By Abby Cloud | Photo: Mark Starlite
This local is a bookseller at independent bookstore Midtown Reader, a PhD candidate in the Creative Writing program at Florida State University, and is currently preparing for her first appearance on “Jeopardy!” this coming fall. Who is it?
You guessed it—Tallahassee’s very own Laurel Lathrop! This fall, she will be featured on the timeless American game show “Jeopardy!” to test her trivia knowledge.
Lathrop recently announced her achievement through the Midtown Reader Facebook page in a video, and she couldn’t be more excited for this unique opportunity. As previously stated, Lathrop is extensively a part of the Creative Writing program at FSU. “I teach at FSU—composition, literature, and creative writing—and work as the assistant to the Creative Writing Program director,” she says. “Other than trivia, my hobbies include reading, singing in the Tallahassee Community Chorus, and watching movies,” she shares.
For Lathrop, her passion for trivia developed naturally. “I’ve always been good at trivia,” Lathrop remarks. “My brain just naturally gathers up random little bits of information.” On a whim, Lathrop decided to complete the “Jeopardy!” online assessments to see if she could qualify as a contestant. “There are open online auditions twice a year that consist of 50-question tests you take at the same time as hundreds of thousands of other people,” Lathrop describes. She thought of this as a fun way to test herself against other people.
After her online tests, Lathrop received an email saying that she qualified to audition in person. She traveled to Savannah, Georgia where they held a written test and a sample round of the game show. “After that, the “Jeopardy!” team said they would be in touch with a small percentage of us sometime in the next 18 months,” explains Lathrop. “I tried to have zero expectations that I’d actually be called—thousands of people audition in person and only a few hundred make it on the show.”
Fortunately for Lathrop, she was one of the few hundred to get this opportunity. “It was exciting to hear that I had made it. It’s an incredible opportunity, but I’m also very nervous!” she adds. Lathrop is looking forward to her family joining her for the live-taping in California come early August. “Of course I’m looking forward to testing my knowledge against the other “Jeopardy!” contestants and meeting Alex Trebek, as well.”
The episode featuring Lathrop is set to air in late September or early October, so be sure to tune in and support this resident of the Capital City!