SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An area man competed on Jeopardy! and next week, southwest Missouri and the nation will get to see how he fared.

Brandon Broughton, 26, of Ozark, flew out to Los Angeles to compete in the trivia show in January. His episode will air at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5.

“It was a great experience!” Broughton said. “Pretty surreal altogether.”

The taping of the show was very streamlined, Broughton said. What Jeopardy! fans see when they watch the show is basically real-time gameplay.

“It’s very much a well-oiled machine,” Broughton said. “That said, the entire production team was very friendly and gracious, which is good because I think all of us contestants were in shock just to be there. I feel like I don’t remember 80% of the experience just from the adrenaline, so watching it all on television will almost be like doing it for the first time again.”

Broughton said that wanted to compete on this show ever since he was a child after his parents gave him a Jeopardy! computer game. His pursuit of knowledge and education gave him the training he needed to be accepted onto the show and compete.

Originally from Ozark but now living in Springfield, Broughton attended Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, where he studied English and Technical Communications. These days, he is a local history associate at the Springfield-Greene County Library District and a graduate assistant at Missouri State University. He recently decided to pursue a software engineering degree.

He had some advice for anyone who makes it onto Jeopardy!:

“You don’t have to know everything about everything. Just treat it like you’re studying for a 101 college course in literature, history, sports, etc. Try to read as much as you can! Wikipedia is a great tool, as are flashcards. Also, reaction time plays a much larger role in the game than people may think.”

Broughton said that on Jeopardy!, viewers often see the three contestants pressing the buzzer at the same time. Even if a contestant has the answer, they have to be faster than the others. To prepare for the speed of the game, Broughton said he played fast-paced video games for about an hour a day to improve his reaction time and hand-eye coordination.

He also suggested watching as much Jeopardy! as you can if you want to play well in the game.

“There are certain common clues that you should think of as automatic triggers for answers. A Polish composer will almost always be Chopin. A Zoroastrian singer will always be Freddie Mercury. It’s also important to get a feel for the pacing of the hosts and the rhythm of the game. Above all, don’t psych yourself out thinking of your score as money. It’s just a game that you enjoy playing, and if you make it far enough to use this advice, then clearly you’re good at it, so relax!”

Brandon Broughton, Jeopardy! contestant

To find out what station you can watch Jeopardy! on, you can search by zip code on the show’s website.