Mind-testing Trivia from a Jeopardy! Master.
In the popular current “Sherlock” TV series, actor Benedict Cumberbatch is always reaching into his “mind palace” to retrieve vital information to solve the case. Which he always does.
Justin Vossler ’11, too, has an impressive “mind palace,” and can even tell you the origins of the technique. The class of 2011 history major and now history teacher, won five times on Jeopardy! last summer.
“No one was as surprised as I was when I won my first game,” remembers Vossler, laughing, “and then I won several more! It was a great feeling.”
Vossler was invited to audition after he passed an online test. He flew to California last April to compete. All six shows were taped over two days. Vossler took home bragging rights, $110,000 and a spot as a competitor in the show’s Tournament of Champions.
“So many students, parents and friends offered me congratulations and support,” he says.
Even before the show, Vossler incorporated Jeopardy!-style trivia into lesson reviews at Moravia High School, near Syracuse, N.Y. — including a Final Jeopardy! round for added excitement.
“Jeopardy’s style helps people learn new concepts but in a new way,” he says, “and it reinforces what you already know.”
Want to challenge your memory and boost your ability in retrieving lost facts? Geneseo’s Jeopardy! master suggests playing some quizzes online, like Sporcle.com and Jeopardy! websites, which have diverse categories and difficulty levels. Sporcle’s quizzes are themed, so you can choose what you’d like to test yourself on or learn about, he says.
“Infinite Final Jeopardy” on the website is good, he says, “because it is so unpredictable, just like real Final Jeopardy. You have no idea what you are going to get.”
Here are two more games to test your wits:
Wits and Wagers (North Star Games) Trivia with a twist: See each player’s answer, anonymously, and bet on which one is correct. Like Jeopardy!, you win by strategic wagering, rather than having the right answer each time.
Cranium (Hasbro) Creators designed this game to challenge your “whole brain,” with more than 400 activities that include elements of charades, word scrambles and more.