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Montana man set to compete on "Jeopardy!"

Stuart Crane of Kalispell
Posted at 10:06 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 19:09:24-05

Stuart Crane of Kalispell is set to compete on "Jeopardy!" on the episode that airs on Thursday, February 4th. Born and raised in Montana, Crane has lived in Kalispell since 2011 with his wife and two kids. He is a graduate of Montana State University.

He applied to be a contestant in 2017, and finally got the call to compete in November 2020. “You never know when you take the test if you’re good enough or not, some people will take the test and do well enough but just don’t get randomly selected among the many people who pass, so a little bit of luck and a lot of waiting,” Crane said.

But knowing the questions to the answers is only part of the battle - there's also the signaling device: “There isn’t a lot of opportunity to get used to it, and it’s heftier than I thought which was nice. I used two hands, so plenty of force if I needed it.”

Crane says his panel of contestants on taping day may have set a new record for the iconic quiz show: “The panel that I was with, we joked that we may have been the shortest panel ever to appear on Jeopardy!, they had to lift all of us about 18 inches off of the stage on a little riser so they could see us over the podiums.”

Crane says going into taping he had a list of categories he was secretly hoping for including baseball cards and downhill skiing, but unfortunately those two didn’t make the cut. "I had my bugaboo topics, I was hoping there was no poetry, of course there was. I was hoping there was not a lot of religion or Bible questions, I think I did luck out there pretty well,” Crane said.

Crane says his entire experience on the set was amazing, including his time spent backstage with his fellow competitors: "We got to use the Wheel of Fortune studio as our staging area because we could spread out in there, they weren’t taping Wheel of Fortune as we were taping in Jeopardy. I did learn that you do not bring donuts to a gathering during COVID times.”

Crane will be competing against Gina Damico and returning champion Nicole Kozdron.

The episode will air on KRTV at 6 p.m.