TV

Lexington man to compete on 'Jeopardy!' on Wednesday

Lexington's Jonathan Van Balen, right, with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, will be on Wednesday's show.
Lexington's Jonathan Van Balen, right, with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, will be on Wednesday's show.

Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Lexington resident Jonathan Van Balen will compete on Wednesday's episode of the television quiz show Jeopardy!

Van Balen, 32, who works as an international marketing specialist for the state Department of Agriculture, said he watched Jeopardy! as child, hoping to one day be on the show.

"It was a surreal experience," he said of being on the show. "I didn't know what to expect. You spend your whole life wanting to do something and then when it's actually happening ... It kind of just hits you all at once."

This was Van Balen's third attempt to get on the show. He applied online in 2011. It wasn't until January that Van Balen got a call inviting him to the Jeopardy! set in Culver City, Calif.

He couldn't reveal how he did on Wednesday's episode.

What would Van Balen do with the prize money?

"To be honest, I'm not really sure. I would put some aside, pay off debt, buy a KitchenAid mixer because my family and I love cooking, pay some bills and possibly travel," Van Balen said.

Jeopardy!, which is syndicated, airs at 7:30 p.m. weeknights on WKYT (Channel 27).

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