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This local 12 year old will be on Jeopardy this month

If you answered, 'Who is Rowan Spake,' you'd be right. The Odyssey Program student was chosen out of more than 400 entrants to take part in Jeopardy! Kids Week, airing Oct. 5.
by: Jessie Kirk, Rowan Spake, 12, was chosen out of 400 students nationwide to compete on Jeopardy! Kids Week airing Oct. 5.

'We were watching Jeopardy one night and there was a commercial for Kids Jeopardy,' said Rowan Spake, a seventh grader in the Odyssey program at Hayhurst School in Multnomah.

Thinking it sounded fun, he got online and applied to be a contestant. The rest is history.

This month Spake will appear on Jeopardy Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.

Though he can't reveal whether he won or not, the experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the student who says he always wanted to be on a game show.

From 400 students nationwide, Spake was chosen as one of 15 to compete on the show. After applying online, he went to the regional auditions and took a 30-question test. The avid reader was one of ten who passed and made it through to the mock game show part of the audition.

Spake thought he would hear back from Jeopardy in the form of a letter, so a few weeks later he was surprised to find a cameraperson and reporter standing on his doorstep telling him he would be on the show. His parents had collaborated with the local lifestyle and news program AM Northwest to announce his good news on television.

'I was speechless,' Spake said. 'I was so surprised. I thought something was coming in the mail, then there was a reporter there with a microphone.'

Between learning he would be a contestant and the filming of the show, Spake prepared himself by watching episodes with a buzzer in hand.

The show was filmed on Aug. 30. Spake's mother and sister joined him in flying to Los Angeles. They stayed in West Hollywood and had a free day to visit the sites like the beach at Santa Monica, which Spake said he liked 'because the water was clear and warm.'

The 10 to 12 year olds participating in Kids Jeopardy all taped their shows on the same day. After going over the rules, they sat in the audience and cheered each other on while they won thousands of dollars and computers.

'At the filming I was really nervous because I was going to be on TV,' he said.

During down moments, host Alex Trebec met with each student.

'He was pretty nice-he was funny,' Spake said. I got my picture taken with him during a commercial break.'

Spake said the hardest part of the show was Final Jeopardy because there was only 30 seconds to answer the question.

Unlike adult Jeopardy where the winner of each show continues to the next episode, each student competes only once in Kids Jeopardy.

Next, Spake said he is thinking about trying out for the teen version of the show.

'I think it's a really cool game show. How you answer in the form of a question - I think it's a pretty cool concept.'