Not much stumps Michael Bindis, Ph.D., assistant professor of education at the Mount. That is until he was asked, “What question eliminated you on Jeopardy!?”
“I actually can’t remember,” Bindis admits. “I knew the Daily Double and wanted to say, ‘Alex, let’s make this a true Daily Double,’ but I didn’t get the chance because someone else picked it.”
Bindis’s love of trivia started when he was on his high school’s quiz bowl team. He later became an advisor and even wrote questions used for quiz bowl competitions. A few years later in 2008, he decided to try out for the game show, Jeopardy!.
“I had to take a 50-question online quiz first,” Bindis says. “I passed that and had to take a test in person.”
He drove from his home in Cleveland to Chicago where he took the written test. After the written test, Bindis played a mock game. A month later, he received a phone call inviting him to be on Jeopardy!, Season 25. (See this link: http://www.j-archive.com/showplayer.php?player_id=5398)
“I had to pay my own way to Los Angeles to be on the show,” he says. “Luckily I was able to stay with friends so I didn’t have to pay for a hotel room.”
At the taping, Bindis and the other contestants had a chance to rehearse at the podiums. He was selected to play on the second of the shows taped which meant it would air on a Tuesday. Bindis said everything was going great until the show actually started.
“I was at the middle podium and I had buzzer problems,” he explains. “I was hitting my buzzer too soon. If you hit your buzzer before Alex (Trebek) finishes reading the question, it locks you out. It’s all about timing.”
Bindis said the experience was a lot of fun, but he came in second place in his episode with $1. He ended up leaving with $2,000 in prize money.
“In the end, I came out a winner. I was able to pay for my airline ticket and then have a little left over,” he says.
Michael Bindis has his Ph.D. in chemical education and M.A. in education. His research interests include the promotion and development of pedagogical content knowledge in pre-service science teachers through additional experiences in teaching science to secondary students.