Stand­out ‘Jeop­ardy!’ player’s streak ends with nar­row loss

Manteca Bulletin - - Local / State -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — The goofy and en­ter­tain­ing reign of “Jeop­ardy!” champ Austin Rogers is over.

The New York City bar­tender nar­rowly lost on Thurs­day’s show af­ter a 12-game win­ning streak that net­ted him a to­tal $411,000, putting him in fifth place for all-time reg­u­lar sea­son win­nings.

He’s sat­is­fied with the run, Rogers said in an in­ter­view.

“I set my­self out to win one game. I had no idea I’d be this wildly suc­cess­ful,” he said. “I had no idea I’d find it, hon­estly, this easy.”

He cred­its his study of his­tory at Ma­calester Col­lege in St. Paul, Min­nesota, for en­cour­ag­ing his cu­ri­ous na­ture, and says de­vis­ing ques­tions for the trivia quiz nights he hosts proved “a lit- tle help­ful” on the show.

Scar­lett Sims, a stay-ath­ome mother from Oak Ridge, Ten­nessee, ended up with $51 more than Rogers af­ter the fi­nal ques­tion, $33,201 to his $33,150.

Rogers won’t be away long: He’ll com­pete in the two-week “Jeop­ardy!” tour­na­ment of cham­pi­ons that be­gins Nov. 6.

He brought an un­usu­ally free­wheel­ing, im­prov-com­edy ap­proach to the quiz show. While most play­ers stand obe­di­ently as they’re in­tro­duced, for in­stance, Rogers came up with bits of funny busi­ness, such as mim­ick­ing mak­ing a phone call from the stage.

That wasn’t an act for the TV au­di­ence, Rogers said. “My know-it-all-ism is who I am. This is not a fa­cade, un­for­tu­nately, Amer­ica. This is how I be­have in ev­ery­day sit­u­a­tions.”

The re­ac­tion to his an­tics sur­prised Rogers.

“I had a vague feel­ing that peo­ple would be like, ‘Oh, this guy’s sort of ran­dom,’” he said, and fig­ured he might be rec­og­nized by a few “Jeop­ardy!” fans on the street. He didn’t ex­pect to be in­vited to ap­pear on “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica.”

But why not? He was the cocky player who dared to high-five host Alex Tre­bek.

“Austin was out­side the box — com­pletely dif­fer­ent from what many view­ers ex­pect a ‘Jeop­ardy!’ con­tes­tant to be,” Tre­bek said in a state­ment. “He was fun to be with and slightly ir­rev­er­ent.”

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