Last night, emerging Jeopardy! celebrity Arthur Chu, 30, returned to take his fifth straight win on the popular trivia game show. The difference between Chu and Jeopardy! winners in the past is that the audience is rooting for Chu to lose. His use of unorthodox tactics of game theory to outsmart the game and its contestants has riled up fans and puzzled viewers.
Here is what you need to know about Arthur Chu and his controversial Jeopardy! dominance:
1. He’s a Game Theory Nerd Who Borrows Strategies From Previous Champions
In this video, you can see one of Chu’s signature tactics — finding the daily doubles even if he does not know that answer. Why? To keep the other players from getting it. Chu’s strategies rely heavily on the daily doubles’ ability to change the game by either granting or taking away lots of money.
Chu also does something called the “Forrest Bounce.” This tactic, named after 1985 Jeopardy champion Chuck Forrest, is when a player jumps around randomly from category to category rather than select questions one category at a time. According to Chu, this keeps your opponents guessing and makes it easier to uncover daily doubles.
On two separate occasions, Chu has also purposely bet to tie in Final Jeopardy. Rather than bet it all and risk losing everything, Chu bets to tie to: 1. Psyche out his opponent so they are more willing to bet more money, and 2. to risk less himself. This is what’s referred to as Game Theory.
Chu takes his cues from the blog of 2003 Jeopardy College champion Keith Williams.
Here’s Williams explaining why the leader should wager to tie, and breaking down Chu’s move:
2. He’s Won $123,600
In his five consecutive wins, Chu has been able to accumulate $124,600, and with no end in sight for his winning streak, the number is likely to keep growing each game. Chu has been able to take home over $20,000 each game.
3. He’s an Aspiring Actor & Insurance Employee From Ohio
In a recent interview, Chu said that he works for the legal compliance department of an insurance company in Ohio. He is also an aspiring actor. According to his webpage, Arthur Chu is a “stand-up comedian, Shakespearean actor, improvisor, tour guide, genius, and, most importantly, voiceover artist.”
You can read more about Chu and his career at his blog, What’s Up With Chu.
4. He’s Called the ‘Villain’ of Jeopardy
Can’t stand watching Jeopardy until @arthur_affect loses. Someone tell me when it happens.
— Daniel Wilkerson (@camping_dan) February 25, 2014
Somehow convinced bar in NYC to turn jeopardy on. Guys next to me were making mean racist jokes about @arthur_affect till I fought them all.
— Andrew Rose Gregory (@arosegregory) February 25, 2014
Because of Chu’s unorthodox tactics (and quite a bit of racism) he has become known as the villain of Jeopardy and seen as a cold, logical and unbeatable genius.
5. He’ll Return for the Tournament of Champions
Before anyone asks, I did not get an image consultant who told me to ditch the glasses — I literally broke them in the airport
— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 25, 2014
Chu is still in the game for the regular season, but even if he were to lose, he will return for Jeopardy!‘s yearly tournament of champions. The tournament will air September 2-13, but let’s see how long Chu can keep up his current winning streak.