What is ... a Q&A with Sabrina Fritz

    In a nail-biting finish, Sabrina Fritz came in just two dollars behind returning champion Jeff Crosby to take second place on “Jeopardy!” Wednesday afternoon. The fifth-year biomedical engineering senior is the second Northwestern student to showcase a vast amount of brains and quick reflexes on “Jeopardy!” this year.

    NBN: How did you prepare?

    Fritz: Lots of Sporcle quizzes. I knew that geography was my biggest weakness, so I did a ton of map quizzes, did all the world capitals and where they are and all that. Bodies of water, mountains, everything like that was my number one priority. One of my housemates actually borrowed a set of buzzers from Northwestern’s quiz bowl team and we would practice. We would make somebody be Alex Trebek and actually score keep and then we would have three people buzzing in and answering questions off of old games.

    NBN: Do Jeopardy skills come in handy in your daily life?

    Fritz: I think just in general my whole experience with like trivia and fun facts, it just helps me to relate to other people from different backgrounds. So a lot of times when people’s interests aren’t something I’ve been super interested in myself, I’m much more likely to know at least something about whatever it is that they are talking about so it helps me to relate to a lot of people on a lot of different levels. I’ve really appreciated the connections it’s allowed me to make.

    NBN: What’s your favorite category?

    Fritz: I really like literature. That’s always been my favorite. The category that I would most like to see come up, and something I would totally get 100 percent on, would probably be women's soccer. Absolutely would destroy.

    NBN: Did you meet other contestants?

    Fritz: We got to the studio at 8 a.m. and we spent the whole day with the contestant coordinators, doing makeup, everything like that and sat in the studio audience and watched the episodes we weren't on. So yeah, we are all friends on Facebook …They are all older than me which I was a little bit nervous about … but they're all super super cool, from different parts of the country and have very different jobs and so all very fun people.

    NBN: How much older?

    Fritz: I think the next youngest to me was like seven or eight years or so and then all the way up to like 60s … That was my main concern was that I hadn't had enough time to just accrue general knowledge. Some of my worst categories … were stuff like '70s pop culture, '80s pop culture. I can study that as much as I like but the reality is I didn't live through it so there’s only going to be so much I know. I was a little nervous going in in that respect, but then I remembered that I’m a kid now, so any sort of recent pop culture I’m much more likely to know, so I think it’s a trade-off.

    NBN: What are you going to do with the money ($2,000)?

    Fritz: I obviously didn’t know how much I was going to make going into this, so I put one thing down on my wish list. I’m buying a pair of retro Air Jordans because I really love sneakers. I’m a really huge sneaker fan. I loved Michael Jordan; growing up he was one of my earliest sports idols, and I think that – I mean if I could buy Ken Jennings sneakers that would be ideal – but I guess the next best thing is Air Jordans.

    NBN: Do you have anything to say to your fans?

    Fritz: Thank you for all the support. Thank you to everyone I ever made sit down with me with the buzzer set and run questions and all my old quiz bowl teammates and to my family for putting up my incessant fun facts just spewing my entire life. It’s been great and I’m really grateful for the all the support I’ve gotten.

    Editor's note: this interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.


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