With boundless energy and enthusiasm, Dustin Kuras, a stay-at-home
dad from Ypsilanti, competed on Sports Jeopardy! on NBCSN last November.
Coming in a close second to the reigning champion Earl Holland, Kuras says,
“was so much fun and just a great experience. My kids can now say, ‘My dad
was on television!’ ”
From selling steel to the demands of a family
“I worked for 11 years selling steel to the automotive industry. My wife, Dawn,
is a successful dentist and loves her work. It just made sense for me to stay
home and look after our daughter Clare,” Kuras explains. Their son, Ben, arrived
18 months later, and they are expecting their third in March.
“I’m getting used to having absolutely no control over my day. I make
minute-to-minute decisions and sort out a myriad of problems. Sometimes I
think the steel industry job might be better, but then consoling Clare on the disappointment
of Peppa Pig not being on TV, that day is just priceless.”
For the love of sports
Kuras grew up playing baseball and then
basketball. “I did nerdy things like writing down team player names and roster
numbers. I also collected baseball and football cards, avidly studying them for
When the best man from his wedding saw an ad soliciting Sports Jeopardy!
contestants, he told Kuras, “You shouldtotally do that, you’d be great.” Kuras took
the online test and was invited to Manhattan for a four hourlong interview with 30
other contestants. “Dawn was really eager to sightsee, but all
I wanted was an aspirin.”
And Dad goes on TV
“Do you want to be on Sports Jeopardy?” shouted Maggie, the producer phoning
from the studio, a month later.
“As soon as I saw where the call was from, I started
fist-pumping the air. She was so fired up and I yelled ‘Yes’ and booked the tickets to L.A.
for the recording of the show,” Kuras recalls.
Kuras knew that 50 percent of the challenge was being able to hit the buzzer first. He ordered a practice buzzer and started honing his technique. “I got pretty good, but when it came time to be on the show, I was just in awe for the first game. I must have looked really dumb. Although everyone was really supportive, the show environment was so ra ra and hyped up, it was hard not to be overwhelmed.”
In the remaining rounds, he became more focused on the game; he earned 15,000 points, but some lucky daily double picks by Earl eventually thwarted his chance of winning. Kuras says, “That was both the fastest 42 minutes of my life and the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”
What about your family, aren’t they the coolest? “Competing on Sports Jeopardy!
really was the coolest thing in my life,” he says, “but my wife, Dawn and our kids
are, without doubt, the greatest thing in my life.
The next challenge for the Kuras family
“My wife is opening up her own dental practice soon which I’ll be co-managing,
then we’ve got the new baby coming along. After that, we are heading for the
wheel, that is, the Wheel of Fortune. We watch it religiously when the kids have
gone to bed. It’ll be a great next challenge,” says Kuras with the same drive
and enthusiasm that took him all the way to Sports Jeopardy
Q&A with Dustin Kuras
What’s your favorite activity to do with your kids? Dance party! Be it to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’s “Hot Dog” song or something more mainstream on the radio, seeing them laugh along with their uncoordinated dance moves is good medicine!
Favorite memory you have from when you were a kid? Summer visits to my aunt and uncle near Houghton Lake. I loved riding on their pontoon boat, fishing and spending time with my brother and cousins.
What’s your go-to activity when you finally have a few minutes to yourself? Breathe, and then probably eat (quietly) then catch up on sports and news.
Name one thing you swore you’d never do as a dad, but totally do. Teach my kids how to use my iPhone. That’s come back to bite me a few times!
Describe your life in five words. Crumbs, diapers, crying, laughing, love!