Update 10/13/17: All good things must come to an end. After a twelve-game winning streak, Austin Rogers was bested Thursday night by Scarlett Sims of Oak Ridge, TN $33,201 to $33,150. His total winnings were $411,000, snagging him the Number 5 spot on the all-time leader board. While we will all miss Austin, it won’t be for long. He will return for the Tournament of Champions which begins Novemer 6.
Wacky highjinks, dry sarcasm, and pantomime are not typically hallmarks of ABC’s seminal game show Jeopardy! That said, they do make for excellent ratings.
Current champion Austin Rogers grew up on the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation where his father was a park ranger. He went to Fox Lane High School in Bedford before attending Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where he studied history and music. He worked as an events manager and digital marketer until losing his job and eventually settling in as a bartender in Manhattan, where he currently resides.
Also, as of Tuesday night he’s won $394,700.
A “streaker” in Jeopardy! parlance is a contestant who wins at least five straight games. Rogers currently stands at eleven.
“I got banned from playing Trivial Pursuit by my friends,” Rogers says of his bona fides. “Last time we played four of them didn’t get a turn because I won on my first turn. SWEEP!”
“Jeopardy! has an online test which, if you do well enough, you get an in-person audition. I got my first audition probably about eight years ago, but didn’t get the call-back. This time, last October, I got the callback to appear in April.”
Since Jeopardy! films its seasons in blocks, the rest of us have to wait to find out how much Rogers eventually got to walk away with. This also means, however, that Rogers gets to watch himself win at various viewing parties at all the different bars where he works and hosts trivia. (Of course he hosts trivia.)
“I definitely watched Jeopardy! as a kid, but don’t watch it now unless I’m on. Which is a lot.”
When asked how he’ll eventually celebrate his final win, Rogers says, “Definitely a nap. This partying every night thing is exhausting!” We’re right there with you, Austin.
You can catch Austin (and Jeopardy! in general) weeknights on ABC at 7 p.m.