Each January, De La Salle Collegiate students can count on the beginning of the second semester, possible snow days, and the perenially popular DLS Jeopardy Tournament.
Faculty member Thaier Mukhtar, who teaches social studies and is the varsity soccer team coach, began the popular activity in the late 90s. Students team up to create four-man teams in the freshman-sophomore or junior-senior divisions.
In 2023, 288 students are participating, although Mukhtar says that one year, over 600 students participated, making Jeopardy the most popular of all the DLS extracurricular activities.
A fan of the late Alex Trebek, the legendary host of the long-running quiz show, Mukhtar himself creates the questions, tailoring them to be somewhat easier for freshmen and sophomores, and more difficult for juniors and seniors.
Categories include three sets of questions in academic subjects, such as history and science, and two sets of questions in “fun categories such as board games and sports.”
Mukhtar says it takes about six weeks to get through the student tournament, with competitions held every day after school until there are four teams of finalists in the two student categories.
Prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants, tickets for local professional sports teams, prom tickets, and even free parking for the upcoming school year.
A special feature of the annual event is the Teachers’ Jeopardy tournament, scheduled for Tuesday, February 7.
Staff member Mike Jolly is the longest active player. Other entrants include Chris Dean, Dave Dudus, Dave Kirck, and Shaun Legato. Dave Slusser is organizing the faculty teams.
Mukhtar creates more challenging questions for the faculty, as well as “silly trivia they are expected to know.”
Mukhtar takes his hosting responsibilities seriously, modeling Trebek, although the ever-humble Mukhtar considers himself "more amusing."