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This University official was a two-time champion on the game show Jeopardy! this week. The question is: who is Student Financial Services Director William Schilling? Schilling, who pulled in $16,602 after winning the game show Tuesday and Wednesday, was finally defeated last night by Mark McGinty, a Philadelphia actuary. And although he did not make it to the ranks of the five-day champions, he said he enjoyed his experience on national television all the same. "It was a good experience," Schilling said. "I found that it is very unlike guessing the answers in your home." He said the pressure of being on television added a new dimension to the game. "I was nervous during the tapings," Schilling said. "It's almost like being in a tunnel -- the pace at which it moved created tension." In addition to staying calm before an audience of millions -- and correctly answering trivia questions -- Schilling said he never had anticipated what turned out to be one his biggest challenges: the buzzers. Although most television viewers assume that whichever contestant presses the buzzer first gets his first stab at answering a question, the system is actually much more complicated, he said. "When Alex [Trebek] finishes reciting the questions, if you ring in before the lights go on, it blocks your buzzer," Schilling said, explaining that contestants must look at a lightboard before they "ring in." "When people get on a role, it's a combination of just knowing [the answers] and getting into the rhythm," he added. Schilling said members of his family urged him to try out for the show when Jeopardy! held try-outs in Atlantic City this spring. According to Jeopardy! Head Contestant Coordinator Susanne Thurber, potential contestants are interviewed and administered a difficult 50 question test in the preliminary try-outs. Those who obtain a high score on the test participate in a mock version of the game. Schilling said the questions on the audition test are more difficult than the ones on the actual game because they are "more like the Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy." He said he was able to make it on the show -- and come in first place twice -- because he has always read a lot. "You have to read enough so that things click in your mind," Schilling said. "The breadth of information is too much to be able to prepare for it." One of the perks of being a Jeopardy! contestant is getting to meet Trebek, Schilling said. "He seemed like a very amiable guy," he said. "He seems very knowledgeable." But, according to Schilling, there were some drawbacks of being on the show as well. "I think it makes people look heavier than they are," he said. After coming in second place last night, Schilling won a free trip to Orlando, Florida.

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