When Yardley Borough police officer Adam Clark graced the screens of the Delaware Valley on Thursday night, he didn’t expect to go viral. His $4133 wager on a Daily Double, a nod to the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory over the Patriots, took Philly by storm, so I figured there was one thing to do: track down Adam Clark for an interview. We covered a wide range of topics including:
- Adam’s previous appearance on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
- Was the $4133 wagered planned ahead of time?
- Were there other planned wagers?
- Where Adam was when the Eagles won Super Bowl LII
- Has he gotten trolled by Patriots fans on Twitter?
- The audition process for Jeopardy
- Not talking about his appearance from July-September
- Did he consider drawing Gritty for Final Jeopardy?
- Meeting Alex Trebek
- Realizing he’d be going up against reigning champion Jason Zuffranieri
- What’s next?
Here’s that interview:
Crossing Broad [00:01:30] This is a real treat. As today on Crossing Broadcast, we have a special feature and this is with the man who set the Internet ablaze. The man who made Philadelphia proud by giving the fans of the Delaware Valley are a real reason to cheer, as he hit a Daily Double and put up a wager that will go down in history as probably the most important and the most epic of all daily doubles. And of course that was 41 to 33. And that man is a local man. His name is Adam Clark. He’s a police officer with the Yardley Borough Police Department and he joins Crossing Broadcast. So, Adam, thanks for joining me.
Adam Clark [00:02:06] Thanks for having me.
Crossing Broad [00:02:07] I want to get into a couple of things right off the bat from my doing a little bit of research here. This wasn’t your first time appearing on a nationally televised game show is that correct?
Adam Clark [00:02:18] Yeah, it was not my first rodeo as they say. I was on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” about five or six years ago. And I did did pretty well there. Did better than I did on Jeopardy. I won $250,000 on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”.
Crossing Broad [00:02:37] That’s awesome. So let me let me just I guess hit a couple of things here. I know that in the past I’ve read that if you appear on one of those kind of nationally syndicated shows that there is a effectively like a non compete like you can’t go appear on another show for a certain amount of time. Was that something that was an issue when you went to audition for Jeopardy?
Adam Clark [00:02:56] I believe it’s a year. You have to have a year in between being on these game shows or reality shows. So, it was well over a year that it lapsed between millionaire and Jeopardy. So I was in the clear. And there’s also a rule about no more than three every 10 years. So, a year from now I’m hoping to get on “Wheel of Fortune. That’s my next ambition. And then I guess for a few years I’ll have to just not be on game shows for a while.
Crossing Broad [00:03:26] You know I think of all of them, “Wheel of Fortune” is the one that I also would like to appear on. I mean it’s not as lucrative usually but it seems like a lot of fun.
Adam Clark [00:03:33] It does seem like a lot of fun.
Crossing Broad [00:03:35] Who was the host when you did “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
Adam Clark [00:03:38] It was the one and only season that Cedric the Entertainer was the host.
Crossing Broad [00:03:42] That’s fantastic. All right. So let’s get into this Jeopardy thing. I know a lot of people had the question of the $4133 wager. If it was off the cuff it was preplanned. I guess we kind of have to address that right off the top.
Full transcript and audio after the jump:
Adam Clark [00:03:54] Well it was sort of a little of both. Like, going into the game I had a couple ideas in my head of specific amounts that I was going to wager if the situation called for it like if it was about the right amount. For example, I had in mind that if a wager of about seven or eight thousand would be appropriate, then I would wager $7902, which is my police radio call sign. And then if I found myself in a situation, which I did, in which a wager of about $4,000 would be about right, then I might as well just wager $4133, because that that extra $133 isn’t going to make that much of a difference in the game. And, you know, it’ll be a shout out to the the Philadelphia Eagles.
Crossing Broad [00:04:45] Where were you when the Super Bowl win occurred?
Adam Clark [00:04:48] I was at my house in Philly in the Fishtown area. And just sitting on my recliner and just… edge of my seat. Just couldn’t couldn’t relax until until it was officially over, because you never know what’s going to happen when Tom Brady has the ball in his hands. When they finally announced that it was over I just stepped outside and just took it all in and just heard the cheering and the wave of applause sort of come over the city. I remember there was a guy in my block who went running down the street with no shirt on like waving an Eagles banner. It was fun.
Crossing Broad [00:05:30] Did I did the end of it feel anti-climactic to you at all? Because I remember at least at the party I was at the announcers were kind of undetermined if that was really the end or not. It was like an a moment that I thought Al Michaels kind of dropped the ball. Did that kind of happen at all for you or it was just full on elation and you knew in that moment that it was over?
Adam Clark [00:05:48] Well yeah I guess it was. I sort of held my breath until it was officially resolved and then and then the elation kicked in.
Crossing Broad [00:05:58] OK. So here’s a question that came from Twitter and one of the questions was: Did Patriots Twitter come after you attacking you for for this wager? And were there any of the attacks that were creative in any way?
Adam Clark [00:06:15] Not really. I mean, I don’t even really use Twitter. I mean, I’ve looked at it quite a bit over the last 24 hours just because it’s been all these people talking. About me specifically, but I saw the occasional hater out there saying some negative comments, but I didn’t seek that out. I’m sure it’s out there. I’m sure I could find lots more Patriots fans talking smack about me on the internet if I went looking for it. But, I don’t really have time for it and nor do I have the inclination.
Crossing Broad [00:06:53] Well, you know, it didn’t work out so well for them anyway, because a few hours after them going after you on Twitter for it, they had to release Antonio Brown.
Adam Clark [00:07:01] Yeah.
Crossing Broad [00:07:02] It all kind of worked out. Full circle. Good karma for that wonderful franchise in the north.
