A Southwest Missouri teen takes a trip to the West Coast to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Lamar High School junior Autumn Shelton is one of fifteen teens who will be competing on Jeopardy! as part of the teen tournament. The story started early this year, with an online test and an in person interview. The truth is the story began more than a decade ago, when she was watching Jeopardy! with her family. That turned into a dream of one day being on the show. And earlier this year, she set that dream in motion.
“I saw in January that they were going to have the teen test in March, and I so I had it planned and registered since January,” says Autumn Shelton.
Autumn says there were ten-thousand teens from across the nation who took the test. Out of those, only 150 potential contestants were brought in for interviews. And then they had to wait to find out who the 15 contestants would be.
“July 26th, in the middle of Walmart, my mom gets a call, and she’s like incredibly excited and yelling, and I’m like, what’s the problem? we’re looking at milk,” says Autumn Shelton.
Mom tells the story a little differently.
“I was not screaming, I was trying to keep my composure. I was in Walmart, but it was pretty exciting to know that you finally went from ten-thousand down to one of fifteen,” says Teresa Shelton, Autumn’s mom.
Autumn says from there, she really didn’t do any extra studying. She just followed her routine, and focused on her regular academics. She can’t tell us much about the taping until the show airs later this fall, but she can tell us this much:
“I am pro Alex being shaved. It’s a very unpopular opinion, but I’m pro that,” says Autumn Shelton.
Autumn says meeting Alex Trebek was just one highlight of the trip. And after so many years of watching him on TV, he didn’t disappoint.
“Alex Trebek has this aura around him of, like, excellence and intelligence, but what no one ever sees is that behind the stage during commercial breaks he cracks all of these jokes that you would never expect to come out of his mouth,” says Autumn Shelton.
And it wasn’t just Trebek who left a lasting impression on her.
“Everyone was so friendly, even though all of us were from California, to Missouri, to New Jersey, like, all together in this,” says Shelton.
The show is set to air right here on KSN Tuesday, November 13th.