Who Was—?

Maria Khrakovsky with Alex Trebek.

Maria Khrakovsky started a to-do list when she was 8 years old. On it were three items: to be on Jeopardy!, to visit every single country in Europe, and to attend all four major tennis tournaments.

The honors student, a double major in French and accounting, confesses she is 0-0 on tennis, has seen “only” 12 or so European countries, but happily crossed #1 off her list, when she appeared on Jeopardy! on Valentine’s Day.

The fact that she did not end up a “big-winner” did not faze her. “It was surreal—I was ON Jeopardy! There is nothing like looking over and seeing Alex Trebek standing close enough to touch.”

Now, she is focused on course work and looking forward to graduation. In the autumn, she will begin a master’s degree program in accounting.

But that to-do list never dwindles. Khrakovsky, who is fluent in Russian—her family emigrated from Ukraine when she was a baby and spoke Russian at home—wants to learn Italian.

Whether or not it made her list, Khrakovsky did perform at Carnegie Hall—with a Russian choir, when she was 12—“that was awesome!” And, she admits she sometimes fantasizes about being an opera singer. Never doubt that it could happen.