Arthur Chu is the 2014 version of Jeremy Lin.
I know it’s weird to compare an NBA player to a nerdy Jeopardy! contestant, but in many ways Chu and Lin are similar when you view them through the Asian-American lens.
I’m immediately drawn to Chu because he’s an Asian-American guy succeeding in ways that belies the common stereotypes of Asian-American-ness. Yes, he’s smart, studied hard and can come across as an unemotional robot, but outside of that, Chu is succeeding by straying from normal expectations of the model minority.
Chu knows that he’s pissing alot of people off, yet he’s entirely assured of himself and he doesn’t apologize for his success. He’s shrugging his shoulders at tradition. On the show, he comes off cocky and smug, and when he’s on a roll, you can pick up the confidence in his voice. You can almost hear the swagger when he says “SPEECH12”.
Another side of Chu that most don’t get to see is his Twitter persona, which displays a completely different side of Chu no one would expect. Quick-witted, edgy on the cusp of inappropriate and all underscored with humor that is acutely self-aware, Chu’s tweets and responses to his haters are must-reads.
Eureka! Arthur Knows Everything
Anyways, this is my fourth post about Chu and I’ve defended him on almost every tactic he employs, but I haven’t highlighted the most obvious reason he’s been so successful at Jeopardy!– Chu knows a lot of shit.
People focus on the furious buzzing, leaning on the podium, his robot-like approach, bouncing around the board, searching for daily doubles, and game theory, but man, none of that matters if he can’t answer the questions. If I were so inclined to engage the Twitter haters, I would just copy/paste the following as my response “Yeah, but really, he knows the answers and that’s why he’s been successful #byehater”
The last 4/5 shows, Chu went into Final Jeopardy out of reach. No amount of bouncing around or application of game theory matters if he answers the clues incorrectly.
The recipe to his immense success? It’s one part strategy and three parts knowledge. You don’t become the third biggest Jeopardy winner all-time by being great at buzzing a buzzer. You don’t win 9 straight matches by bouncing around the board. If those were the ways to succeed in Jeopardy, I’d try out for the show.
Jeopardy! ultimately comes down to knowledge, and Chu has that.
Largest Total Winnings on Jeopardy
- Ken Jennings $ 2,520,700
- Dave Madden $ 430,400
- Arthur Chu $ 261,000
- Tom Nissley $ 235,405
- Roger Craig $ 230,200
- Larissa Kelly $ 222,597
- Jason Keller $ 213,900
- Joon Pahk $ 199,000
- Tom Walsh $ 184,900
- Ben Ingram $ 176,534
Most Consecutive Jeopardy Wins
- Ken Jennings – 74 wins
- Dave Madden – 19 wins
- Jason Keller – 9 wins
- Arthur Chu – 9
- Ben Ingram – 8 wins
- Tom Nissley – 8
- Tom Kavanaugh – 8
- Jason Keller – 7 wins
- Joon Pahk – 7
- Jason Bernbach – 7
- Tom Walsh – 7