'Jeopardy!' maven from Sandusky sets his sights on bigger money

Drew Scheeler's appearance on "Jeopardy!" wasn't the teen's final answer to his love of trivia and game shows. Sandusky native Scheeler, 19, will again put his brain to work on national television with appearances on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Monday and Tuesday.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 17, 2010

 

Drew Scheeler's appearance on "Jeopardy!" wasn't the teen's final answer to his love of trivia and game shows.

Sandusky native Scheeler, 19, will again put his brain to work on national television with appearances on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Monday and Tuesday.

Scheeler won $5,000 in the "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament in October 2008. His contract with the show barred him from appearing on another game show for a year, but he applied to "Millionaire" as soon as he could.

"The day it was up, he was in New York to tape 'Millionaire,'" said Drew's mother, Cynthia Scheeler, who accompanied him to the taping in late November.

Scheeler, a graduate of Lake Ridge Academy and a freshman at Case Western Reserve University, said he loves trivia game shows because they test a lifetime of learning.

"It's not something you can really study for," he said. "It's just a lifetime of paying attention to random things and hoping that those are the things they ask about."

He can't say anything about what topics came up or how he did, but Scheeler spent hours preparing so he would stay cool in the hot seat.

"I had basically a month to prepare," he said. "I spent a lot of time thinking about the theory behind it, what lifelines to use, how to use them. I just spent a lot of time going over various scenarios, how I would play them out."

Scheeler connected with past contestants, including some big winners, on a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire message board to get tips on how to prepare. He said they were a great support, and a couple of them agreed to be his "phone-a-friend" lifeline.

He didn't get to call on them, though, because the show ended that lifeline earlier this year.

"That was my greatest disappointment with 'Millionaire,'" Scheeler said. "I never got to say, 'I want to use my phone-a-friend and call somebody.'"

Cynthia Scheeler said she was thrilled that Drew made it onto the show -- he may be the youngest person to compete on both "Jeopardy!" and "Millionaire" -- but she was also concerned about his other studies.

"I said to him, 'You're still doing your homework, right?' He said, 'Yeah, yeah. That's what I do for my break time is study for Millionaire,'" she said.

Scheeler wants to try out for other game shows eventually, but for now he'll bide his time. His "Jeopardy!" contract also says he can appear in only two other game shows in 10 years, and nothing else on TV now really appeals to him.

"I'm going to have to wait for something amazing and new to come along to finally try out that third use," he said.

 

When to catch Drew Scheeler on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Buckeye CableSystem CBS channel 4

9:30 a.m. Monday and Tuesday