Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

Petri Kin Dazzles on Jeopardy!

By - Sep 22nd, 2006 12:00 pm
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Usually, when a university student appears on Jeopardy!, he or she does battle with his or her student peers. Not so last Wednesday, when Harvard freshman Alexandra Petri took on two adults on the game show, and also nearly took the prize.

Introduced to the audience as being “originally from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin,” Petri seemed worldly for her years — and for her hometown.

Sure enough, she is one of those congressional children who grew up in the District of Columbia, where she attended Cathedral High School, which, with its Wisconsin Avenue N.W. address, has at least a little something in common with her putative home state.

Her father, Rep. Tom Petri, (R-WI) himself a Harvard graduate, had no prepared comment on his daughter’s appearance, taped some months ago, but his press secretary, Neil Wright, said “the whole office was interested,” in her turn on the show, which was broadcast in Washington at 7:30 p.m. — far too late an hour for any congressional staff to remain at work merely for enjoyment.

Instead, her appearance was celebrated “Republican Party” style, with everybody watching at home in their nighties. “People on the staff were stunned at the things she knew,” Wright said. Wright even recorded the show, including passages like Alexandra’s “Jeopardy! Howdy” and thoughtfully made still prints for his boss’ collection.

This article was originally published by Milwaukee World.

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