Hannah Nekritz ’23 competes in ‘Jeopardy!’ high school reunion tournament

Jeopardy host mayim bialik and Hannah Nekritz '23Photo/courtesy, Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik and Hannah Nekritz on set in Culver City, California.

Update, March 3, 2023: Hannah Nekritz took second place in her appearance on "Jeopardy!" on March 2. Read a recap of the episode here.

When Hannah Nekritz ’23 left the set of “Jeopardy!” in 2019 after competing in the Teen Tournament, she thought she had just had the experience of a lifetime.

As it turns out, she would get to have that experience one more time. Nekritz – a neuroscience major from Stamford, Connecticut – was studying abroad in Ireland when she got an unexpected message in her email inbox. The “Jeopardy!” production team wanted to know if she'd like to come back to compete again.

“Myself and the other contestants, none of us ever thought that we would be coming back. I didn’t expect to hear anything from them again,” Nekritz said. “So to get that first email, I kind of didn't believe it at first. But I didn’t hesitate for second. I absolutely wanted to do it again."

Nekritz is part of the first-ever “Jeopardy! High School Reunion Tournament,” which began airing February 20 and runs through March 9. The show brings back contestants from the show's two Teen Tournaments held in 2019 to compete against each other again. The episodes were taped last month in Culver City, California. Nekritz’s appearance airs March 2, with the possibility of future dates if she wins. The reunion tournament features a grand prize of $100,000 and a spot in the “Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.”

"To not only get invited back, but to be able to go back again with the same people I competed with before, it was a bit surreal and it was a lot of fun," she said. “This was my first official high school reunion of any kind, so it was quite a fun place to go for a high school reunion.”

Nekritz grew up watching “Jeopardy!” at home with her parents. As she watched the tournaments for kids and teens, she noticed she knew most of the answers. As a high schooler, she decided to take the contestant test online and eventually was selected for competition in the “Teen Tournament,” an annual “Jeopardy!” tournament for high schoolers. She reached the semi-finals, earning a $10,000 prize.

“It was very much my first introduction into the world of trivia. When I went to the teen tournament, a lot of the other contestants I met were on their high school quiz bowl teams,” she said. “And so it was after that that I started to do quiz bowl and do trivia nights, and kind of get into it.”

Nekritz will be entering a masters program in prosthetics and orthotics at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall. As for future “Jeopardy!” plans?

“Who knows? Here's hoping that some time down the road, I’ll be back again,” she said.

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