"Each year the show will take 400 contestants to place in the contestant pool" said Maas.
"A 15-year journey to participate on JEOPARDY! was reaching the finale" said Maas.
I’ll take Ammunition Surveillance for a thousand, Alex! This would have definitely been a category for 33-year veteran Tim Maas, a Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance) (QASAS) at the Defense Ammunition Center (DAC).
Maas’s dream to participate on the game show JEOPARDY! became reality when he received a phone call from the show in late October 2010, requesting him to travel to Los Angeles for a taping on November 10th.
Maas started his efforts to become a JEOPARDY! contestant in the mid-1990’s. As a QASAS, he has been transferred to various locations within the United States, and each time he transferred to a new location, he would try his luck in auditioning as a contestant on the show. In June 2010, Maas was again selected into the pool of candidates for the upcoming season of the show, which began taping in July 2010, and his fifth time in the pool proved to be the charm.
“Each year the show will take 400 contestants to place in the contestant pool” said Maas. “That number is pretty small, considering the thousands of individuals who try out for the show each year.”
Maas’s debut on Jeopardy aired March 10th and 11th, 2011. The March 10th show was a special experience for Maas. “A 15-year journey to participate on JEOPARDY! was reaching the finale,” said Maas, “As we walked to the stage, I was cool and collected and ready to play the game.” And play he did! Maas was in the lead at the end of the Double JEOPARDY! round, and the Final JEOPARDY! category was “20th Century Presidential Elections.” Since Maas had been a political science major in college, his knowledge came through when he wagered just enough of his winnings to take the game.
The second game on March 11th was similar to the first. Maas once again did well in the JEOPARDY! and Double JEOPARDY! rounds. One of the categories from that game dealt with “The King and ‘I’ – questions focused on Elvis Presley song lyrics that began with the word “I”. Also, Maas noted “how darn good Alex Trebek looked for a 70-year-old.” As in the first game, Maas reached the Final JEOPARDY! round leading his competitors. And as he did in the first game, he wagered a sizable portion of his winnings on the Final JEOPARDY! question category “European Capitals” in order to shut out his closest opponent. Unfortunately, his opponent wagered a minimal amount of her winnings, and beat Maas when both of them missed the Final JEOPARDY! question. “If I had not bet anything, I would have won the game,” said Maas, “but that was my strategy, and it had worked for me in the first game.”
“Playing on JEOPARDY! was an exciting experience; it was a goal I wanted to accomplish in my life.” As to his winnings, Maas and his wife will be relocating to Huntsville, Ala, in June 2011, so he won enough to make a nice down payment on a new home. He also mentioned that he and his wife will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary soon, and that he has noticed the word “Hawaii” appearing in his wife’s conversation lately.
Maas joined the QASAS program in 1978 (Class 45). After training at Savanna, Ill., his program experience has featured assignments at Crane Army Ammunition Plant, Joint Munitions Command, Vilseck/Grafenwoehr, Germany, Blue Grass Army Depot, Sierra Army Depot, and DAC.
“The QASAS program is not what I started out aiming for in my life, but it has provided wonderful experiences and a challenging career,” he commented.