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LT grad to appear on Jeopardy! Monday

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 10:54 a.m. CDT

WESTERN SPRINGS – Shirley Rau encouraged her son Jason to try out for Jeopardy! 10 years ago. He thought the idea was crazy.

After finally being persuaded by friends last year, Jason Rau, a 1997 Lyons Township High School grad, tried out and made it onto the elite trivia game show in January. But he didn’t tell his mom what happened.

The episode will air this Monday on ABC.

Shirley Rau knew her son had the smarts to be on the show when he was young. As a kid, Jason Rau was always interested in reading baseball statistics, Shirley Rau said. He memorized number after number with his sharp memory.

"It's just like a trap,” Shirley Rau said. “Not to brag, but he's really bright."

Jason Rau participated in math contests and other activities at LT. Now, he designs parts for cell phones and cameras as an electrical engineer living in Carlsbad, Calif.

He found out he was selected for the show last September and, being a California resident, had to first appear as a substitute in November, which helped him get familiar with the studio and get over stage fright.

"You have to learn how to use the clicker real fast,” Shirley Rau said.

Jason Rau declined to comment for this story. And despite declining to tell his mom how he did, she’s still his biggest fan.

"I'm very proud of him,” Shirley Rau said.

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