‘Jeopardy!’: Former Champ Brad Rutter Once Described How Alex Trebek Impacted His Life

by Amy Myers
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Jeopardy champion Brad Rutter holds the title of greatest contestant of all time with winnings of over $4.5 million. Since his first win on the game show, Rutter has won the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, the Battle of the Decades, the Million Dollar Masters tournament and the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Through all of the victories and time spent on the show, the game’s champion developed a relationship with host Alex Trebek, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in November 2020.

Since earning the title of G.O.A.T on Jeopardy!, Rutter has moved on to other high-stakes game shows. However, even though he may no longer be a contestant on his show, remembers Trebek fondly and acknowledges the impact the host had on his life.

‘Jeopardy’s G.O.A.T. Heads for ‘The Chase’

Although Brad Rutter will always be one of Jeopardy’s top winners, the former player still tests his knowledge on other game shows, as well. In January, Rutter prepared to compete on ABC’s The Chase with two fellow Jeopardy! winners, Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer. Similar to the previous game show, The Chase tests trivia knowledge at a fast pace. However, this is where the resemblance of the two show ends.

“The simplest way to put it is that regular trivia players take on the trivia titans and see if they can take them down. There’s a few different rounds,” Rutter told TV Insider.

Host Alex Trebek Still Inspires Brad Rutter

When producers asked Brad Rutter to join the Jeopardy! G.O.A.T. Tournament, there was little hesitation.

“Well, I was in immediately because, sadly, I wasn’t sure whether I would get to see Alex again,” Rutter explained. “So that was just like, ‘OK, I get to hang out with Alex. That’s all you need to say.’ That was what I was focused on, and plus, I love Jeopardy! and they’ve been great to me over the years.”

Before the ultimate competition aired, Rutter didn’t think too many people would be interested.

“I figured it would be a pretty big deal, but we don’t really have water cooler shows anymore,” the champion said. “So it was surprising and gratifying. I’m glad we got that big ratings win in for Alex, too.”

Rutter also commented on how much he learned from the late Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek. He concluded that there were three major lessons he learned from Trebek.

“One, he really cared about the show and put everything he had into it,” Rutter began. “Two, he had a really high standard for himself of just absolute excellence and it was a pleasure to watch him work. And the third thing is that he was always having a good time. He was doing something he really cared about at an extremely high level and holding himself to that standard, and having a blast doing it. If you could just get those three things lined up, I can’t think of any better way to go through life.”

Outsider.com