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“Jeopardy!” Update: Local Whiz Kid Wins $31,800 on Trivia Show

12-year-old Piedmont resident Thomas Horn took home first place—and an impressive cash haul—on Jeopardy! Thursday night.

Well, 12-year-old Thomas Horn from Piedmont certainly looked smart in his sharp sweater vest and it turns out he has the brains to match the wardrobe. Horn took home first place on Jeopardy! Thursday night (it's Kids Week all this week), winning an impressive $31,800 plus an all expenses paid vacation to one of five locations. Horn told us previously he'd like to go to Alaska—read on below to check out the full interview (which took place a few days before the contest) with this unusually articulate whiz kid ...



Diablo: How did you get into trivia?

Horn: I have always liked reading books about facts and trivia as well as history. I also love to talk to people about what’s going on in the world and learning through conversation.

What kind of questions were you hoping they would ask?

My specialties are history, geography, and to a certain extent literature, so I was hoping they would ask questions about U.S. presidents, world capitals, and French writers. I’m terrible at music and pop culture so I didn’t want them to ask anything about that.

How did you prepare for the show? Did you practice your buzzer skills?

I watched lots of jeopardy and took online quizzes. I also bought quiz books that my parents used to quiz me. The buzzing in was nerve racking. I had a hard time with the buzzer at first during my audition and practice sessions but eventually I got the hang of it.

Have you always been a fan of Jeopardy?

I’ve been a fan of the show for about a year now. I first learned about Kids Week when I was watching and there was an advertisement for kids to take an online test. I registered for the test and a while later was called for an audition in L.A. I was nervous when I played the game but it was definitely exciting to meet Alex Trebek.

The winners of Kids Jeopardy get to take a family vacation to one of five locations. If you won which vacation would you choose?

I think I would choose the trip to Alaska because I have never been there and it seems like a beautiful trip. Also it’s not too far from home.

Would you want to do Jeopardy! again as an adult?

I would do it again and I it would be nice to have an advantage since I have already done it.

Kids Week airs on CBS (KGO-TV) at 7 p.m., July 5th through 9th.