‘Jeopardy!’ Former Champ Opens Up About Dramatic Transformation

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

A one-time “Jeopardy!’ champ known for wearing an aloha shirt on the game show has now opened up about losing 200 pounds since his time on the show.

Joshua Swiger from Kapolei, Hawaii, weighed over 400 pounds when he competed on “Jeopardy!” in January 2020. He won his first match but lost the second one, ending his brief run on the show.

“I became known for being the aloha shirt guy on ‘Jeopardy!’,” Swiger shared with CNN earlier this week. “I was not just overweight, not just obese, but according to the charts, morbidly obese.”

Shortly after Swiger’s episodes aired, the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full force. And, unfortunately, it seriously affected the tour company he owned in Hawaii.

“The summer was going to be really great for me, and then the business 100% shut down in a matter of days,” the former “Jeopardy!” champ revealed.

After losing his job, Swiger started to more seriously consider his weight. “I didn’t feel like I was that big until I looked in a mirror. And then I would say, ‘My goodness,'” he said. Swiger started his weight loss journey by changing his diet and doing simple exercises with his four kids.

Now, as of January 2022, Swiger has met his goal weight of being under 200 pounds. He’s also pursued a new job as a fitness instructor and personal trainer.

“I try to do a hike once or twice a week, I mix it up a lot. I end up doing some sort of activity pretty much every day,” the former “Jeopardy!” champ said. “My main mission from now on is to encourage and inspire as many people as I can so that they can do impossible things too.”

Looking back, if Swiger hasn’t pursued his weight loss journey during the pandemic, things would look very different for him in the next few years.

“I’m pretty sure that in another five or six years, I would’ve seen some very serious health problems,” Swiger revealed. “I don’t think I would’ve done this without the pandemic, and that’s a really weird thing to say.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Schedules Next Tournament of Champions for November 2022

“Jeopardy!” executive producer Michael Davies recently revealed that this year’s spectacular champions would return for an epic Tournament of Champions in November 2022.

The Tournament only takes 15 of the best competitors from the past year. And now that “Jeopardy!” will adopt more of a “sports” model schedule, the ToC will take place in November as a postseason tournament would.

“Over the 37 previous seasons of ‘Jeopardy!,’ the ToC has taken place in six different months and, in eight seasons, not at all! Well, we are delighted to announce that going forward, ‘Jeopardy!,’ the major league sport that it is, is going to have a structured season and postseason every year,” Davies wrote in a recent editorial.

“Returning to its rightful and traditional place in the calendar in November, this year’s ToC will feature Amy and Matt, our Professor’s Tournament champion Sam, Jonathan, Tyler, Andrew, Courtney, and many more of your favorite players and champions since the last ToC,” Davies continued.

Make sure to stay tuned for more ToC and “Jeopardy!” updates to come.