|Teen’s testimony shines under ‘Jeopardy!’ spotlight|
"Jeopardy!" contestant Becky Kralle (right) used her television appearance to witness to her Christian faith. Her pledge to tithe her winnings impressed friend Becca Force and others. A UMNS photo by Matthew Ralph.
By Matthew Ralph*
March 10, 2008 | GLENDORA, N.J. (UMNS)
While the object of "Jeopardy!" is to guess the right question, it was the answers of 17-year-old contestant Becky Kralle that left the biggest impression during an appearance on the nationally syndicated TV game show.
Becky, who already had pledged to put 10 percent of her earnings in the offering plate at Chews United Methodist Church, was given two chances to share about her Christian faith in the form of answers to host Alex Trebek's questions.
The first, which appeared in her introduction video on the Teen Jeopardy Web site, was a query about personal heroes. Becky gave only one: "My savior, Jesus Christ."
Later during the national broadcast, Trebek asked about a mission trip Becky went on with dozens of other youth from her church in southern New Jersey. In both instances, Becky said witnessing to the faith was "a natural thing to do."
"Any time we have a chance to share our faith, I think it's a good idea to do it," she said. "So I jumped at the chance to do it on a national scale."
Jumping for joy
Becky's "Jeopardy!" appearance became a family affair. She was joined by parents Dean and Sue Kralle and her 14-year-old sister, Anna, for a five-day visit to California. Two of those days were spent in a Los Angeles studio while family, friends and church members back home anxiously awaited the outcome.
The family had to keep what they experienced a secret for nearly a month. "Everyone at youth group kept asking me, 'Did you win? Did you win?'" Becky recalled.
“Any time we have a chance to share our faith, I think it's a good idea to do it.”
When the show finally aired Feb. 14, her "fans" saw an upbeat Becky, even when her entry for the final "Jeopardy!" question was blank. She smiled in defeat. "When I first got my audition up in New York, I was jumping for joy, so anything that happened after that was icing on the cake," she said.
Church leaders affirmed Becky's personal witness of her Christian faith and her tithe of $500 from the $5,000 she was guaranteed for appearing on the show.
"Becky Kralle is a wonderful example of the love and support of parents, friends and a caring church family who has provided nurture and guidance for her life," said the Rev. Gary Bartlett, Chews' senior pastor.
"(Her) Christian witness will have a lasting effect on the children, youth and adults at Chews, especially as she has not allowed this brief, yet fun experience of fame and some fortune change who she is as a personable, responsible, intelligent young woman of faith," Bartlett said.
Becca Force, 17, a church friend and classmate at Baptist Regional High School, said she was impressed by the way Becky handled the experience and all of the local media attention that came with it.
"Many people wouldn't have had the guts to be so open about their faith on national television," Becca said.
For Becky, the "Jeopardy!" appearance included some unexpected outcomes. While she was already involved in her youth group at church, she now is better connected with some of the older members of her 500-member congregation.
"The older people were so excited," she said, "because I guess it's an older thing to watch 'Jeopardy!'"
*Ralph is a freelance journalist in Louisville, Ky.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
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