ComEd Trivia Whiz Pursues His Dream of Competing on Popular Game Shows
When Jeremy Nelson was two years old, he sat at his grandmother’s knee in the afternoons to watch game shows on television.
“That’s when I started developing a love for trivia,” he says. “We used to watch The Price is Right and The $25,000 Pyramid. We had lots of fun.”
Now an adult, Jeremy keeps the fun going with his friends as a member of The Beatles, a team of trivia fans who compete against other trivia teams in games and tournaments across Chicago. As of this winter, The Beatles are ranked 7th out of 150 teams in Chicago.
Jeremy, who works as a marketing analyst at ComEd, says playing trivia games is his primary after-work hobby. Not only do his trivia skills take him all over Chicago, they’ve also taken him to Los Angeles and New York to compete on the national stage.
In 2014, Jeremy was selected to compete on The Chase, a speed-based trivia-battle show that airs on the Game Show Network. Jeremy auditioned for the show when the scouts visited Chicago. He competed against 40 other potential contestants and aced a 50-question trivia quiz. He filmed in Los Angeles and won more than $26,000.
“Competing on The Chase was pretty exciting,” Jeremy says. “I love playing trivia games and it was a blast to actually get to do that on national TV.”
In 2017, Jeremy rolled the dice again and auditioned for a spot on ABC’s The $100,000 Pyramid, an Emmy Award-winning word-association show that pairs celebrities with players from across the country to compete for $100,000. The show is hosted by Michael Strahan, who also co-hosts Good Morning America on ABC.
For his audition, Jeremy had to play the game with other potential contestants. He was then selected to continue his audition by playing the game via Skype with the scout.
Once selected to compete on the show, Jeremy wasn’t going to leave this competition to chance. He prepared by playing trivia games with his friends, watching old episodes of the show and practicing with his old board game, from when the show was called The $25,000 Pyramid.
He eventually won $19,000 partnering with celebrity chefs Curtis Stone and Rachael Ray.
Jeremy credits his talkative personality and friendly demeanor with helping him through the rough auditions for game shows. Jeremy stresses that authenticity helps contestants stand out from the crowd.
“It’s like any other interview, just be yourself and let your personality shine. Your personality will get you on the show,” he says.
Competing on a national game show is no game. Focus is key.
“Ignore the crowd and the flashing lights and focus on the game,” he says. “Try not to think about anything else. Treat the game like you are playing in your living room amongst friends. Stay calm, engaged and competitive without letting the largeness of the moment overtake you.”
Jeremy is going to pursue other game shows in the future, noting that Jeopardy is his dream show. He sharpens his skills by playing the board game and watching the show regularly, but won’t try to audition for the show just yet.
“I don’t just want to make it to Jeopardy, I want to win and be on the show for a few weeks,” Jeremy says. “When I get there, I plan on staying.”