‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Won With A Mind Boggling, Record-Setting Strategy

For casual viewers, a game-winning Jeopardy! strategy seems pretty straightforward—solve the clues. However, fans of the game show know there’s a lot more to it, which is why one contestant’s game strategy has been making waves. 

The Player That’s Breaking Buzz-In Records

Yogesh Raut, a blogger, podcaster, and freelance writer, went on a three-game winning streak. Recent episodes have shown Raut deftly solving the clues, but there’s something else that set him apart from his fellow contestants: his buzzer technique

Raut averaged 55.5 buzzer attempts per game until he lost his fourth game, which brought his average to 53. For comparison, the average Jeopardy! player buzzes in somewhere between 30 to 40 times. One of the only other contestants that has come close to Raut’s numbers is Ray Lalonde, who once buzzed in 52 times. No other average comes close.

During the January 12 game, Raut attempted to buzz in 55 times and succeeded 33 of those times. The performance contributed to something the Jeopardy! record books took note of—the game saw all 61 clues solved correctly, with Raut knocking out more than half of them.

A handful of other players have reached buzz-in numbers in the 50s, but it’s an outlier and not an average. Raut blew the other contestants’ average buzz-in attempts out of the water, and some think it’s why he also outperformed his competitors. 

By confidently buzzing in for almost every single clue, Raut racked up prize money at a very high rate. He ultimately finished with an impressive $96,403 in winnings. Of course, his buzz-in rate isn’t the only thing helping him win. 

In addition to being consistent with his buzzer, Raut also clearly has a wide and diverse knowledge of trivia that allows him to try to answer every single clue. His correct answers, plus his non-stop buzzer technique, has allowed Raut to dominate the game. However, as some fans pointed out, the high number could also be a sign that Raut’s actual buzzing technique and speed were lacking, something he’s been criticized for since his start.

Some Were More Than Impressed With Raut’s Run

Fans definitely took notice of Raut’s strategy. “56 is absolutely absurd—I can’t find anyone else who had that many attempts,” one Reddit user wrote of the contestant’s buzz-in attempts

Another Redditor pointed out that the high number of buzz-ins also indicates how much a contestant knows, calling it “the best proxy we have for how many clues a contestant knows.” They continued, “His 56 attempts (which appears to be a Jeopardata-era record) with only one incorrect response makes it clear that Yogesh knew nearly all the material on this board, which is hugely refreshing.”

When playing Jeopardy!, it’s obvious that a contestant has to have a masterful command of trivia and facts. There are other things to consider, though, and Raut’s record-breaking performance has shown the importance of buzzing in quickly and often. After his narrow loss in his fourth game, however, it’s clear that Jeopardy! is still anyone’s game.

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