Who is Jennifer Montgomery?

Hazel Rodriguez and Hazel Rodriguez

Jennifer Montgomery, development director for KSDS Jazz 88.3, fulfilled a lifelong dream when she entered as a hopeful contestant to the game show Jeopardy last September.

After moving on from auditions, Montgomery made it as an official contestant on the show, which aired on Dec. 14, 2009. Taking the lead on the first game, Montgomery went on for three consecutive wins, bringing home a whopping $45,200.

Growing up, Montgomery watched Jeopardy with her mom. She dreamed of trying out for the Jeopardy teen and college tournaments, but never really looked into it. With the encouragement of a friend, Montgomery applied to Jeopardy online by taking a test in September.

“A few months later, I got an email saying I’d made it to the next round, and that (an) in-person audition was held here in San Diego,” Montgomery said.

The audition was held in a hotel downtown, with a total of 20 candidates. They were given another written test, followed by a mock game show.

“It’s a game show ultimately. So you have to project, and have some sense of personality and not get too freaked out,” Montgomery said on what producers are looking for in candidates.

On top of all the Jeopardy excitement, Montgomery and her husband Shane, a local firefighter, married just nine days before the audition.

Just a week after settling in as newlyweds, Montgomery received a call from Jeopardy, moving her on to be a contestant on the show.

Ann Bauer, the underwriting manager for KSDS Jazz 88.3, has worked with Montgomery for 4 years, and was excited to hear her coworker would be a contestant on the Jeopardy show.

“We were thrilled! This is a lifelong dream of hers, so how could we not be thrilled. I mean, it was like my sister got that kind of opportunity, it was wonderful!”

With her friends and family in “Jennifer” T-shirts and waving “number 1” foam fingers in the audience, Montgomery was ready to play the game.

Although producers advise the contestants to not look over to their friends and family, it was hard to not miss Montgomery’s cheering crowd.

One of her colleagues from KSDS Jazz 88.3, Claudia Russell, Program Director, was right there rooting for her.

“Most of us followed her on TV when the shows finally aired, but I was particularly excited because I got to join her family at the second day of taping. It was more exciting than I had anticipated and I was pretty excited already. She was a fun contestant to watch. She looks terrific on TV and really played well,” said Russell.

Montgomery’s first day on Jeopardy proved to be a success, her end total was 20,000 dollars. The second day’s winnings were 8,799 dollars, adding to her day one total equals 28,799 dollars. Montgomery, moving on to the third day, made 16,401 dollars, totaling her three day win at 45,200 dollars.

“I was just there to have a really good time, and win as much money as I could,” Montgomery said. “Everyone there is just having a once in a lifetime experience.”

With her success on Jeopardy, Montgomery said she hopes to use the money on a down payment for a new home, for her and her husband Shane. “It has been a really fun adventure. I mean I can’t believe I filmed it in November. It aired in December. It’s now May, and I’m still talking about it.”