Former MTN News journalist Ian Marquand will compete on "Jeopardy!"

Posted at 2:35 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 11:37:10-04

(UPDATE, APRIL 26) Former Montana news broadcaster/journalist Ian Marquand did not win during his appearance on "Jeopardy!" on Tuesday, but played a very competitive game.

During the contestant chat with host Ken Jennings after the first commercial break, Marquand talked about the Montana Academic Challenge that he created and hosted for several years when he lived in the Treasure State.

At the end of the two rounds and headed into Final Jeopardy, returning champ Dillon Hupp had $10,600; Marquand had $11,600; and Johanna Stoberock had $15,600.

The Final Jeopardy! clue, in the category TV History, was: "The 1980s 'Magnum P.I.' used a soundstage of this long-running drama that had just ended, and even referred to its lead character."

All three contestants were wrong; the correct response was "Hawaii Five-O."

The final scores were: Hupp, $0; Marquand, $600; Stoberock, $6,999.

(1st REPORT, APRIL 25) A face familiar to many Montanans will be front and center on Tuesday's (April 25) episode of "Jeopardy!"

Longtime Montana journalist and now Los Angeles resident Ian Marquand made it through the many rounds of testing to be selected as a contestant.

He said family and friends encouraged him to try out because they were tired of always losing trivia contests to him.

We knew he’d have no trouble with nerves since he’s used to being on TV, so we asked him how it felt on-stage as host Ken Jennings asked the questions - er, provided the answers.

Ian Zoom
Longtime Montana journalist and now Los Angeles resident Ian Marquand says family and friends encouraged him to try out because they were tired of always losing trivia contests to him.

"The categories can come from absolutely anywhere, so it’s really hard to, if you will, study for it. I know people have written about how they've gone about studying for it but not everything is a 'knowledge' category. Some of them are like brain teasers, you just have to think in certain parameters and try and come up with the answer," he explained.

“The main thing is you have your button in your hand and you're doing this all the time but you're not supposed to ring in too early or there's a slight delay so you might get locked out so you're trying to time it and pump that button as often as you can," he continued.

Ian shared some more about getting on the show:

"It's kind of a long process. It’s multi-stage. The first thing that happens is anybody can take the online test. You just go to Jeopardy.com and you do the test, you just answer a bunch of questions and submit that.

And then a while later, I got a call to be on a live group test that was done online with a number of other people. And so everybody gets the same questions and you type in your answers as quickly as you can and then that gets submitted and then time goes by. And last June I was invited to an in-person audition. And it turns out we were the very first people to do an in-person audition for Jeopardy since the pandemic.

Months go by and finally earlier this year I got the call that they first wanted me to be an alternate. They have certain people they call on from southern California who are in the neighborhood who can just be there at the set in case somebody doesn’t show up. So I was there as an alternate and then I got picked to be on the show.

I felt very comfortable on the set. It really didn’t scare me and I think a lot of people were pretty nervous. I wasn’t nervous about being on the set, it’s a fabulous set that they have and it felt very comfortable.

The strangest thing was just going through the makeup process and sitting in the chair and getting the full makeup treatment, not that it was heavy. But just being made up was an interesting experience. I have had that happen before because I've done some background acting out here. In fact, I was on American Auto earlier this month."

Ian told us it was a wonderful experience. Of course, we won’t know how well he did until the show airs Tuesday at 6 p.m. on KRTV.

Ian was the creator and host of the Montana Academic Challenge, a high school knowledge competition similar to "Jeopardy!" that ran for more than a dozen years across the state.


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