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Can I Have “Amateur Radio” for $800, Alex?


If you were watching the popular television game show Jeopardy! -- where contestants have to answer in the form of a question -- on December 15, you might have noticed there was a question featuring Amateur Radio. In the first round, returning champ Boomie Aglietti was playing the category “Pastimes” when he encountered this “answer” worth $800: “The FCC assigns call signs, like N8DNR, to use in this hobby.” Aglietti answered correctly with “ham radio.”

N8DNR is the call sign of Debbie Dorfman of West Bloomfield, Michigan. Debbie is the mother of Stephen Dorfman, N6DIW (SK). Stephen was a writer for Jeopardy! from 1984 until he passed away in 2004 at age 48 due to complications from cancer. According to the New York Times, Dorfman was Jeopardy!’s longest serving and most prolific writer, with more than 50,000 clues to his credit. As part of a team of writers, he won six Daytime Emmy Awards for special-class writing, given for shows that do not fit into traditional categories. On the Jeopardy! episode that aired January 3, 2008, another Dorfman call sign was featured -- this one of Stephen’s father Neil -- also for $800, in the category “If You’re...”: “...using a call sign like K8RX, you’re engaged in this hobby.”  -- Thanks to Ed Parish, K1EP, for bringing this to our attention



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