Windward Student Appears on Jeopardy This Week
Neha Embar, a Webb Bridge Middle School student, took part in Jeopardy Kids' Week.
CORRECTION: The 2012 Summer Olympics have "bumped" Jeopardy from the local NBC affiliate to WATL-36 this week.
A Webb Bridge Middle School student has taken skills she learned at home and Academic Bowl at school to find a place on Jeopardy.
Neha Embar, a 12-year-old Windward resident, can be seen this week on the TV quiz show with host Alex Trebek. The show airs at 7:30 p.m. on WATL 36.
"She has always bee interested in trivia, quiz bowls," said her mother, Seema Embar.
Neha was part of the state champion Webb Bridge Academic Bowl team last school year.
"I've always been interested in current events," Neha said. "My mom's kind of the one that got me started."
The family has a dinnertime ritual of watching Jeopardy.
She said her fifth grade academic coach, Mrs. Becker, helped her on the path to Jeopardy.
"I watch the news every day, that's a great help," Neha said. "Current events is in a lot of trivia."
Her Academic Bowl team has a lot of practice sessions and meets three times a week.
"I learned a lot from them," she said. "I also like to read a lot, so that kind of helped me."
Neha said she loves "The Princess Diary" series, and books by Meg Cabot.
She learned about Jeopardy Kids Week by watching it in previous years. When she became old enough, Neha said she figured she might as well try out. First you must take an online test. The show will select a kid to audition if enough answers are correct. She was picked, and auditions were held in downtown Atlanta.
"They basically took a whole bunch of kids and we practiced Jeopardy for a little while, and we answered a few questions. I guess I just appealed to them," Neha said.
The kids weren't notified immediately after auditioning. She learned she was picked for the show after going back to school
"I had just had a really bad day at school. It was really great knowing that;
that just made my day," Neha said.
The whole family flew to Los Angeles for the show – her mother, father and her 10-year-old sister. After a day of sightseeing, she spent a day filming the show.
Neha wasn't allowed to talk about how she did on the show, but she did get to tell a little bit about her experiences.
"I would say that you have to be careful with when you buzz in and the answer you know," she said. "I definitely likened it a lot to Academy Bowl."
What you see at home on the TV screen is different from how it looks in person.
"The set looks a lot different than you could imagine it would look like. Things are in different places," Neha said.
Alex Trebek was very nice and funny.
"I love his personality," she said.
"My friends are really happy for me because they know how much it meant to me. I know they thought it was pretty cool. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity," Neha said.
And now it's time to go back to school.
"I'm looking forward to school, seeing all my friends again," she said.
Her favorite subjects are math and social studies. But she doesn't spend all of her time on academics.
"I love to dance. I dance about three times a week," Neha said.
She has plans for her future.
"I would like to be a pediatrician," she said. "I love helping people and I really like kids. I thought that would really be the perfect blend of both."