Like most college seniors, Mt. Airy resident Sarah Bart is anxiously awaiting graduation.
The difference with this 22-year-old and others is, a little over a month ago, she won the second place prize of $50,000 from being on Jeopardy! College Championship. She was the first Goucher College student to participate in the show. Goucher is in Baltimore, where she is majoring in history.
The February competition was actually her second time trying out for Jeopardy. That is why she tells future participants to believe in themselves and keep trying.
“If you feel confident about what you know, just go for it,” said Bart. “Just keep trying out and if you get on the show and even if you don’t win, it’s still an awesome experience. Just have fun with it.”
The year-long try out process included a timed online test of 50 questions, an in-studio test, meet and greet with producers, a written test of 50 additional questions and a practice round complete with buzzers.
Bart said she didn’t really prepare because there was nothing you could actually study. She said it was just random knowledge that you already knew.
Luckily, her dad has been unintentionally preparing her for the championship her whole life. Instead of reading bed time stories, her dad would ask her trivia questions mostly about Roman history and the Civil War, which Bart attributes to the reason the topics came so easy to her. Not surprisingly
Upon winning, Bart said she planned to use her earnings to travel to London for Spring Break and buy a new car. She just returned from her trip, but the car is on the back burner in hopes of getting a job with the New York Mets, an opportunity she received after stating that she would like to be the team’s general manager someday. She said receiving the call from the baseball team was the best part of the whole experience.
“I didn’t even know what to say about that. It’s basically my dream job and just them calling me and being interested in me was…incredible,” said Bart.
She is expected to hear from this month so for now, the 2009 Saturn Aura family car will have to suffice.
Even though the Mt. Airy resident has been all over the press, she said things are pretty normal. The media coverage has dwindled and people are really nice when they recognize her face.
She describes the whole experience as “weird,” but somehow she has been able to maintain her level–headed and calm demeanor, something she wished she was able to do on the show.
“I would have liked to appear more confident on screen, but it’s hard to get used to the nervousness you feel,” said Bart. “Watching it, I was like ‘oh my gosh, be more positive and smiley, you are on TV.'”
During the two-day taping of the show, she became really good friends with the contestants. Bart said they still chat on-line through a private Facebook page titled “Trebkstacy”, but it is hard because none of the former contestants live near one another.