Jason Shore is a smart guy.
The Fort Worth-based medical student was invited to compete on Jeopardy!, after all, and this isn't a game show for dummies.
When someone appears on Jeopardy!, it's certification that there's a substantial amount of knowledge stored between his ears.
Still, Shore was quite nervous in the days leading up to his episode, which airs 11 a.m. Wednesday on CBS.
"My main goal was to win," he says. "But the other thought going through my mind was, 'Please don't let me bomb this.'"
We've all seen it happen. A contestant finishes the "Double Jeopardy!" round with a negative score and is in shellshock as his opponents advance to play "Final Jeopardy!" without him.
"That's the worst thing that could happen," Shore says. "I was hoping at the minimum not to make a fool of myself."
Shore isn't allowed to reveal the results of the show before it airs, but we have been assured by a third party that he does very well. So all that worrying evidently was unnecessary.
In fact, Shore's jitters disappeared as soon as the answers and questions started flying.
"When you're up there onstage and playing the game, you get in the zone," he says. "You don't think about anything else. You just focus on the board and the questions. You tune everything else out."
The 25-year-old Plano native is a second-year student at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth. He thinks, once he graduates in May 2015, that he'd like to pursue a career in surgery.
Here are the hurdles Shore had to clear just to get on the show:
"There's an online test that you take first," he says. "It's something like 50 questions and you get 15 seconds to answer each question. If you do well on that, they call you and you go audition in person. You have to take another test there and you play a mock game of Jeopardy!
"They ask you a few questions about yourself, too. Then, if they like you enough, they'll call you back and tell you to come on the show."
Shore has been a fan of the show for as long as he can remember.
"I've always loved trivia," he says. "When I was a lot younger, I got a Jeopardy! home game. You could buzz in and put in the dollar value and compete with other people while watching the show.
"So I've been watching this for years and years. And when I was in college, I tried out for the college edition of Jeopardy! I made it to the in-person audition, but that was as far as I got."
This time around, a lifetime of training helped him make it all the way. It was a surreal thrill, he says, to be standing onstage opposite the man himself, quiz master Alex Trebek.
Shore also was lucky enough to get a few medicine-related questions. He did well on those.
But given that Jeopardy! can cover almost any subject, from sports to science, from presidents to pop culture, things have a way of evening out on this show.
"There was a ballet category and I know absolutely nothing about ballet," Shore says. "All I could do was hope that it wouldn't all come down to that category."