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April 15, 2012
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GSHS grad to be on Jeopardy!

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Danial Adkison, a Glenwood Springs High School graduate now living and working in New York City, will be on the popular television trivia-quiz show, "Jeopardy!" on Wednesday.

And, if he is able to successfully draw on a lifetime of devotion to trivia and general knowledge, he could be on the show for succeeding days.

The quiz show, created by the late television impresario Merv Griffin in 1964, is hosted by Alex Trebek and has a unique answer-and-question format dealing with such subjects as history, literature, the arts, pop culture, geography and more.

In a studio with a live audience, Trebek provides the answer to a contestant, who then must come up with the question which fits that answer.

Adkison explained that the episode featuring his performance was taped last December, but the show's rules prevent him from saying how he did.

"I don't want to give it away for people," he said with a laugh. "Everyone will just have to tune in to find out how I did."

Even his mom, Deb Bamesberger of Old Snowmass, doesn't know how Adkison did.

"I said, 'You're killin' me here,' " she said with a laugh. "But he won't tell anybody."

She was not surprised to hear he was accepted to play, though.

"Anybody who knows Dan knew that someday he would be on Jeopardy!" she said.

Adkison, 36 and single, is the deputy copy chief for Time Magazine.

Born in Pueblo in 1975, he came to Glenwood Springs at the age of 13. He is a 1993 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School, and in 1997 graduated summa cum laude with a degree in journalism from Boston University.

Adkison joined the Peace Corps that year, and spent three years based in the African nation of Gabon.

Returning to the U.S., he came back to the Roaring Fork Valley for about nine months before moving to New York City at the urging of friends who had preceded him.

He had planned to make the move in September 2001, "But then 9/11 happened," he recalled. He delayed his departure for a month, moving into a Brooklyn apartment in October 2001.

He worked at several jobs in the news and magazine industries before landing at Time in 2009.

To get on the show, he took a battery of tests early in 2011, at the urging of his mother, a fan of the show.

"She watches Jeopardy every night," said Adkison, in a phone interview from New York.

"I didn't think I'd done especially well," he recalled, and he actually forgot about the whole thing until he got word later in the year that he'd been accepted.

"I was totally surprised," he remarked, although he acknowledged that his mind is well suited to such exercises.

He recalled that he was on the Knowledge Bowl team at GSHS that made it to state-level competitions a couple of times.

"For some reason, I have this mind for trivia," he continued.

He recalled hanging out with friends and "spouting all these useless facts, that would annoy people."

Retired GSHS teacher Manette Anderson, laughed long and hard when she heard that Adkison would be on the show.

"That's great!" she shouted into her cell phone while traveling. "That's so fun!"

Anderson taught in the PEAK program for educationally advanced kids, and recalled that Adkison was a "fabulous" student who liked independent studies and worked hard.

She remembered that he was reluctant to join the PEAK program, relatively new at the time, but gave in to her urging.

"He kind of shrugged it off, and said, 'I'll do okay.' And he sure did! He really didn't need my help that much," she recalled.

"I would never have thought that he would enjoy that kind of a spotlight," she said of his appearance on the national TV show. "But he sure has got the mental horsepower."

jcolson@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Apr 15, 2012 11:58PM Published Apr 15, 2012 11:55PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.