‘Jeopardy!’ Power Players Week films at Constitution Hall

From left, MSNBC\'s Chris Matthews, CNN\'s Lizzie O\'Leary, and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during a rehearsal taping on Saturday. (WTOP/Thomas Warren)

Tristiana Hinton, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Jeopardy! brought its buzzer-beating quiz show to Constitution Hall on Saturday.

Fifteen big-name media personalities battled it out for charity during the taping of “Power Players Week.”

Contestants included basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

“This is way more nerve-racking than walking out, even on a bad day, at the White House,” said Gibbs. “You want to do well for your charity.”

The tournament donated a total of $350,000 to charities chosen by the contestants. Game winners got a minimum of $50,000 while the other contestants got consolation prizes of $10,000.

Organizations included everything from the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Trevor Project to players’ personal charities, like Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation.

“Our purpose is to inspire young people to realize the power of knowledge,” said Abdul-Jabbar. The foundation identifies role models who can help students make choices that lead to personal and academic success.

CNN’s Lizzie O’Leary played for 826DC, a local non-profit that works with kids to develop their creative and expository writing skills.

“To me it was important to play for a charity that’s in my neighborhood, that’s helping the city I grew up in,” she said. “I am here to represent D.C.”

This is the third Power Players Week in Jeopardy! history. The episodes air May 14 to 18.

WTOP’s Thomas Warren contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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