Austin Rogers, the current champion on the popular quiz show Jeopardy!, has captured the attention of a nation for his goofy personality and his penchant for large bets. Rogers is on a winning streak, racking up $332,400 in winnings over the course of nine games, but people aren’t just talking about his intellect.
As reported by NPR, Rogers, a bartender from New York City, isn’t a conventional champion, and is being recognized for his unique flair, quirky introduction segments, and “celebratory histrionics.”
Instead of maintaining a stiff smile and traditional pose when his name is announced during the opening of the show, Rogers exhibits a bit more personality. During his run, Rogers has mimed opening a bottle during his introduction and even pretended to talk on the phone.
Whenever he provides a correct response, Rogers breaks out into, what he describes as “celebratory histrionics.”
Rogers is also being recognized for placing big bets, a move that traditionally enthralls the audience.
Since Rogers began his winning streak, his performance has even spawned its own hashtag, #austinonjeopardy, which many of his fans have taken to adding to their tweets.
“He’s got hair; he’s got chutzpah. He’s got broad-based knowledge,” said show host Alex Trebek.
Rogers’ success may be surprising to some, especially since he doesn’t own a television. However, Rogers admits he found a way to watch “hundreds upon hundreds of episodes” of the show as he prepared for his initial appearance.
Rogers, speaking about his success on the game show, said, “I’m not going to say that there’s a system or a code, but if you watch enough, you’ll start seeing things repeat.”
For example, he said, “If it ever says ‘sculptor’ it’s probably going to be Auguste Rodin. If it ever says ‘American sculptor,’ it’ll probably be Alexander Calder. If it ever says ‘Romanian poet,” it’ll be Eminescu.”
Rogers added, “I have no idea who Eminescu is, but I’ve seen that come up three times in episodes across the decades.”
When asked by Trebek about the reasons behind his success on the show, Rogers replied, “Genetics. Luck. Karma.” And, when asked is school played a role, Rogers replied, “School? Nah!”