"Jeopardy!" contestant plans to watch himself on TV at Zen West restaurant

The answer is: Pearl Jam.

The question is, did "Jeopardy!" contestant Thomas Lynn know the name of singer Eddie Vedder's famous rock band?

And the bigger question is, did Lynn win the popular game show?

The answer to the first question is, no. The Radnor-Winston resident, 59, guessed wrong that the band was Van Halen. (It was the only band he could think of with an Eddie as the frontman.)

And the answer to the second question? That's what 50 of Lynn's friends are coming to the Zen West cantina on York Road to find out Monday.

Lynn is prohibited contractually from saying how he did until the show airs. On Monday evening, four months after the taping at Universal Studios in Culver City, Calif., the retired Boys' Latin School teacher and former T. Rowe Price letter-writer will hold forth in a side room of Zen West. There, friends and former colleagues are invited to gather to watch his appearance on "Jeopardy!" on a big-screen TV at 7 p.m.

"If it's a clue, I will not be treating them to any food or beverages," he said. "I might spring for a few nacho platters."

But he said if nothing else, "They'll get to see me. They'll have fun. Any excuse to party."

Lynn is as curious as anyone to see how he did.

"I recall very little of what happened," he said. "It's almost like you're in a fog. It'll be interesting to see."

Lynn went to a "Jeopardy!" audition in Washington last spring. Also there was Marion Penning, a Roland Park Country School teacher, who went on to reach the semifinals of a teachers' tournament edition of the show. Lynn, a retired teacher, wasn't eligible for that tournament, but was chosen as a future contestant.

"I was surprised I got picked at all," he said.

He had to pay his own way to the taping in November, but hinted that he won at least enough money to eventually pay himself back, although the check hasn't come yet.

"I didn't lose any money," he said.

The taping was "surreal," as show officials, intent on ensuring secrecy of the outcome and avoiding cheating, escorted contestants to the bathroom and told the audience to avoid contact with them as they entered the studio.

Lynn said he didn't get a shot at any Daily Double questions and admitted he was out of his element on categories relating to 1990s rock bands and Easter (a contestant who is a Sunday school teacher ran that category, he said).

Winning would be gravy for Lynn, who said the experience alone was well worth it.

"No matter how you do, you can say, 'When I was on "Jeopardy! ...'" he said.

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