can try to answer.

Host Alex Trebek was very interested in Cathy and her story and made a point after the show of getting to talk to her about her experience. “He asked me all about the chemotherapy and what it was like,” she said. “He kind of made a bee-line for me after the program and left the other contestants to talk amongst themselves.”

So tune in and see how you stack up against Cathy and the other contestants. While we don’t know yet how she did, there’s no question she represented MPL with her usual class and character.
--Sandra Rusch Walton, MPL Marketing & Public Relations Officer
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