Indian American player Yogesh Raut wins Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions

Yogesh Raut has won the 2024 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions (ToC), to take home the $250,000 grand prize
Yogesh Raut has won the 2024 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions (ToC), to take home the $250,000 grand prize

VANCOUVER (TIP): Washington-based Indian American blogger, freelance writer and podcaster Yogesh Raut has won the 2024 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions (ToC), to take home the $250,000 grand prize.
With his victory in the finals on Tuesday, March 19, Raut also punched his ticket to the upcoming Jeopardy! Masters’ competition, where he will face off against some of the top-performing players in Jeopardy! history.
Raut, who won three games in his initial appearances on the show, became the first player to notch three victories in the finals on Tuesday when he defeated six-game champion Troy Meyer and nine-game champion Ben Chan.
The March 19 final was a battle to the end, with Raut and Meyer sparring for first place during the first half of the game, according to an official account of the game. Heading into Double Jeopardy! Meyer was in the lead with $9,400, Raut sat in second place with $5,400, and Chan trailed in third with $3,400.
As the round progressed, Meyer and Raut continued their battle for first place. But Chan was determined to stay in the game and went all in on both Daily Doubles. While Chan picked up the first Daily Double, he was not successful in responding correctly to the second.
At the start of Final Jeopardy! Meher’s was still the front-runner with a score of $19,800, but Raut was not far behind with $16,600, and Chan was holding on to third place with $3,200.
However, after Meyers failed to provide the correct response, Raut pulled ahead and won the game with a score of $13,399. Chan, the only player who responded correctly to the final clue, took second place with a score of $6,400, and Troy placed third with $6,399.
“Jeopardy!’ is inherently a challenging game to play,” Raut said in an interview with the Seattle Times. “There’s a lot of luck involved, and over and over again, I benefited from the bad luck of other contestants.”
It was Raut’s second run in the game. After two decades of repeatedly auditioning, he won $98,000 after a four-day run in 2022.
Reflecting on his victory on his second outing, Raut wrote on, “As I sat on my flight back from LAX (Los Angeles) to PDX (Portland) in November 2022, reflecting on my time on J! I thought I had maybe proven myself to be pretty smart.”
“I had won over $98,000, been part of J!’s only ‘Perfect Game’ since the 20th century and capped it all off with a fun night at O’Brien’s, the so-called ‘hardest pub quiz in the country,’” he recalled.
“Waiting for the plane to take off, I started playing the find-the-hidden-object game on the monitor in front of me. The woman next to me saw what I was doing and began playing too,” Raut wrote. “It didn’t take long for her to completely outpace me. Eventually, her boyfriend commenced as well, and he zoomed past me in no time at all.”
“Oh, right, I reminded myself. There are many different flavors of ‘smart.’ And so I got over myself and went back to my life” Raut wrote, and “put J! in the rearview mirror.”
That changed in December 2023, when local ABC affiliate KATU aired the news that he had been invited to the Tournament of Champions.
“My head spun. Chuck Forrest. Dan Melia. Colby Burnett. Brad Rutter. My fellow Indian American Vijay Balse. Was there a chance I could join these legends and all the other hallowed winners of the J! Tournament of Champions?” Yogesh recalled. “Yes. But only a 1/27 chance.”
“It took decades of hard work and dedication to put myself in a position to win the ToC, and it took a great deal of luck for me to triumph over equally skilled competitors,” he wrote. “But at the end of the day, I’m still the guy who — based on how bad I was at that airplane game — can easily be outperformed on a mildly complex visual search task.”
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first knowledge quizzing demonstrations I ever gave involved knowing states, capitals, and US presidents,” Raut recalled. “Growing up as the child of immigrants, with a foreign-sounding name in the heart of Central Illinois, I had to prove every day that I was an American.”

Be the first to comment

The Indian Panorama - Best Indian American Newspaper in New York & Dallas - Comments