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Local girl wins in Jeopardy Kids Week

By Jon Bishop

HARVARD — Grace Acton, a seventh grade student at The Bromfield School, appeared on the Dec. 3 episode of Jeopardy! Kids Week — and she won.

“We were all impressed and proud of her performance,” said Principal Jim O’Shea via e-mail, noting also that the school was “excited to hear she had been selected to participate on the show.”

According to the Jeopardy! Kids Week website, Grace’s favorite subject in school is mathematics, and her favorite artist is Brad Paisley. In a video accompanying the contestant information, Grace said the experience was “weird,” because she didn’t think she’d win.

She tried out for Jeopardy because she’s been a fan of the show for a long time.

“When I saw the ad, I was like, ‘Oh, I want to try that,'” she said. “I did the online test, and then I got to do an audition in New York.”

She said she enjoyed getting to know the other contestants, noting that all of them had a lot in common.

Miriam Smith, her mother, said via e-mail that Grace “found out in July that she was selected, taped the show in October, and had to keep the results quiet until Dec. 3.”

“Not being able to tell anyone how well she did was definitely the most challenging part of the whole thing,” she said.

Grace, she said, was “proud to be the only girl who won an episode of this year’s Kids’ Week.”

According to Smith, producers and contestant coordinators were “phenomenal” throughout the process — especially because they really helped the “kids feel comfortable under the pressure of lights, cameras, audience, buzzer timing, and meeting Alex Trebek.”

She said her daughter is “an avid reader” who “watches the news to keep up with current events, all of which probably helped her on the show.”

In addition to academics, Grace is a level 7 competitive gymnast, Smith said. She also recently started competing in Olympic weightlifting.

The Jeopardy! Kids Week website said the competition allows “tomorrow’s leaders, scientists, politicians, novelists, and poets” to “flaunt their talents and show off their brains.”

Winnings are likely added to winning students’ college funds.

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