PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Answer: This prolific polymath who landed an appearance on “Jeopardy!” representing Brown University in the iconic quiz show’s College Championship also scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT.
Question: Who is Dhruv Gaur?
Perhaps he was aided by the the steady diet of Alex Trebek during dinnertime when he was growing up, but Gaur’s track record paints a picture of someone born to give the right answer. The Georgia native hit the academic bowl circuit during high school, winning the state championship, and later scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT before his acceptance to Brown.
Gaur, a first-year student, has always had his eye on “Jeopardy!” and jumped at the chance to represent his new school on the quiz show when this year’s College Championship tryouts came around last October. After he took a 50-question online test and made the cut, “Jeopardy!” sent him to Boston to compete with other area undergraduate whiz kids for the chance to appear on the show in Culver City, California, and win up to $100,000.
“I am a big fan of trivia,” Gaur said, “and I like to know a little bit about a whole lot of things. It’s fun that there’s this game that I can play that has allowed me to use that skill set… and maybe win some money.”
You’d think a scholar with such a wide breadth of knowledge would be unfazed by the competition, but Gaur says that the Boston event — where he competed with other “Jeopardy!” wannabes and was interviewed and camera tested — was incredibly intimidating.
“There were a lot of students from a bunch of really prestigious schools, like the other Ivies, MIT and other colleges, all in the same room,” he said. “And they were all obviously incredibly smart.”
Nonetheless, he bested the competition and headed to Southern California in March with 15 other students from across the country to battle it out before a live audience. Over the course of two days that started at 7 a.m. and extended into the evening, they taped two weeks worth of television episodes.
The pressure was on, he said, because he wanted to represent Brown well. Although new to College Hill, Gaur has fully immersed himself in the University community, participating in the running club and intramural soccer, writing for the Brown Political Review and volunteering with Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere.
“I haven’t been at Brown long, but I was incredibly proud to represent this school because I really love being here, and I wanted to show the world how great Brown is,” he said. “That was definitely a huge part of what motivated me.”
Gaur won’t have to look too hard to find a community of trivia talents right here on campus. Sophomore David Kleinman competed on “Jeopardy!” in February (air date is June 8), and Brown physics Ph.D. student Tyler Morrison took second place — and took home $9,000 — on the show’s March 30 episode.
As for the question that everyone is asking — did he win? — it’s the one answer Gaur can’t deliver. Though he can’t divulge results in advance, all will be revealed on Tuesday, April 10, when what is hopefully the first of his many in-person evenings with Alex Trebek is aired.