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Sunday, January 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane woman makes the most of her shot on Jeopardy!

UPDATED: Thu., March 2, 2017

Spokane’s Crista Calderon appeared on Jeopardy! on Thursday. (John Stucke / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane’s Crista Calderon appeared on Jeopardy! on Thursday. (John Stucke / The Spokesman-Review)

Crista Calderon didn’t win her match on the long-running trivia mega hit Jeopardy!, but she had a lot fun trying.

The South Hill resident fulfilled a lifelong dream by appearing on the show, which aired Thursday night on KHQ.

“I’ve been trying to get on Jeopardy! for many years,” she said Thursday evening before the show aired. She was careful not to disclose the results.

Calderon, spends her days working as an instructional technology staffer at Eastern Washington University. And then last year got her big break when she was chosen to be on a show she has been regularly watching for, as she put, “a lot of years.”

Her colleague at EWU, Jeff Healy, said Calderon a trivia whiz and a delightful co-worker.

“We’re all excited for her,” he said.

With $9,000 to bet, she made a relatively small wager on this final Jeopardy question regarding those who signed the U.S. Constitution: “The name of this first Maryland signer is also on a national monument completed in 1803.”

The answer: We’ll get to that in a moment.

But first, Calderon said she came away from the experience with a greater appreciation for the difficulty of performing under pressure.

“I will never ever ever watch TV and yell ‘Answer the Question!’ again,” she said.

Most contestants - who pay their own way to appear - have similar mastery of trivia, Calderon said. The difference is how to get called upon: “It’s all about the buzzer.”

And that’s where match winner Rob Liguori separated himself from the competition. Both Calderon and Liguori missed the final question.

Now, about that answer: “Who is James McHenry?”

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