Glenwood grad’s ‘Jeopardy!’ stint fun while it lasted

Dan Adkison, right, shown with “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, won $38,400 during his three-day winning streak.

Glenwood Springs High School graduate Dan Adkison has proven himself to be one smart person over the last week.

But there was one question he couldn’t answer — not because he didn’t know the answer, but because he was sworn to secrecy as a contestant on the television quiz show “Jeopardy!”

Adkison enjoyed a three-day winning streak on the show last week before his reign as champion ended Monday with a third-place showing. His games were taped in advance but because of the confidentiality of their outcome, friends and family got to enjoy the drama over the past several days.

“It was tremendously fun. I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to do it,” said Adkison, deputy copy chief at Time magazine in New York City.

Adkison, who’s 36 and single, graduated from Glenwood High in 1993. Born in Pueblo, he lived in Grand Junction about three years and went to kindergarten at Columbine Elementary School before moving to Glenwood at the age of 5.

Adkison won $38,400 for his efforts on “Jeopardy!”

Having the head for copy editing proved a benefit to Adkison on the show.

“I tend to notice things and remember them,” he said. “We definitely have good eyes for detail, and we know a lot of random facts and a lot of that comes from reading all the things we have to read.”

“He’s got a photographic memory,” said Adkison’s mom, Deb Bamesberger, who lives in Old Snowmass.

“He’s always been very inquisitive and he was always thirsting for knowledge as a kid,” she said.

Adkison finished near the top of his class in high school, and he studied journalism at Boston University. He spent three years in Gabon in the Peace Corps and later moved to New York City just a few months after the 2001 terrorist attacks. He eventually did copy editing at the Village Voice, and after some job changes joined Time in 2008.

Besides enjoying the experience of the game itself, Adkison got a kick out of friends and family holding parties and gathering in restaurants to cheer him on. He’s proud of having even gotten on the show, much less having won three times, but acknowledges that luck plays a role. So does handling pressure; Adkison is embarrassed about the brain freeze that caused him to be unable to come up with the name of Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper.

“It’s not that I didn’t know it. It’s about being able to access the information when you need to access it,” Adkison said.


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