Boyertown graduate, Shanna Lafferty, to compete on Jeopardy

Shanna Lafferty, 2002 Boyertown High School graduate, with Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek.
Shanna Lafferty, 2002 Boyertown High School graduate, with Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek.

It’s a show that everyone has seen at one point or another, but no one ever actually thinks they’ll make it on—Jeopardy. Well, perhaps saying that ‘no one’ thinks they’ll get on is an unfair generalization. Sometimes, when a person has a dream—there’s nothing that can stop them. That statement could be said about Shanna Lafferty, a 2002 Boyertown High School graduate and a current law student at Temple University, who was determined to compete on Jeopardy and then did just that.

Lafferty’s episode will air the night before Thanksgiving on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

This Boyertown graduate has taken Jeopardy’s online test every year and that persistence lead to an invitation for a live audition in New York City——a proces that she made it through. The next stop: Los Angeles, Ca. to film the show alongside Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek.

In order to prepare, Lafferty says she tried to read as much as she possibly could.


“It’s hard because you don’t know what they’re going to ask you,” said Lafferty.

In terms of question content, Lafferty says her areas of strength include literature, art, movies and history. Science, she admits, is not one of her strong suits.

“I think that the game went as well as I would have liked; I’m very happy with the outcome,” said Lafferty. “It was a nail-biter.”

When it comes to meeting Trebek, Lafferty says he was nicer in person than she had expected, stating “He was easy to talk to and very eager to answer questions and encourage the contestants.”

“The whole experience was a bit of a whirlwind, but I think I will remember most the moment I saw the set for the first time,” said Lafferty. “I turned the corner in the studio and suddenly it was there. And concurrently, that meant that I was there and that I was actually going to be on Jeopardy.”

Lafferty credits her determination to get onto the show to her natural interest in trivia. She likes learning and knowing things, and believes that is where her interest in the show comes from.

Does she watch the show every day? Lafferty says that she tries to, and definitely tried to catch as many shows as she could prior to her competition date.

When she was young, one of her grandmothers told her that she’d be on the show someday. On Wednesday, Nov. 27, Lafferty will gather with loved ones for a ‘viewing party,’ to watch herself compete.

About the Author

Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.