Rob Worman was never going to make a career out of being on television quiz shows – and that isn’t changing after his six-day run on Jeopardy! But he enjoyed watching the ride play out.
Worman’s winnings totaled more than $133,000 – including his highest-to-date total of $37,999 on Monday. The success has made Worman’s Twitter account a must follow, where he gives insights on the day’s round – and pokes fun at himself at the same time.
Ah yes, the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade
It is one of my favorite MARCH traditions.
— Rob Worman (R🙂b) (@rob_worman) February 21, 2018
Worman works as an escalation manager for Veritas Technologies in Roseville. The timing of the episodes airing – 4:30 p.m. – means the show has turned into a daily watch party in the company cafeteria.
“My job is a lot of hand-holding, which doesn’t hurt when it comes to game shows,” he said. “Skill No. 1 beyond knowing presidents is grace under pressure. My heart rate never went above 100. I was cool and calm. I was having fun. There’s no fear when you’re having fun.”
This run comes after he played (and won) on the syndicated versions of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” and “The Weakest Link.” But Jeopardy! was always the brass ring – an idea he says his dad put in his head.
“When I was 16 we ended up making a road trip from Central Ohio where I grew up to Pittsburgh to try out for Teen Jeopardy!” said Worman. “I don’t think that was all my idea.”
Worman went to a “cattle call” at Mystic Lake to be on “The Weakest Link”; he didn’t get picked but ended up in their system.
“They came around for the syndicated show and got on in 2002,” he said. “I had no expectations of winning, but I won $29,000. It was the down payment for our first house.”
Seven years later, he got on the syndicated version of “Millionaire” in 2009 and earned $25,000. But in the quiz-show world, Jeopardy! is still the “brass ring.”
Last summer, he took the Jeopardy! online test for the fourth time – it’s offered only one time-period per year. He did well enough to make an in-person test, and he went to Denver with 19 others in a hotel banquet room, where they did a second written test and participate in a mock game.
“Thanks to past experience, I knew it was 2/3 personality, 1/3 how good I am at trivia,” he said. “I was the loudest voice in the room. My face hurt from smiling so much. I was the most extroverted I could be and I’m a computer nerd — I’m not an extrovert. I turned it on.”
Worman said that he showed off his skill of being able to sing the alphabet backward in the mock game – which he was able to repeat on Monday’s show.
“Everyone loved it,” he said. “It probably helped me stick in their mind a little bit.”
After the successful test in Denver, Worman was told: “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” That call may not come for a year – or more. Worman’s came in two months.
“When they called and gave me a month’s notice, I amped [studying] up from 5 minutes a day to an hour a day,” he said. “Maybe 5% of questions I saw, I knew because I studied. I didn’t know Warren G. Harding’s middle name; I did because I studied. I got it wrong because I put it on the flash card app wrong.”
— Rob Worman (R🙂b) (@rob_worman) February 14, 2018
The way taping works is pretty simple: A week’s worth of shows gets taped each day, and the show is taped on Mondays and Tuesdays. The first show taped runs on a Monday of the week it runs, the second show is the Tuesday show. Worman’s Jeopardy! run started on Nov. 27, and sat in the audience for the first two shows. He made his debut on the show that aired on Feb. 14.
“It was totally helpful (to sit in the audience), although I wouldn’t have minded being the second person called instead of the third,” he said. He won the last three games taped that day, went out to dinner, and came back Tuesday. He won the first two shows that were taped on that day.
“Who knows what happens after that,” he said.
How long is Worman toiling away on the show? Only he and his family know; contestants are contractually bound not to discuss their results.
“Tune in and find out,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to say.”