‘Who is Ilene Morgan?’

Dr. Ilene Morgan was featured on the quiz show Jeopardy!
Dr. Ilene Morgan was featured on the quiz show Jeopardy! Photo by B.A. Rupert, Missouri S&T.

If “third time’s a charm” were a category on the quiz show Jeopardy!, then “Who is Dr. Ilene Morgan?” might be one of the answers. The clue might go like this:“This Missouri S&T faculty member tried twice to land a spot on this program before finally succeeding in 2012.” A longtime trivia buff and a Jeopardy! fan since childhood, Morgan made her Jeopardy! debut on the March 5, 2013, episode of the show. The associate professor of mathematics and statistics described the experience as “bucket-list awesome,” and added that recording the program before a studio audience didn’t bother her. “I was not thinking about the audience, or the camera, or the money,” Morgan said. “I was just playing trivia, and I was having fun.”

Morgan, who is now retired from S&T, loves to play trivia. “I have a brain like flypaper,” she said. “Random things will kind of stick to it.” But success on Jeopardy!, as with trivia games, is “more about being knowledgeable” about a variety of things than it is about intelligence, Morgan said. “It’s not that trivia is useful, but there’s a sense that everybody can watch Jeopardy! and, when you get a question that everybody misses, you can say to yourself, ‘Ha! I could be on Jeopardy!’”

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