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Colorado Springs resident Jenna Hilb, left, will compete Thursday on ABC’s game show “The Hustler,” hosted by comedian Craig Ferguson.

Was she or was she not the hustler?

Jenna Hilb is elusive. You’ll have to watch her episode of ABC’s game show “The Hustler” on Thursday to find out.

“I was able to play through the whole show,” said the Colorado Springs resident. “My biggest thing was don’t get sent home first.”

A self-proclaimed “game show junkie,” the Colorado Springs native was recruited to appear on the second season of the show hosted by comedian Craig Ferguson. In 2019, she appeared on “Best Ever Trivia Show” (now called “Master Minds”) on the Game Show Network, where she won $1,000. Since then, she regularly receives casting call emails.

“I’m just a regular person,” said the Air Academy High School and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs graduate. “I’m not afraid to tell it like it is. I’m not shy of who I am. Having an engaging personality and being willing to put yourself out there is what they’re looking for.”

Each episode of “The Hustler” features five contestants who don’t know each other. They’re each picked up at the airport and driven to separate hotels by separate drivers and kept away from each other until they’re on set, all to avoid any secretive game play.

“I felt very fancy having people pick me up,” Hilb said, who flew to Los Angeles at the end of May for taping. “I got to meet Craig. He was super hilarious. I said I was from Colorado Springs, and he said the elevation is so high. He said I did a show there once, and I said I know, I went.”

Immediately before taping, one of the five people is told they’re the hustler. Throughout the show, the contestants collaborate to answer trivia questions worth $10,000 each in an attempt to build the prize pot. The hustler already knows the answers, but must keep their identity secret in order to win the grand prize. During the show, two contestants are anonymously eliminated by the hustler. Three people make it to the end — the hustler and two others — and they must collectively decide the hustler’s identity. If they’re right, they share the prize, which could be more than $100,000. If not, the hustler takes it all home.

Hilb, a franchise business consultant, had no strategy going in, though she’d watched the entire first season of the show multiple times.

“I just went in and had to be myself,” she said. “I just had to wing it. You never know who you’re going to get, who you’re going to play with, what kinds of personalities they are. You could have a strategy, but it could go out the window.”

Contact the writer: 636-0270

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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