‘Jeopardy!’: 12-Time Winner Explains How a State Capital Final Jeopardy! Tripped Him Up

by Joe Rutland

You never know what might trip you up as a contestant on Jeopardy!. For 12-time winner Austin Rogers, it ended up being a state capital. In the game, at one point, you have to play Final Jeopardy! and Rogers was doing so as part of the Tournament of Champions back in 2017.

‘Jeopardy!’ Winner Could Not Figure Out Name Of One State Capital

The New York City bartender totaled up $411,000 in winnings on the show. That total of wins came all in a row and puts him among the top win-streak holders and top 10 winners of all time. Still, this Final Jeopardy! question just stumped him in the tournament. The clue was state capitals and we let Rogers pick up the story from there. 

“I came in third because I didn’t remember what the capital of Vermont is,” he says. “I literally said if the category is state capitals, it’s going to be either Dover, Delaware or Montpelier, Vermont. And then I started going in my head coast to coast naming all the state capitals and by the time that clue came up I was mentally in the West Coast.

“When you get the category for Final Jeopardy!, you actually have time to think about it which sucks,” Rogers says. “If you are peppered with these questions in the regular round, you just go vomit it out because you don’t have time to react. Thinking actually messes you up.” We get more from The Sun.

Rogers Talks About Journey To Being A Part Of An Audition

Rogers found himself going to a regional audition for a spot. People also showed up after traveling from places like Minneapolis, Toronto, and Boston to audition. “People want to be on Jeopardy! so badly that they’ve booked bus tickets and hotels and redeye flights,” Rogers says. “Or driven dozens and dozens of hours and spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to stay in New York to try to be on the show.” What about the winning streak for Rogers? Even he was reportedly surprised by it.   

“When I won the first one I was like that was easy, wait, did I get a bad round?” he says. “I must have gotten a bad round. Then the second one was easy too, so I thought maybe I got two bad rounds in a row. On the third one, I go, ‘wait I’m actually good at this.'” 

He says that it takes a while and “you don’t expect to be good at it.” Then Rogers says, “You’re like oh, I’m good at this, and I started sort of not caring because I already had $90,000 in winnings, so I was like alright, let’s wager $9,000 that sounds like a dumb number.”