Penn Manor Alumni Appearing on Jeopardy

By Taylor Skelly-

Penn Manor alumni, Matt Johnson will be on the national spotlight as his appearance on the popular TV game show Jeopardy airs next week.

The multi-talented 2000 graduate of Penn Manor not only tested his knowledge on Jeopardy, but also plays in a local band and is planning on making a trip back to the high school as an artist in residence as he awaits the airing of his show.

“The process is actually a rigorous ordeal for a TV game show,” said Johnson about applying for the show, “But it’s definitely an awesome opportunity.”

The process begins by taking an online trivia test, in which about 300,000 people are involved. Out of the 300,000 people who take the test, only 3,000 are selected to participate in further testing and evaluation, which includes interviews and personality tests.

“And if you’re picked, they call and tell you you have to be in L.A .in a month,” said Johnson.

2000 graduate of Penn Manor, Matt Johnson. Photo courtesy of

The show, which Johnson said was filmed back in December, airs on April 24 on national television. Unfortunately, he couldn’t release any details regarding his performance on the show because of the contract he signed prior to filming it.

“I’ve been threatening not to watch it as we get closer and closer to the airing of the show. It’s like when you hear your own voice on a recording and it sounds weird, you know?” stated Johnson.

In addition to appearing on Jeopardy, Johnson’s band, Slackwater News, is opening for the national act, Rubblebucket at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster on Friday April 20.  The band consists of four other Penn Manor alumni, JJ Gammache, Dan Zdilla, Matt Blank and Dan Ramirez. Johnson is the guitarist in the indie rock group.

“Three out of the four members of the band and myself have been playing together for at least 10 years,” said Johnson.

Johnson will be making his trip back to the high school on April 27 as an artist in residence.  He will be working with both music and twilight students throughout the course of the day.

“It’s really cool that he had the opportunity to appear on jeopardy, I think it will be a great experience for all the students that get to work with him when he comes back to the high school,” said Penn Manor junior Bobby Goss.

Keep an eye out for the Jeopardy star next week not only on TV, but also in the halls of Penn Manor.