This contestant on Monday’s episode of “Jeopardy!” hails from Madison where he is a member of the local curling club.

Who is Dom Granello?

After years of trying to get on the long-running television game show, the former Epic Systems employee is set to demonstrate his trivia prowess on Monday afternoon. In anticipation of his appearance, the 25-year-old Granello watched “Jeopardy!” daily for months before filming last fall.

“I would even stand up and click on a pen, right, as though I was really there at the podium,” he said.

Last March, Granello completed the show’s annual online test that acts as a preliminary weed-out stage for prospective competitors. He said he’s taken that test for the past four or five years.

The results were good.

After scoring above a certain threshold, Granello was invited to Chicago for an in-person audition in August, which consisted of a paper test, meeting the producers and playing a mock version of “Jeopardy!”

Ultimately he was chosen for the competition, which features three people answering general knowledge trivia where clues are given in the form of a statement and contestants give answers in the form of a question.

Granello earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Oklahoma.

The Dallas-area native moved to Madison when he started as a project manager at Epic, where he worked from January of last year through October, but is now thinking about moving back to Texas.

“It is very cold here. I found that the second winter is easier than the first,” Granello said. “Although in the summer, Madison might be the most beautiful place.”

But while he spends time in the city, Granello sharpens his skills by visiting several tavern trivia nights per week.

He traveled to Los Angeles in November to film his “Jeopardy!” appearance, but isn’t allowed to reveal the results of his performance before the episode airs.

“The show itself was a fantastic experience,” he said. “Their production team is really professional.”

The trip also offered Granello a few days to revisit memories of his childhood from a couple of years living on the West Coast.

“I went to the house that I used to live in when I was seven and knocked on the door,” he said. “They let me in and showed me around, and the deck that my dad built when we lived there was still there.”

As for Granello’s interaction with the game show’s decades-long host, Alex Trebek, it was brief but enjoyable.

“You really only see him when the cameras are rolling and he comes on out,” Granello said. “I did make sure to mention the Madison Curling Club, of which I am a member, in my little interview segment.”

Madison viewers can catch his appearance at 4:30 p.m. Monday on WMTV-TV (NBC), Channel 15.


Logan Wroge has been a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal since 2015.