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BRATTLEBORO — It's easy to look back and laugh now, but David Kleinman says his incorrect answer on "Jeopardy" — in which he nervously placed our landlocked community on the Atlantic coast — was even worse than it looked on television.

"It was a guess, but it was a very silly one," he told the Reformer.

The Brattleboro Reformer got its 10 seconds of fame last Friday, as the answer to a question on "Jeopardy." The category was "State of the Newspaper."

Correct answers in the category were the states that various newspapers call home. His answer to "The Brattleboro Reformer" was Rhode Island.

Kleinman, an English and theater student at Brown University, called me too late for inclusion in Monday's column about our 10-second star turn on a national game show. But his answers were too good not to share. Not when he was so good-natured about it.

What's more, he said no matter what we wrote, we couldn't possibly be as harsh as the heroes of social media.

"There's no way you could be any meaner than what I saw on Twitter," he said.

When the Reformer was presented as a clue, it was early in the game, and Kleinman had yet to buzz in with an answer. This was his first chance. And he was nervous.

"I confused it with Attleboro, which is also not in Rhode Island," he admitted.

Here's why: Kleinman frequently takes the train from the Boston area to Providence, R.I., where Brown is located, and the penultimate stop is Attleboro. He saw and heard "Brattleboro," thought "Attleboro," and the rest is television history.

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But wait, it gets even worse.

"I was kicking myself. We taped that one month before I was actually visiting a close friend in Vermont," he said. "I was kicking myself knowing I'd been right near there."

Kleinman need not kick too hard, because that wrong answer shook loose whatever cobwebs and nervous energy were holding him back. After his gaffe knocked him down to $200, he surged to a first-place finish, and won more than $31,000 with the correct "Final Jeopardy" answer.

Twitter critics aside, the experience was "a lot of fun," he said.

"Being on 'Jeopardy' is extraordinarily surreal ... walking into the studio and realizing 'This is the Jeopardy studio, this is where the magic happens,'" Kleinman said. "When you're hanging out in the green room it's not a spirit of fierce competition. I was definitely thinking 'I want to do well' — but for everyone in that moment, the thought is 'this is the strangest and coolest thing I've ever done.'"

As for our offer to Kleinman to visit Brattleboro?

"I can't make any guarantees, but I'd love to," he said.

But there's no way he's going to mistake our community for Rhode Island ever again.

"I'll never forget Brattleboro as long as I live," he said.

Greg Sukiennik is Vermont Managing Editor for New England Newspapers, Inc.