A doctoral student from Knoxville will get his shot at competing on "Jeopardy" on Thursday. 

David Gatewood will face off against a high school English teacher from Virginia and whoever is the returning champion, according to the show's website. 

Gatewood is studying for  his Ph.D. in Literature at the University of Tennessee. He says it took about two years to get on "Jeopardy."

"I took the online test in January of 2015," Gatewood said. "From there, I received an email saying they wanted me to go to an audition." 

He auditioned in Atlanta in June 2015.

"There was a lot of people in Atlanta," Gatewood said. "When it was over, they told us that we're "in the pool" for a possible appearance in the next 18 months."

Gatewood said he thought his time had expired, but in November 2016, the day before his birthday, he received a phone call from Culver City, Calif.

"I didn't recognize the number and almost didn't answer it," Gatewood said.

However, he answered it and found out that he had made it onto the game show. The taping took place in mid-December.

"The people, all the producers and people associated with the show are incredibly nice. It was incredibly fun," Gatewood said. "The pool of contestants you are with are really nice. You'd think they'd be cut-throat, but it turns out to be opposite, we were all enjoying the experience."

You can watch "Jeopardy" weekdays at 7:30 p.m. on WBIR.