NEW YORK (AP/WAVY) — “Jeopardy!” champ Arthur Chu, who won big money while taking heat for his renegade style, has been defeated — and by none other than a William and Mary graduate.
After reigning for 12 days, Chu finished in third place with zero dollars on Wednesday’s edition of the syndicated quiz show. His total winnings were $297,200.
“A great run,” summed up host Alex Trebek.
Chu was unseated by William & Mary Alumna Diana Peloquin of Ann Arbor, Mich., who led for the day with $15,700.
Chu had struggled for much of the show when, in Final Jeopardy, he risked, and lost, his entire day’s bankroll — $6,400 — on the question: “He was the last male monarch who had not previously been Prince of Wales.”
Only Peloquin had the correct response: George VI.
Peloquin was an undergraduate student and synchronized swimmer at the College of William and Mary. A spokesperson for the school, Brian Whitson, released the following statement on behalf of the university Wednesday evening:
It’s wonderful news that Diana Peloquin, a William & Mary alumna, is the new Jeopardy! Champion. It’s also fitting that the final category was on British Royalty. That’s a subject we know a bit about at an institution founded in 1693 by Royal Charter. Diana has made her alma mater very proud.
The 30-year-old Chu, a resident of Broadview Heights, Ohio, has described himself on Twitter as “mad genius, comedian, actor and freelance voiceover artist.”
He applied a “mad genius” approach to “Jeopardy!” brinkmanship. He ditched the time-honored practice of polishing off each category’s questions one by one. Instead, he took a hopscotch approach to his category choices, which tended to keep his opponents off-kilter.
He also concluded that the bottom rows of the game board are most likely to contain the hidden Daily Doubles, and he played accordingly.
Chu’s strategy fueled indignation from “Jeopardy!” traditionalists, who contended that such an aggressive style was somehow unsportsmanlike and exhibited a lack of respect for the game.
Chu “rejected the unwritten rule that the guy or gal with the most facts wins,” said “On the Media” host Brooke Gladstone on an episode of the public radio show last month, “and replaced it with the appalling idea that you can outwit your opponent with the wily application of game theory.”
It was a style much different from that of legendary know-it-all Ken Jennings, who a decade ago set a “Jeopardy!” record with 74 consecutive victories while winning $2.5 million.
Peloquin will compete on the show again Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
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