Freshman Kaushik Tota is a real whiz kid. Recently, he flew to Las Vegas for a taping of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire — Whiz Kids Week” and put his affinity for obscure facts to the test.
No, Kaushik didn’t win a cool million, but he did have a blast. His segment aired in December.
“The experience was absolutely amazing, and I’m extremely grateful to have been a part of it,” he said. “The production team and the host were extremely friendly. It was also really fun talking to the other kids who were selected for the show.”
Kaushik, a trivia enthusiast, thought the show would be a fun way to challenge himself, and he was chosen to be a contestant after a series of auditions.
On the show, he was initially stumped by the question, “Which is the only vowel that does not appear in the three four-letter state names?” After some quick thinking he correctly came up with his final answer, the letter E.
“To prepare, I studied history and literature, my weakest points, and general trivia,” he said. “I took many online quizzes and improved my memorization skills. I also trained myself to find patterns and notice clues in the way the question is written in order to gain insight into what the answer could be.”
At Saint Francis, Kaushik already has experience answering general knowledge questions in competitive settings. He is a member of the Quiz Bowl and Science Bowl teams and is also involved with Lancer robotics and speech and debate. Kaushik is interested in science and technology and in his free time, he teaches STEM classes to kids and races remote-controlled cars and drones.
Kaushik wishes that he could have answered more questions than he did. However, he vows to apply the lessons he’s learned and hopes to have a second shot as a game show contestant. Next stop: the Jeopardy teen tournament.