A senior from the University of Pennsylvania from Saratoga, California...

Sid Chandrasekhar

What will you do with your winnings?
Um, right now, I don't know, maybe go on a cross-country trip around the country next summer, because I actually just found out that I got a job, so now I just have the entire summer to myself to do whatever.

Are you going to put "Jeopardy! contestant" on your resume?
Uh, I've already put Jeopardy! on my resume, and I'm pretty sure it's already helped out, because I'm--all the companies that have interviewed me have always been asking about it and saying "That's awesome."

Where do you hope to be in ten years?
So, I mean, hopefully I'm still at the same job that I'm in right n--uh, that I have for next year, so... uh, hopefully I'd like to stay at that job.

What's more difficult, preparing for finals or for Jeopardy!?
Oh, Jeopardy!, easy, 'cause, there's absolutely anything that can come up in Jeopardy! For finals, you exactly know what's going to come up. So, that's it--the big difference.

2010-B College Championship semifinalist: $10,000 + a Nintendo Wii + the Wii Jeopardy! game.

Last name pronounced like "chahn-dra-SHAY-ker".

Sid Chandrasekhar
University of Pennsylvania

November 8, 2010
On the day of the taping, we had to meet up in the lobby at 7:30 in the morning, and I was really excited to finally meet all of the other contestants. When I got down, most of the other contestants were there with their parents, and we all introduced ourselves and found out where we all went to school. The funniest part was without doubt everyone going up to Hans to find out where the heck Southern Adventist University is and him graciously responding Chattanooga, Tennessee every time. We then got on the bus to head over to the studio. The entire one hour ride to the studio went by very quickly as Maggie was explaining all of the rules and what to expect when we reached the studio. After getting some makeup, we were called out to film the interviews and promos where we gave shoutouts to our schools and hometowns. After all the interviews were taped, we were finally able to stand behind the actual Jeopardy podiums on the actual Jeopardy stage to play a mock game. Getting a feel for the buzzer and how to time it was very tricky for everyone but we were able to play a couple rounds while having fun and cheering each other on. During any free time, all of us were getting to know each other and what I found out was that this was an awesome group of people who were very easy to talk to and had very interesting stories. There was absolutely no tension between anyone and we all started talking about our favorite movies and TV shows.

After all of the rehearsals, it was finally time to film the episode. In the green room, we had decided on watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail just before the first three contestants were announced. My name was the first name to be called out, and I had no idea whether to be nervous or not. Then Steve and Olivia were called out, and we all got together to get pumped before the match. It was so exciting being on stage and the three of us were just looking at each other saying "Is this really happening to us?" When filming started, we finally got to see Alex Trebek after he was introduced by Johnny Gilbert. Right away, we started playing and I don't really remember anything that happened during the match. It was all a blur except for the breaks where we got water and Maggie told us to keep up the good work. The game was really high scoring and I don't remember more than a couple of questions going unanswered. For Final Jeopardy!, the category was American companies and the answer was Heinz. The best part was that when Alex came up to me to look at my answer, he said "You're not going to be able to go back to Pennsylvania if you get this one wrong." The funny thing is that I'm from all the way on the other side of the country in California while Olivia had grown up just a couple of minutes away from the Heinz headquarters.

So it turns out that I had won and become a semifinalist. At that point, I was just relieved that the first game was done and now I could enjoy and watch the rest of the guys tape their episodes.

November 5, 2010
My name is Siddharth Chandrasekhar and I am currently a senior at the University of Pennsylvania. I am originally from Saratoga, CA, so I have definitely traveled a long way to go to college. The main reason I decided to go to Penn instead of staying on the west coast is the amazing program I'm in, the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, a dual degree program where you get a degree from the Wharton school of business and the School of Engineering. I am expecting to graduate in the spring with a major in Materials Science Engineering and concentrations in Finance and Management from Wharton. I know it sounds like a lot but the program has definitely been a lot of fun and the kids in the program are definitely the smartest and coolest people I know.

At Penn, I am a part of the quiz bowl team and Penn Raas, a competitive Indian dance team. I also really enjoy going to the gym to play games of pickup basketball and getting in some good exercise. Outside of those activities, I am a huge fan of the 49ers, Giants, Warriors, and Sharks and am always sad that I'm not able to watch most of my team's games here at school.

As for the actual audition process, I have been a big fan of the show for as long as I can remember. Every night around dinner time, my entire family including my mom, dad, and two brothers get together to watch the day's episode. Before this year, I had only taken the online test once, and I didn't even know the date of this year's test. In fact, I only found out about a couple of hours before the test when my friend told me that he was planning on taking it. I then quickly found a computer in the building we were in and signed up to be able to take the test. After taking the test, I felt pretty good but I had blanked on at least a couple of the questions. I wasn't sure when I would hear back so I had forgotten all about it when a couple of weeks later, I got an email saying that I had got the callback.

The in-person audition was during Summer break in the middle of June, and I was working at an internship near school . Thankfully, one of the five audition sites was in Philadelphia, so it was very convenient for me to get there, around a 10 minute ride. My friend who had originally told me about the online test had also gotten a callback at the same time so I called him up to make sure we were going to the right place. I got to the Sheraton on the Monday morning of the tryout pretty early, but thankfully the World Cup games were being shown on a TV in the lobby so I sat down and started watching. Eventually, I ended up meeting a couple of the other students who were trying out and we started trying to figure out what kind of questions we would get asked. At 9 AM, we filled out some forms, got our picture taken and then headed into a room where we would take the 50 question written test. After the test was over, I was pretty sure about 45 of my answers and later after talking with the other kids, knew I had gotten at least a couple wrong. Then, the Jeopardy! people explained the rules of the game and called us up three at a time to play mock games with buzzers. After the mock games, they interviewed us in front of everyone asking questions like "What's your favorite thing to do outside of class?" and "What would you do if you won a lot of money?" I had a fun time during the audition and knew the odds were against me of getting chosen to be on the show. At least I had a water bottle and pen to keep as mementos.

I had pretty much written off my chances of getting selected to be on the show and was focusing instead on the beginning of senior year and the job hunt. Then, after a few weeks of class, I was in my room in the afternoon when I got a call from an unknown 310 area code number. I picked up and Maggie spoke saying she was from Jeopardy! I got pretty excited at that point but did not immediately assume anything because I had not heard anything definitive from her. She asked several routine questions making sure I was a student and had no felonies and then said Congratulations on getting chosen for the College Championship. At that point, I was shocked and didn't know how to respond. After the end of the call, I was still in disbelief and then walked to the common room where the rest of my house mates were sitting watching TV to tell them the good news. After they congratulated me, I called my parents, and they immediately started making plans to come down for the taping with my brother.

In the month that I have had to prepare for being on the show, I have pretty much just been watching the daily episodes, keeping my mind alert, going to bar quizzo (a Philly thing) and practicing my reflexes for the buzzer. I am very pumped to go back to California for the taping and know that I will have a good time no matter how I end up doing on the show.

Sid appeared in the following 2 archived games:
#6023, aired 2010-11-17 Sid Chandrasekhar vs. Sam Spaulding vs. Lea Tottle 2010-B College Championship semifinal game 3.
#6016, aired 2010-11-08 Sid Chandrasekhar vs. Olivia Colangelo vs. Steve Greene 2010-B College Championship quarterfinal game 1.

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