‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Who Went on 5-Game Win Streak in 2020 Reveals Most Important Lesson Ahead of Tournament of Champions Appearance

by Clayton Edwards

The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions kicks off today. The annual event pits the biggest winners of the past year against one another in a 10-day tournament. They are competing for a huge payday.

Buzzy Cohen, former Jeopardy! champ and Tournament of Champions winner will host. It is the first since Alex Trebek’s passing in November of 2020.

One contestant has spent the past weeks preparing for his second appearance on the iconic quiz show. Paul Trifiletti, an Athens-based attorney is gearing up to take part in the prestigious event. However, he isn’t keeping his pregame prep ritual to himself. He told the Athens Banner-Herald all about it.

Trifiletti has a strong knowledge base as well as a five-game Jeopardy! streak under his belt. So, the Athens attorney definitely knows a thing or two about a thing or two. However, he wasn’t content to rest on his laurels. When the show’s producers called to invite him to the Tournament of Champions, he jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t? It’s a chance to be on the iconic stage again. At the same time, he gets to compete with some of the past year’s biggest winners for a quarter of a million dollars.

As soon as Paul got confirmation that he would be in the tournament, he started polishing his game. He started by watching old episodes of Jeopardy! but that was only the beginning. He has also been brushing up on a variety of subjects. This includes going back and watching several Oscar-winning films to bolster his pop culture knowledge.

The Most Important Thing for a Jeopardy! Contestant

However, he knows that all of the knowledge in the world isn’t enough to win on Jeopardy!. So, he has been working on what he considers the most important part of the game: buzzing in.

As Trifiletti puts it, “The biggest thing that I learned was the importance of the buzzer.” It doesn’t matter how much a contestant knows. If they don’t beat the competition to the buzzer, they’re not taking home any cash. So, he has been exercising his thumb. He grabbed a retractable pen and set to work sharpening his reaction time. The clicky button on the pen serves as a good analog for the Jeopardy! buzzer.

Make no mistake, the upcoming competition is going to be stiff. So, the Athens native is smart to tighten up in every way possible. The Tournament of Champions features the contestants who won the biggest prizes between the last ToC and the end of 2020.

Paul Trifiletti won five straight games early last year. His wins netted him over $100,000.