Matt Aselage doesn’t usually watch TV game shows, but he is certainly up-to-date on current events.
The Northview High School student’s knowledge of what’s going on in the world helped him and Team Bunhead win the “Pop Quiz Challenge” game show on Saturday, and take home a $500 prize from his all-expenses paid trip to California.
In fact, the team set a show record by scoring the most points ever — 4,100 — and by getting all eight questions correct.
Aselage got on the game show by entering his name in the Channel One News contest. Channel One is a 12-minute news program broadcast via satellite to middle schools and high schools across the county.
His father, Scott Aselage, took a phone call about the television show on election day, when Matt was working at a polling place. Scott called his son to ask about the game show, since Scott thought it might be some kind of hoax.
But after confirming that Matt had been selected, the family told only a couple of Northview staff, and then had to keep it a secret until Matt was ready to leave for the show.
“Nobody knew until that day,” he said of his friends and classmates.
An announcement was made on the in-school television broadcast, and Matt was presented with school spiritwear to take to California and wear on the show, which was taped Saturday at Universal City in California.
“They sent him off with school spirit,” Scott said on Wednesday, the day the game show was broadcast on Channel One.
Ironically, Clay County schools closed for summer vacation on Tuesday, so none of Matt’s classmates were at school Wednesday to see the Channel One broadcast. But the show is available online at www.ChannelOne.com.
When Matt returned to school on Monday after his weekend in California, he was not allowed to tell the outcome of the show, as agreed upon in a contract, until the show aired.
During a brief meeting with local media on Wednesday, Matt said he was one of 12 high school students from around the country who were selected to be on the game show. The students were divided into four teams that also included four young television stars from ABC Family programs. His team included a student from California, one from Colorado, and television star Kaitlyn Jenkins from a new ABC Family show about ballet fans.
During the quiz show, current events questions were presented to the four teams, which had to decide which of the multiple choice answers was correct. Each question earned points for correct answers.
“I knew all of them,” Matt said of his current events knowledge, “but it was majority rules.”
Fortunately, the majority agreed with his answers, and the team was 8-0. One of the hardest questions concerned the name of the new president of North Korea (Kim Jong-un).
Of the 12 students selected for the program, three were from Indiana, he said, and it was only the third year for the annual “Pop Quiz Challenge.”
“It was the first time in an airplane for me,” Matt said of the trip. He traveled without his family to California, but ABC Family provided chaperones and guides during the entire three-day stay, he said.
When he is not studying current events in the world, Matt is involved in the events of his home community of Brazil.
He was a founding member of Youth for the Community Committee — or YCC — which was founded in November to work with Brazil officials to find ways to improve the Clay County town.
One of the partnerships for YCC is the group Servant on the Streets — or S.O.S. — which helps low-income children by providing meals and financial assistance. S.O.S. is now trying to purchase the former junior high building in town, so YCC is working on fundraisers that will help that process.
He has just completed his junior year at Northview, and as a 17-year-old he will be eligible one more time to compete on “Pop Quiz Challenge.”
For his winning efforts, Matt received a plaque, which he gave to the high school, and a $500 check. He donated $50 of his winnings to the school library and put the other $450 in a bank account.
Matt credits the Northview teaching staff and media specialist Kathy Rendant with helping him get into the competition, and he said he also plans to enter his name for next year’s contest.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.