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Arts and Entertainment

Alaska ‘trivia nerd’ competes on Jeopardy!

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: October 16, 2018
  • Published October 13, 2018

Sarah Sinclair poses with Alex Trebek. Photo Courtesy: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.


Alaska's Sarah Sinclair finished second out of three contestants on the "Jeopardy!" game show Monday night, doing well in the Star Wars category and taking home $2,000.

But she lost to a man who was "very smart and fast on the buzzer," his second win in a row.

"I did not win, but I felt good about the way I performed," she said Tuesday.

Original story:

A self-described "trivia nerd" and a former valedictorian at Service High School will appear on the Jeopardy! game show Monday night, but Sarah Sinclair can't yet say how she did.

Sinclair, 38 and an Anchorage romance novelist, was in a buoyant mood in an interview on Saturday.

She insisted the show, win or lose, is a blast.

She got to briefly meet longtime host Alex Trebek, and wicked smart opponents with their own passion for facts.

"I had a great time," she said. "Anyone who's interested I highly recommend they take the test online."

Passing that test at early this year is how Sinclair eventually got to the show's Los Angeles studio in August.

Basic smarts helped.

Sinclair graduated from Service in 1998, with straight A's. Her pen names are Lizzie Shane and Vivi Andrews. She's currently writing a book for Hallmark Publishing.

Three of her books under the Shane pseudonym, including "Always a Bridesmaid," have been nominated for Romance Writers of America RITA awards. The awards are dubbed by the organization as "the symbol for excellence in published romance fiction."

"It's kind of a big deal," the author said.

Sinclair said her profession, and her Alaska residency, were unique attributes that likely helped her get selected for the show, after in-person auditions in Cleveland and Seattle.

What'd she study to prepare? You name it.

She watched lots of Jeopardy!, to practice phrasing her responses as questions. She brushed up on presidential minutiae, studied an online trivia archive, and reviewed bodies of water when a friend warned that's a frequent topic.

She read the 2018 World Almanac on the plane ride to California before the taping, she said.

"There was all sorts of crazy information in there," she said.

Contestants pay their way to the studio, so any winnings are welcome. Whether she landed any, she wouldn't say.

"It's definitely something you do because it's a bucket list item and you love it," she said.

Monday's show airs in Alaska at 6 p.m. on ABC, according to If Sinclair wins, she'll appear again on Tuesday.

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