'Jeopardy!' Has a New Genius: Grad Student Surpasses Ken Jennings' High One-Day Total (VIDEO)
by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 14th 2010 10:30PM
'Jeopardy!' has been plugging along since 1984, winning 28 Emmys and improving cocktail conversations the world over with their interesting trivia tidbits. But on Sept. 14, one smart contestant made history.
Reigning champ and record-breaking winner Ken Jennings has been dethroned as the show's highest one-day winner. Roger Craig, a 33-year-old graduate student from the University of Delaware, now holds that title.
Jennings held the highest one-day record of $75,000 for more than six years; Craig's $77,000 win today puts his two-day total at $114,000. It's still nowhere near Jennings' total lifetime 'Jeopardy!' winnings of over $3 million, but it's definitely a start.
"Breaking Ken Jennings' record is simply amazing," Craig said. "I knew that I had a chance to set the new record going into Final 'Jeopardy!' so I thought what the heck ... I'll go for it."
Craig, who will earn his Ph.D. in computer science this fall, says he grew up watching the show after school in the late '80s, and first tried out for the Teen Tournament when he was a junior in high school, but wasn't selected. He also tried out three times since 2006 before being selected to appear on the Sept. 13 season premiere.
For him, it's all about strategy ... and, admittedly, a little bit about luck: "I made a lot of big wagers on Daily Doubles. I was really confident in certain categories and took advantage of those opportunities to earn as much money as I could ... I lucked out on my first game with a chemistry daily double. My undergrad degree is in bio chem."