(LOS ANGELES) — Controversial Jeopardy! champ Arthur Chu extended his winning streak to double-digits Monday night despite missing two big “Double Jeopardy” bets and guessing wrong on “Final Jeopardy!”
Chu’s unconventional style of play has led some of the show’s fans to jeer him on Twitter and dub him the “Jeopardy! Villain,” but others cheer him and jump on board the #ChuChuTrain, which has been powered by Chu snarkily live-tweeting his matches and retweeting his haters.
On Monday night’s pre-recorded broadcast, despite Chu’s missteps, the Chu Chu train kept rolling as he squeaked out a 10th straight victory.
Chu, 30, an insurance compliance worker and voiceover actor from Broadview Heights, Ohio, came in with total winnings of $261,000 — enough, according to host Alex Trebek, to prompt an ultimatum from Chu’s mother.
“She said I have to take care of her now for the rest of her life,” Chu told Trebek.
As has often been the case, Chu surged to an early lead by picking squares off the board out of the conventional order, moving briskly and employing elements of game theory.
By tending to pick the higher values first, Chu has sought out and often bet big on the “Daily Double” squares frequently found on that part of the board.
This time, however, the strategy nearly cost him.
In the game’s first round, Chu put up everything he had — $3,200 — after locating a “Daily Double.” He got dropped back to $0 by failing to know that the clue referred to the William Faulkner novel, The Sound and the Fury.
Even so, Chu’s competitors were in negative territory, so Chu remained on top and got back to $3,200 by the first commercial break, with his rivals both still in arrears.
By the start of “Double Jeopardy!” Chu was at $6,200 and his nearest opponent had a mere $200.
The game tightened as Chu missed a second “Daily Double” bet, this time for $4,000. But then he won a $3,000 “Daily Double” and went on to run his score up to $18,200 by “Final Jeopardy!”
His nearest rival, Sean Sullivan, was at $7,800, and reached $15,199 by knowing Stephen Sondheim was the “American Composer” who was the protege of Oscar Hammerstein who had Grammys, an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize and more Tonys than any other composer.
Chu guessed incorrectly, but only wagered $2,000, and still walked away the winner.
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