Memphis law student who grew up watching “Jeopardy!” is second Memphian this month to appear on the show


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A University of Memphis Law student and American history buff will get to show what he knows Friday on “Jeopardy!”

Trenton Woodley is the second Memphian this month to appear on the popular CBS quiz show.

Memphis woman fulfilling lifelong dream with ‘Jeopardy!’ appearance

“I thought I might have the chance. I’ve taken the test about five different times,” said Woodley.

Woodley auditioned for “Jeopardy!” back in the fall via Zoom, and flew to California three months ago to tape the show. Sadly, he said it all happened right before longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away from pancreatic cancer.

Alex Trebek’s ‘Jeopardy!’ wardrobe donated to The Doe Fund

“I loved Alex,” said Woodley. “After I got into the contestant pool, it was a real shock. Well, not a shock. We knew he was sick. It was a blow.”

A couch-playing contestant for years, Woodley said he never really saw anyone from Memphis on “Jeopardy!” and wanted to change that.

He took a trivia book with him to prepare for the show and said the experience was even better than he imagined.

“Just to get the chance to go out there and be on the Sony lot during that time and meet the other contestants for those weeks who will be on the show also and then sitting and watching the show because when you weren’t playing, you got the chance to sit and watch the show going on with other contestants,” said Woodley. “We were the audience because no one was really allowed in.”

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The third-year law student, though, admits the bright lights, the buzzers, and two worthy competitors made the game a lot more challenging. He’s mum on how well he did on the show but said a lot of it is still a blur.

“To tell you the honest truth, I remember two things I answered, and that’s it,” said Woodley.

Woodley, who is working as a graduate assistant at the U of M School of Law this summer, is planning a low-key “watch party ” in the student lounge Friday afternoon.

“I wish my grandmother could have been around. She passed away a few years ago, and that was our shared love,” said Woodley. “We used to watch the show together even in person or away. You know, text or call each other about the show. And so that was one of our things. I know if she was here, she would be really happy to watch the show.”

Verlinda Johnson Henning of Memphis won on “Jeopardy!” earlier this month.

“Jeopardy!” airs each day at 3:30 p.m. on WREG, Channel 3.

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