ASU Student Marshall Flores Competes in Jeopardy! College Championship This Week

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This week is the

Jeopardy! College Championship

, and for the first time ever,

Arizona State University

will be represented.

ASU senior Marshall Flores, a native of Avondale and a lifelong fan of the Jeopardy! show, is one of fifteen college students who'll be competing for a grand prize of $100,000 (other prizes range from $50,000 for second place, down to $5,000 for players eliminated in the first week).

Flores, who is majoring in economics and plans to pursue a Master's Degree in economics or statistics, will make his first appearance on the Jeopardy! College Championship this Thursday, November 11. We recently caught up with him to chat about the audition process, Alex Trebeck, and what he'd do with the prize money.

What was the interview process like for getting on the show?
(The answer and a few more Jeopardy! secrets are after the jump ...)

To apply to compete in the college championships, it's a two-part process. First, I took a fifty question, online test in February. Then, people who had scored in a certain high range were randomly selected for in-person auditions. I think more than 10,000 people took the test online, and only 250 made in-person auditions. Of those 250, fifteen were selected for the tournament. My in-person audition was in L.A. in June, and they split us into three groups of 20 people each. Then, we had to take another fifty question test to weed out the people who may have used Google or Wikipedia to boost the scores of their online tests. The high scorers from the second test were then split into groups of three, and we played a mock Jeopardy! game with buzzers and everything.

Everyone was nervous and excited. The college championship is one of the more popular Jeopardy! shows, and I was on Cloud 9 after the audition.

What was it like meeting Alex Trebeck? 

Well, we didn't get to interact with him as much as you'd think. He's really there to do the show. But he's a personable and professional host. He's been doing this a long time. When we were taping the shows, during the commercial breaks, he took questions from the audience, and sometimes veered off into personal stories, which was cool.

What would you do with the prize money if you won?

That was one of the questions they asked us in the audition. Because it's a college championship and tuition is expensive, I think they assume most of it is probably going to be for tuition. I answered that I'd buy the pony I always wanted. Everyone cracked up when I said that in the audition. But seriously, I haven't traveled as much as I'd like, so I'd probably use some of the money to travel to places like New York, the Gulf Coast, maybe even Europe. I'm a bit of a foodie, so I'd visit some foodie places.

What's your favorite thing about ASU?
I haven't had a professor who didn't really care. All the teachers I've had really care about the students and the material.

Watch ASU senior Marshall Flores compete on the Jeopardy! College Championship on Thursday, November 11, at 4:30 p.m. PST on ABC 15.

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