Adam Clark [00:07:06] Yeah. And you know I was texting with with a friend of mine, my friend Dan, and he was telling me and he’d send me screenshots of some of the nice things that people were tweeting about me and said that there were some not so nice things that people were also tweeting about me. Mainly Patriots fans. And I said, “Well you know what? If they’re so smart, they can get on Jeopardy and then they can wager $2803 or you know whatever that Falcons comeback score was from the Super Bowl a few years ago.
Crossing Broad [00:07:47] I know that there’s usually a bunch of people who, after the fact after they go on Jeopardy, they talk about how grueling the process is to get on the show. How many times did you audition for it before you ended up breaking through?
Adam Clark [00:08:01] Well I took… I’ve taken the the online exam, I don’t know how many times over the years; probably 10 or 15 times. And once previously I passed the online exam. This is maybe like 11 or 12 years ago I passed the online exam. I lived in Arizona at the time I got invited to audition in person in Las Vegas. You have to pass… When you go to the audition you then have to pass a written test. And then they bring you up three at a time. They do sort of a little mock up of the show where you you’re buzzing in and you’re calling off clues from a video screen and all that stuff and then they do like a minute or so to sort of interview with you just to get a feel for your personality see what you’re like. And then if they like you, you get the callback sometime within the next 18 months. And in my case I actually didn’t have to wait that long, because I auditionedin June and I taped my episode in July. So it’s only a couple of weeks that went by between the audition and getting the call.
Crossing Broad [00:09:04] What’s that experience like of having recorded it in July and it doesn’t air until later in September? I have to imagine it’s hard to not tell your family friends what happened.
Adam Clark [00:09:13] It is really hard. And all my friends and co-workers are all hassling me about it trying to get little clues out of me and that sort of thing. So it’s tough not to talk about it. It’s sort of a relief to just have it all out in the open now.
Crossing Broad [00:09:30] One person on Twitter asked, “Was there any thought to drawing Gritty (the Flyers mascot) on the Final Jeopardy, instead of giving it a good old try?
Adam Clark [00:09:37] No. In retrospect I wish I had.
Crossing Broad [00:09:43] If you weren’t already in the pantheon of all time Philadelphia area people to go on these shows, that probably would’ve made you #1.
Adam Clark [00:09:51] That really would have put me over the edge. I got Final Jeopardy wrong anyway and got second place, so it wouldn’t have mattered. I might as well have drawn Gritty.
Crossing Broad [00:10:00] What was it like to meet Alex Trebek? Did you get to to spend any time with him aside from the typical moment there on camera with him and shaking hands after the game?
Adam Clark [00:10:09] No, you don’t really spend any time with him personally except on that stage. So it is a pleasure to meet him. Alex Trebek is so iconic. I literally can’t remember a time when Alex Trebek wasn’t hosting Jeopardy every evening. All my life he’s been there, so to meet someone so iconic was really pretty awesome. And he really impressed me with just the fact thatin between tapings he takes questions from the audience. He tells jokes. He tells stories. I was just impressed with how professional of an entertainer he was.
Crossing Broad [00:10:53] Anything else from your Jeopardy time that you’d like to share with the people that they might not have gotten to experience while watching it on TV?
Adam Clark [00:11:03] I don’t know if you’ve watched recently, but the guy lost to Jason Zuffranieri…He’s really killing it. Like, he’s won 15 in a row now and he’s… I mean he’s legitimately a top five, top 10 player of all time. The night before I tape the episode, I was staying at the hotel in L.A., and I turned on Jeopardy on the local affiliate to see what’s going on. And I see this guy Jason. And I’m like, “Oh he’s really good.” And then the following morning as, you know, there’s this bus that comes and takes you to the studio and I’m chitchatting with all of the other contestants. We’re all excited. And I recognize, “Oh crap. That’s that guy I saw killin it on TV last night. How many… How is he still here?” Because, I knew that they had taped those weeks and weeks ago and I’m like, “Oh this isn’t good.” So then I come to find out that going into that day he had won 11 or whatever and I was like… It was very disheartening to then watch him crush everybody.
Crossing Broad [00:12:15] I’ve got to think that there’s a little bit of solace that you can take that regardless of the kind of game that you’re gonna have, if you’re going up against one of the all time greats, it still has to be something that kind of goes down as being a really cool moment instead of just getting beaten by like some schmo. Right?
Adam Clark [00:12:30] Yeah, it really was. And he couldn’t have been nicer, just totally a cool dude. So, I’m on his side. He’s made a fan out of me. I’m rooting for him going forward.
Crossing Broad [00:12:42] I’m sure that you’re gonna have this whole area rooting for you the next time you go on a show and let’s hope it’s Wheel of Fortune, because that would be really something to see. That’s the trifecta, I guess, of evening TV game shows.
Adam Clark [00:12:51] That is the exact word that I use. The trifecta of American game shows: Millionaire, Jeopardy, and Wheel.
Crossing Broad [00:12:59] Let me just ask you one last thing. Is there anything going on in the the greater Yardley area that you might be working on or working around?
Adam Clark [00:13:09] Well, I’ll be up at Harvest Day working all day (Saturday). So come on up to Yardley Borough Harvest Day. There’s food and vendors and crafts and lots of fun for the whole family.
Crossing Broad [00:13:23] Any chance that they’re gonna give you a last second stand? A float? A hero’s welcome? What are you thinking?
Adam Clark [00:13:29] I don’t know about that. I suspect that there might be some people want to take pictures with me tomorrow, though.
Crossing Broad [00:13:36] Well, thanks so much for taking some time out of your day. I’m sure it’s been a busy whirlwind in the last 24 hours, so I really appreciate you coming on. Once again that was Adam Clark, our local hero. The 4133 Daily Double wagerer.Thanks again for joining the show.
Adam Clark [00:13:53] Thanks for having me.