San Luis Obispo mechanical engineer and musician Doug Groshart can knock an item off his bucket list, thanks to his upcoming appearance on “Jeopardy!”
“It was surreal, and it was intimidating and super exciting,” said Groshart, who appears Thursday on the popular NBC quiz show. “I definitely had sweaty palms.”
Groshart, 45, grew up in Santa Ynez and graduated from Cal Poly in 1995. In addition to working at San Luis Obispo firm Diversified Project Services International, he’s the lead singer and keyboardist of local rock band The JD Project.
Groshart has been watching “Jeopardy!” nearly nightly since he was 12. He first tried out for the show in person as a college student, then made about 10 more attempts through online tests before finally landing an audition in Los Angeles in January.
“I was just in awe, going, ‘There’s a lot of smart people here,’ ” Groshart recalled.
In April, Groshart spent a whirlwind day filming at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City. Knowing how nervous he’d be behind the podium, he asked his wife, Rachel, and kids, 12-year-old Cooper and 9-year-old Maggie, to hang back at the hotel room during filming.
Although Groshart can’t reveal the outcome of the show, he said buzzing in answers in front of host Alex Trebek was “a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was definitely a bucket-list item for me.”
Groshart joked that his next goal is teaching his son, who helped him practice for his “Jeopardy!” appearance, how to become a quiz show champion. ‘
“I’ve got to train up the next contestant,” he said with a chuckle.
Watch San Luis Obispo resident Doug Groshart compete on “Jeopardy!” at 7 p.m. Thursday on NBC.