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Two Ottawa residents compete on 'Jeopardy!' this week

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Getting on the gameshow Jeopardy is said to be statistically harder than getting in to Harvard, but this week, two of the contestants competing on the show just happen to be from Ottawa.

Ottawa resident Kelsey Kaunisviita Vockrodt is making her Jeopardy debut Monday night.

"It was just a dream come true," says Kaunisviita Vockrodt. "It was very surreal. I couldn't believe it was really happening."

Kaunisviita Vockrodt has been trying for years to get on the show and says it's more intimidating to compete in person.

"I'd say it definitely feels harder than when you're watching from home. There's a whole studio audience, and it's going through your mind that, oh, this is really happening. And, I actually lose money if I say the wrong thing. Whereas at home, you know, you can just say whatever you want."

But she's not the only contestant from Ottawa on the famous trivia show this week.

Jonquil Garrick-Reynolds will also be representing the nation's capital this Thursday.

"It was magic," says Garrick-Reynolds. "It was something I've dreamed about since I was a kid watching jeopardy with my grandparents on the couch."

"I was surprised there'd be another Canadian at the same tape day," says Kaunisviita Vockrodt. "And then when we realized we were both from Ottawa, it was like we were both shocked. It was so much fun to have someone from home there when I was very anxious about the whole thing."

Garrick-Reynolds says as tough as the questions — or answers — are, the timing of the buzzer can sometimes be even tougher.

"Getting the rhythm of the buzzer is really tough off the top. You do have a rehearsal, so you do get to practise with it a little. But it locks you out if you press it too hard, too fast, too long."

Neither of this week's Ottawa contestants graduated high school, which makes their appearance on one of the hardest gameshows even more impressive.

"We have a lot of opportunities here to learn," says Garrick-Reynolds. "We've got all the museums, being in the national capital region. We have the Ottawa Public Library. There's lots of opportunities for people to try new things and learn doing that."

Both Garrick-Reynolds and Kaunisviita Vockrodt have plans for a viewing party with friends and family to watch them compete when their episodes air.

Kaunisviita Vockrodt says for anyone else thinking about applying for the show, "Everyone should take the any time test. If you have any interest in the show at all, just take it. You can take it once a year. It's free. And if you don't pass it, just take it again next year. "

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