Mary Green appears on popular game show "Jeopardy!"

Mary Green with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek

KENNESAW, Ga.  (May 12, 2015) — Appearing on “Jeopardy!” had been a…

Georgia (May 12, 2015)KENNESAW, Ga.  (May 12, 2015) — Appearing on “Jeopardy!” had been a dream for Mary Green, an instructor in University Studies at Kennesaw State. After nearly a decade of auditioning for the show, she made her TV debut May 8.

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“I ended up in third place, winning $1,000,” said Green, who was able to answer several questions during the show. “I didn't do well in the first ‘Jeopardy!’ round, but I rebounded in Double ‘Jeopardy!’”

Going into the final segment of the show, Green had $10,000 while the other two contestants had around $14,000 each, she said. She explained that contestants set their wagers during the commercial break, before the question was presented. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to answer the question and had wagered $9,500.

The Milton resident has a knack for knowing facts about a variety of subjects, and had been taking the free online test for “Jeopardy!” for years.

Her favorite category during the show was “Billboard Hits,” where her knowledge of classic rock was helpful.  Some of the categories were more difficult for her.

“There were some categories that were definitely not playing to my strengths, such as Steppes and NASCAR,” she said.

An avid reader, Green said her favorite subjects while preparing for the show were writing, literature and the arts. Prior to the taping, her husband and two sons – one an aspiring opera singer – helped her prepare for the game show, teaching her classical music, sports and geography.

It is Green’s 33-year career as an educator and administrator that likely helped her land on “Jeopardy!” Green worked in K-12 education for both Gwinnett and Cherokee counties, retiring in 2008 from Woodstock High School, a school she opened as an assistant principal 12 years earlier.  She also worked as assistant principal at Norcross High School for 10 years.

Green joined Kennesaw State University in 2009, teaching online and traditional courses in leadership studies and composition.  She is a 1972 graduate of Kennesaw Junior College and earned bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees in education from the University of Georgia.

“With all of my years in educational leadership, Kennesaw State seemed like a logical fit for me,” Green said about joining KSU’s University College.  “I like that students want to be here.  High school students don’t always see the value of education.

“While some college students haven’t yet wrapped their heads around what it takes to be successful in college, I teach learning support courses that are geared to help students develop college writing skills.”

Each year, more than 100,000 applicants test online for a chance to be on the ever-popular national game show. Only a few thousand make it to the regional auditions, and about 400 each year are invited to the in-studio taping in Los Angeles.

Green flew to California in late February, but she was unable to share details about the show’s outcome until after the air date last week.  

Despite the outcome of her national appearance, she said she had a great time on “Jeopardy!”

“Overall, it was an unforgettable experience,” Green said. “Now I've had my 15 minutes of fame!”

-- Tiffany Capuano 


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit