Union County art teacher set to compete on Jeopardy!

Union County art teacher set to compete on Jeopardy!

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 12 at 12:55 AM

UNION COUNTY, N.C. --  Ever wonder who are those people who actually make it on the Jeopardy! show? Well, the answer is a Union County art teacher who has turned a love of trivia into a national TV debut.

"I grew up watching Jeopardy! and I always told myself by the time I was 30 I would be on Jeopardy!," said John Morgan.
 
Prospect Elementary School art teacher John Morgan reached his childhood goal by competing with 100,000 people and passing the online test and then being one of 2,000 to make it to a regional audition in New Orleans.
 
"I took it seriously, by all means, but definitely was going in with no expectations other than to just give my best and hopefully we'll see what happens," said Morgan.
 
What happened was he became one of the 400 to actually make the show. It was a goal years in the making with lots of practice playing local trivia, teaching art and obeying his parents.
 
"I am a big reader, big reader—From day one my parents have, in my opinion to the point of abuse, forced me to read, read, read," said Morgan.
 
At school he's made his mark with getting his students involved in creative artwork all over the classroom and hallway ceiling. Principal Jannie Bankston says they didn't know he was also a trivia whiz.
 
"The students are just very proud and of course they want to be Mr. Morgan when they grow up and as far as the staff we had a mock mini Jeopardy! and we were no good," said Prospect Elementary School principal Jannie Bankston.
 
One of the highlights for Bankston was meeting one of his heroes, Alex Trebeck.
 
 "He's not necessarily the cuddliest fella…but that kind of cemented the legend," said Morgan.
 
And though he hasn't been able to tell the kids how he did, he hopes he's been an inspiration for them.
 
"I'm your art teacher, I'm your teacher just like everybody else, but I went out and did something just because I said I'm going to do this and it happened," said Morgan.
 
The episode airs Monday, January 21.  Another huge passion of Morgan's is bringing back the Hornets, so he's also a major organizer for their Swarm Time Warner Saturday on January 19.

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