Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

The Herd will face off against the Bulldogs in next seasons opening game.
Football Announces Opener Against Bulldogs
Joseph DiCristofaro, Sports Editor • July 16, 2024
View All
Grassie and Beals Contracts Extended
Scott Price, Chief Copy Editor • June 24, 2024
View All
Hillary Adams, director of the Marshall
HELP Center.
HELP Director Loves Helping Others
Wade Sullivan, Student Reporter • June 26, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter
The four former football players called Tuscaloosa home.
Marshall Miles Away: Families of Victims Push for Monument Re-Location
Sarah Davis, Managing Editor • June 28, 2024
View All
Griffin Miller tallied four strikeouts in four innings.
Ragin' Cajuns Ravage the Herd
Ben Cower, Student Repoter • April 24, 2024
View All
This years Community Cares Week was the third of its tradition on Marshalls campus.
Community Cares Reaches Campus and Beyond
Baylee Parsons, News Editor • June 6, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter

“They’re Wrong,” Jeopardy! Champion Says of Appalachian Stereotypes

Harmeyer+won+for+the+13th+night+in+a+row+Friday%2C+June+14.
Courtesy of Jeopardy!
Harmeyer won for the 13th night in a row Friday, June 14.

Adriana Harmeyer stepped onto the Alex Trebek Stage at the beginning of May, which marked the start of a 13 day – and counting – winning streak for the West Virginia native. 

The returning champion graduated from Spring Valley High School as a quiz bowler, which prepared her for an upcoming Jeopardy! reign, alongside a passion for learning.

“That was kind of an early chance to try out some of this,” Harmeyer said. “A chance to use all these random facts that I built up.”

She went on to study history at Marshall University, graduating in 2010. She also obtained a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Story continues below advertisement

Now, Harmeyer works as an archivist at Purdue University in Indiana, where she preserves historic materials and teaches. 

Growing up, Harmeyer watched the classic American game, loving it so much that she also played it on the computer.

It started out as something for fun, Harmeyer said. Though the journey to California wasn’t as easy as the click of a mouse. 

It’s common for hopefuls to take the qualifying test many times before successfully advancing. Harmeyer originally auditioned for the teen tournament and continued to attempt the test multiple times before getting the phone call that she was advancing to the next test round.

“This time around, I took the test online just for fun – not expecting it to necessarily lead to anything, but thought it would be fun to do,” Harmeyer said. “Then, I got the call back to take the official test, I got the callback for the audition and then got the call to be on the show, and it all worked out.”

The process to the podium consisted of zoom calls, additional testing and a mock game against others auditioning, but trials for Harmeyer didn’t stop there: California was a new territory.

“It was one of the few states I had not crossed off my list,” Harmeyer said. “It was strange: landing at the airport and getting a car and getting to the hotel.”

“That might be when it really hit, like, ‘Oh, this is the hotel that I’m going to stay in, and then, I go to Jeopardy! from here,’ ” she said. ”It’s a strange, strange feeling.”

The support she received from family and friends was expected, but the overwhelming love from strangers, Harmeyer said, was shocking.

“I didn’t quite realize until it started airing how many people were gonna be rooting for me,” she said. “The response I’ve gotten has been so much stronger and more positive than I ever imagined.”

As of Friday, June 14, Harmeyer has won $299,000 on her 13-day long winning streak. Despite the amount of money she has won answering question after question, she has taken something else out of the experience.

“I wanted to do it and have fun with it,” she said. “The fact that I was able to go and win like I did showed me that I could do that.”

“It’s kind of like the ultimate trivia event, and I was just so excited that I got to be part of it,” she went on to say.

Harmeyer’s roots in West Virginia has pulled together people and their communities. To the common Appalachian stereotypes surrounding education and ability, she says they are simply not true.

They’re wrong, like, they’re completely wrong. I personally don’t see any reason to let things stop me. There are excellent people everywhere, and I hope that more people will try to do things that they’re interested in.”

— Harmeyer

Jeopardy! films their episodes ahead of time, which means Harmeyer has been back to her day-to-day life while her time airs. She said that it’s an odd feeling to watch yourself play the game weeks after it really happened.

“I don’t like watching and listening to myself, but I feel like since everybody else is watching and they’re gonna talk to me about it, I want to refresh my memory,” Harmeyer said. “I’ve now done enough of them that my memory of recording kind of all blurred together.”

Harmeyer will appear again on the show Monday, June 17, for day 14 as community members across the Tri-state band together, continuing to cheer on one of their own.

View Comments (5)
Donate to The Parthenon
$100
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will help continue the work of independent student journalism at Marshall University. If you benefit from The Parthenon's free content, please consider making a donation.

More to Discover
Donate to The Parthenon
$100
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (5)

All The Parthenon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Minter BooneJun 17, 2024 at 8:33 pm

    A very intelligent young lady and a great showing. I have traveled all across the US and the world and the stereotypes given to WV people are totally incorrect. I believe that is slowly changing through time. I have had lots of discussions with people from other areas about this as well.

    Reply
  • K

    KarenJun 17, 2024 at 6:22 pm

    We are enjoying Adriana’s run on Jeopardy and root for her continued successes!!

    Reply
  • R

    Ron GrehlJun 17, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    Great contestant .. but an even better person .. much better.

    Reply
  • B

    Barbara LavoieJun 17, 2024 at 8:05 am

    Keep going, girl, you rock!

    Reply
  • C

    Carolyn GendronJun 16, 2024 at 11:00 pm

    I’m very proud of Adriana! She is obviously very nice and intelligent! I hope she continues to win on Jeopardy! Carolyn Gendron

    Reply