On the Dec. 1 episode of the popular game show “Jeopardy!” David Miller, an alumnus of Michigan State University and a former staff member of The State News, appeared as a contestant.
When asked about choosing the basketball category first by host Ken Jennings, Miller revealed he worked for The State News after the first break in the show. He told a story of the time he met Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson when Johnson came into the office of The State News.
“At the end, he took a photo with the entire staff, and everyone is staring straight at the camera, except me, who’s looking at Magic Johnson, just jaw agape,” Miller said on Jeopardy.
Miller attended MSU from 1997 until 2001, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Miller said that he had been repeatedly taking the Jeopardy! qualification test since the test went online. He said once he heard back from the show this year and took two more tests and an interview before being asked to compete on the show.
Miller said he taped his show on Oct. 5, and was the third show taped that day. He said there are five shows taped in a day and that each show takes around 45 minutes.
“They spend the morning basically giving you a rundown of how the rules work,” Miller said. “You get a couple opportunities to rehearse and get used to the buzzer.”
During his time at The State News, Miller said he was a state government reporter, city editor and finally editor-in-chief.
“Being at The State News was one of the most important and formative experiences I had, both in terms of my career but also in terms of the people that I got to know,” Miller said.
Miller is currently a director of marketing and communications for Philanthropy Southeast in Decatur, Georgia. He said he likes his job because he gets to still do journalism work and interview members of his organization about the work they are doing in the region.
Miller went on to the Final Jeopardy! round with a total of $10,200, a far climb from the 10-day champion Amy Schneider. He answered the final question correctly, “What is Canberra?” making his final score $12,200, which placed him in second.
Miller said that while he was taping the show, he felt he was staying with Amy Schneider until she got the two daily doubles. After that, he said he realized he would likely not beat Schneider and relaxed a little bit and tried to have fun.
“I didn't win, but it's not because of anything I did,” he said. “It was just that Amy is just that good. So I was able to walk out of there very proud of how I did.”