HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’: How One State Is a Hotbed for Winners on the Show

‘Jeopardy!’: How One State Is a Hotbed for Winners on the Show

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Although contestants come from all over, one state in particular seems to produce more Jeopardy! champions than any other in our country.

Following contestant Leah Caglio’s win on Wednesday, she became one of more than 70 Jeopardy! champions who hail from Washington state. In fact, legendary champion Ken Jennings calls Seattle home as well. He has the record for the longest Jeopardy! winning streak with 74 consecutive wins.

In addition, more than 262 players on the game show have claimed Washington as their birthplace or place of residency, according to The Seattle Times. Yet those numbers could be even higher. Some of the early years of the game show had incomplete records on its contestants. Also, in some cases, contestants don’t announce their connections to any state while on the show.

Furthermore, Seattle is a hotbed when it comes to participating Jeopardy! contestants. More than 137 players have been from Seattle, including Jennings. Plus Washington champions have earned more than $4.7 million on the show in combined winnings. Jennings credits Seattle’s bad weather and need for indoor activities for the surge in quiz show contestants.

“I feel like Seattle represents on Jeopardy!,” said Ken Jennings. “And probably for the reasons you’d expect: some combination of tech industry nerdiness and bad weather. Honestly, any indoor hobby is popular in Seattle. And, of course, people are inside watching Jeopardy!. I mean, it gets dark at 4 o’clock, so …”

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Once Revealed Activity, Professions that Give Contestants Best Chance to Win

During a 2012 interview, iconic Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek shared details on what types of contestants seem to fare the best on the game show. Evidently, there are certain activities and professions that may give you a leg up while competing.

“People who read a great deal tend to do better than others,” Trebek during a CBS interview. “Doctors, lawyers– Not doctors. Lawyers, teachers, and students tend to do well, again because they read a great deal.”

Trebek also revealed that players with quick reaction times tend to join the winner’s circle. He pointed out one specific profession with that attribute.

“Journalists also. We discovered that, of course, in our power players tournament in Washington last week, but people who are used to thinking on their feet. They have to come back with correct responses to people who quiz them and answer spur of the moment,” he added.

The longtime host of Jeopardy! also shared some thoughts on the importance of rhythm on the quiz show. He says correct responses help players gain confidence, which helps them relax and get into a groove.

“There is definitely a rhythm, and a lot of people worry about that signaling device,” Trebek said. “I tell them, ‘Don’t worry. As soon as you come up with a correct response, you gain in confidence. If you get the next correct response in that category, you own that category.’ And the other people, your two opponents, suddenly back off a little and say, ‘that’s his category.'”