I grew up in a Jeopardy! household. Every night after dinner, my sister and I would sit down with our parents. She and I would fail miserably to guess the answers, as our knowledge base certainly wasn't as broad as our parents', but we enjoyed learning new things. A lot of what I know now, at 30, can be traced back to watching Jeopardy!, and diving into learning about a question (answer?) I got wrong.

We also had fun learning the word puzzles that were the clues. Unraveling the context to attempt an educated guess. The answer is hidden in the clues. You just have to chip away at it to find it. And you have to be lightning quick.

Normally Jeopardy! offers the online test in the first quarter, around early-to-mid February, but as I was scrolling through my email last night, they're offering another round of testing this October for both regular adult contestants and their College Tournament. Just head to Jeopardy.com to get registered.

The first step towards being a contestant on the show. Take the test. If you do well, they contact you for a live audition in one of usually 10 cities. If you do well, you'll get an invite to be on the show. But the online test... oh that's a tough gate to break through.

For 12 years, ever since I was first eligible to take the test, I've been taking that test. Fifty questions, covering everything from late 19th century opera to 1980s Soviet politicians to 1930s Oscar winners. The test is, by design, a lot more difficult than the show. They want to make sure you're smart, not just lucky. You're given 15 seconds to answer each question. You hope the spelling of the answer you type is close enough to count, and once it's all over, you sit and wait for Jeopardy to give you a call. You aren't given a final score. You aren't told how you did. You just have to hope you did well enough to get a call. You can take the practice test of 30 questions and they'll give you a score on that. I got 17 out of 30 last night. I would have done better, but I completely blanked on answers I knew, (CURSE YOU VICTOR HUGO!)

Twelve years later, I'm still taking the test. Twelve years later, I have yet to get the call. But my twitter bio includes "3 Day Jeopardy Champion (pending)," so I'm optimistic that one day I'll be able to walk on stage at Sony Picture Studios in Burbank, California, have Johnny Gilbert introduce me as "A radio DJ, from Quincy, Illinois," and become an at minimum 3 day champ.

I go to trivia nights, and usually do exceedingly well. My friends and teammates have often said, "Brodie, you know way too much useless trivia." I always respond, "As long as Jeopardy's on the air, no trivia is useless."

You can get registered at Jeopardy's website, take the practice tests, then wait for October to roll around. And even if you have no designs on being a contestant, it's a fun mental exercise.