Dayton native to appear on St. Patrick’s Day episode of ‘Jeopardy!’



Seven weeks after Amy Schneider’s record-breaking “Jeopardy!” winning streak, another Dayton native is set to appear on the iconic game show.

Joel Moss Levinson, a content strategist and creative producer, will be a contestant on the March 17 episode.

A fan of “Jeopardy!” since childhood watching alongside his grandmother, Levinson fulfilled his dream after 18 years of taking the show’s qualifying test. In 2013, he made it far enough in the process to advance to another round but wasn’t able to participate because he had been on “Wheel of Fortune” the same year.

“Nine years later, my chance came back up,” said Levinson, who lives with his wife and two children in Yellow Springs. “I took the test during the middle of the pandemic lockdown, and it was a lovely piece of news to know I was going to be able to compete. Interestingly, I recently found the bar mitzvah speech my grandmother gave when I had my bar mitzvah at 13 and in her sweet, complimentary words, she talked about our love of ‘Jeopardy!’ It was a lovely connection we had. She was a game show grandma. As I headed to the studio and during the filming, I was thinking of our connection and how much joy she would have had.”

The 41-year-old traveled to Los Angeles in January for the taping. He enjoyed the opportunity but viewed the mental pressure as grueling and overwhelming.

“It was perhaps the most nerve-racking experience of my entire life,” he said. “It was a fascinating study of how the brain works, trying to access the right information at the right time with all the lights, cameras and sounds happening.”

Credit: Photo: Joel Moss Levinson

Credit: Photo: Joel Moss Levinson

Joel is the son of Dayton Daily News reporter Meredith Moss and retired attorney James Levinson. His brother, Stephen, is a copywriter and content producer who wrote for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Joel and Stephen notably filmed their first full-length movie “Boy Band” in Dayton in 2016.

Reflecting on his time behind the “Jeopardy!” podium, Levinson says he has deep respect for Schneider’s historic, 40-game success.

“What Amy did was an incredible feat,” he said. “When you know what the taping days are like and you know how little time you have plus how much time you have on your hands, and sort of juggling that, it’s a real physical endeavor. It’s an athletic endeavor to be able to be at the top of your game like Amy and perform at that level with those stresses.”

In addition to competing on “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” Levinson’s accomplishments include visiting each of Earth’s seven continents for free, thanks to online contest wins.

In the future, he has one more personal TV goal to achieve.

“If I could just get on ‘The Price is Right’ before I die, it would be the ultimate game show trifecta,” he said. “That’s the dream.”

“Jeopardy!” airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on WDTN Channel 2.

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