Q&A with Tracy Pitzel

Q&A with Tracy Pitzel

Stephanie Davison, Staff Reporter

Meet Tracy Pitzel, CWU accountant and recent contestant on the iconic television game show, Jeopardy. Pitzel competed on Sep 20th, nearly defeating Matt Amodio, who as of now has won 38 consecutive games. Pitzel is a CWU graduate who has also worked at the university for the past six years. 

Q: What was the process like for becoming a contestant on Jeopardy

A: I took the Jeopardy online test in Spring 2019 and was invited to an in-person audition in Seattle with 50 or so other contestants in July 2019. Apparently, around 70,000 people took the test, and only the top 10% were considered for an audition, and not everyone that auditioned made it onto the show. The pandemic delayed taping for a good portion of 2020, and I wasn’t actually able to tape until Summer 2021. It’s heartbreaking that I wasn’t able to meet Alex Trebek but getting to meet Mayim Bialik was really great! The day we taped was one of the best days of my life – I was able to meet so many cool people from all over the country, and it was exciting to be on set. It felt like I was in the Olympics.

Q: What categories of trivia do you tend to do the best in? 

A: Literature, music, baseball, and geography are my best categories. At one point, I would have said movies, but if you’ve seen my episode, you’d know that’s not true *facepalm/groan*.

Q: How did you prepare for Jeopardy before competing? 

A: I needed to be fast on the buzzer, and I knew from my in-person audition that you can’t buzz in until the host finishes speaking. I took the toilet paper holder (you know, the kind with the spring inside) out of my spare bathroom and used that to practice ringing in while watching the show every evening. It helped A LOT. Other than that, I didn’t really study.

Q: What are your favorite hobbies? 

A: I like to keep busy, and I have so many hobbies! I love to read; my nose is always in a book. I am a great cook, and love to try new recipes. I play a few different instruments, and currently, I’m learning the accordion. I sew and crochet, too. 

Q: What are your favorite movies? 

A: I love to laugh, so I’m all about comedies; The Big Lebowski, Tommy Boy, Groundhog Day, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Girls Trip, The Great Outdoors.