Lam Tran, one of the owners of Bob’s Grocery located on Endicott Street, and his wife Niem Ngoyen were intensely focused on the October 13 + 14 popular game of Jeopardy as their son Dan Tran was one of the contestants on two shows.
Dan had to wait two-years to get the opportunity to compete on Jeopardy hosted by Alex Trebek.
For the second time ever the game show finished in a tie with Dan picking up $5,600 along with the champ from the previous program.
The famous game show was taped this past summer at Sony Pitches Studio outside Los Angeles before it appeared on Boston’s CBS affiliated WBZ-TV where Dan, a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) appeared nationwide.
Unfortunately, Dan was unable to win on his second appearance on the game show. Losing to the person he had tied on the night before.
“This has been a big accomplishment in my life,” Dan said. “I’ve wanted to get on the show when Alex Trebek was still the host. It was a very surreal experience meeting him,” he added.
Dan now plans to focus on finishing his education at UNH by the end of the year and move onto other things.
Dan, a self-proclaimed trivia enthusiast, had been taking the Jeopardy online test for the last seven years to no avail. Finally he got his chance after his previous tries came up empty.
Some 100,000 other trivia aficionados reportedly took the Jeopardy online test every year in hopes of big prize money and some fame.
The 18 time turned out to be the charm for Dan and he was invited to an in-person audition in Boston last May, where he and several other chosen ones were put through the process of yet another test and a practice round.
Dan said, “Just being able to practice using the buzzer is important. It’s the game’s signature means of beating your competitors to the punch. I don’t think people realize that half of Jeopardy is your timing, how well you use that buzzer. It’s great if you know a lot of stuff but if you get out buzzed, you’re not going anywhere.”
Dan buzzed right through his audition and flew to California in August to play the game for real.
The contestant, has been a lifelong fan of the game show and started to watch the game seriously while an undergraduate astronomy and physics student at Boston University.
“I’m a big trivia fan in general and since I’ve been a graduate student at UNH, I’ve regularly attended two or three trivia nights per week at various bars,” he said.
“My wife and I are very proud of Dan’s hard work and dedication to finally becoming a contestant on Jeopardy,” his dad said. “Many North End residents came by the store to say they watched Dan on the show.”
Tran had flyers posted all over his store announcing his son’s upcoming appearance on the game show.
Dan currently works with Associate Professor James Connell of the Space Science Center on a space flight instrument prototype project called Positron Identification by Coincident Annihilation Photons.