Wednesday, May 22, 2013
WINTHROP -- Apple grower and hard cider producer Ben Parks-Stamm will be watching himself on television 7:30 p.m. tonight as he competes on the "Jeopardy!" quiz show.
Ben Parks-Stamm, of Winthrop, right, is seen with Alex Trebek, the host of the “Jeopardy!” quiz show. Parks-Stamm, an apple farmer who graduated from Princeton University, competes in a show that airs tonight at 7:30 p.m. on WMTW-TV Channel 8.
Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
The show is aired on WMTW (ABC) and is broadcast on Channel 8 and 708 through Time Warner Cable. The show airs at 7:30 p.m. weekdays.
For more information, visit www.jeopardy.com/showguide/thisweek
The Jeopardy website has a brief promotion of the show episode, which was taped several months ago, under the heading "Hometown Howdies and Winner's Circle." In a clip posted on the website, Parks-Stamm says: "Hi Maine, I'm Ben Parks-Stamm, an apple farmer from Winthrop -- watch me try to get my piece of the pie on Jeopardy."
"I just always have been a fan of the show and enjoyed it and thought it would be fun to do," Parks-Stamm said from his Winthrop home on Monday.
"Jeopardy!" is watched nightly at 7:30 on ABC by about 9 million people and is hosted by Alex Trebek. Show contestants famously frame their answers in the form of the question.
In order to become a contestant, Parks-Stamm had to pass an online test and then try out in Boston.
He and his wife, Betsy, flew to Los Angeles -- and some very nice weather -- for the show's taping the week after Thanksgiving, leaving the children with grandparents. Shows are taped in advance in Culver City, Calif.
"I did have a great time," said Parks-Stamm, 32, who has a bachelor's of science in engineering from Princeton University. "It was a lot of fun."
He said he could see his wife's face as she watched from the audience.
"Betsy seemed more nervous than I was," he said. When he saw her panicked look, "I wondered whether I was doing something wrong."
The taping for the half-hour show lasted about 20 minutes, which was over in a flash, he said.
He was interviewed on camera about being from Maine and having an apple orchard.
"The people that are staff for the show did a great job of making me relax," he said. "They have a lot of energy; they make it fun to be there."
And no matter whether the contestants finish first, second or third -- Parks-Stamm couldn't disclose how he did -- they get enough money to pay for the trip, he said.
Now he's back to the family business, Kennebec Cider Company, which he and his wife started in 2010 after buying the 6-acre former Whit's Orchard.
"We've kind of been expanding all over the state and are in talks right now to expand beyond Maine," he said.
Betty Adams -- 621-5631