January 31, 2002
The answer is: This 17-year-old from Brentwood will be competing in the "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament starting Feb. 4.
The question: Who is Seth Disner?
Disner, who considers himself a trivia buff, got a chance to test his skills against some of the quickest high schoolers in the country after acing a grueling 50-question qualifying exam. The "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament, taped in December, chose only 15 participants from over 6,000 applicants this year. The contestants were picked from tryouts in Chicago, Orlando, Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
Memorizing tidbits is far from being Disner's only talent. The high school senior shares some of that knowledge as a teaching assistant at University Synagogue and works both sides of the theatrical stage at the private Brentwood School, building sets and performing in school plays. He has also announced football games for his school's radio station.
All of that performing experience may have given Disner some advantages under the glaring lights of the "Jeopardy!" studio. But he had one advantage worth even more -- the hometown advantage.
"My Latin class took a field trip to see me compete," he says. So while his competitors from far-off cities were greeted with the standard polite applause, the homeboy had more than half the audience in his corner. When his favorite subject -- football -- showed up as a category in an early round of competition, "I almost cried I was so happy."
We can't tell you how far young Disner makes it in the tournament, but his mother, Dr. Sandra Disner, did mention the broadcast dates for the semi-final and final rounds a few times. They air starting Feb. 11. The question is: How far will he go?