SU instructor competes in upcoming Jeopardy episode

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Watch out for a local face on one of the most popular game shows in history.

Ashley O'Mara, a Syracuse University doctoral candidate and instructor in the English Department, will make her Jeopardy debut on Monday.

"Astonished and surprised wonderfully, that this would happen to me," O'Mara said.

O'Mara did not think she had a chance of being a contestant on her favorite game show.

However, after taking a screen test in New York City , Ashley got the call.

"They left a message on my phone that said "O yeah, you're invited out to Jeopardy," O'Mara said.

What followed was a flurry of activity.

Much of her spare time filled up with questions.

"My mom was testing me. My brothers were testing me. My youngest brother was trying teach me about popular music of which I'm completely ignorant," O'Mara said.

Then off to Los Angeles in December to answer questions from Alex Trebek, which she said was "super stressful."

"I'd been kind of like practicing that kind of environment as best I could in order to maintain that kind of focus," O'Mara said.

She said years of learning and test taking helped.

However, Jeopardy watchers will have to wait to see how this Syracuse native did.

It is all hush hush until the night of the big show.

“I can’t talk about whether or how much I won. I can’t talk about whether I recorded more than one episode. There is a substantial nondisclosure agreement," O'Mara said.

Whatever happens, Ashley's family and friends will be cheering her on at a watch party next Monday night.

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