Entries in Roger Craig (1)


Want to Win at ‘Jeopardy!’? Champ Has an App for That

Sony Pictures Television(WASHINGTON) -- Roger Craig is one of the biggest winners ever on TV’s Jeopardy! He won $77,000 in a single day -- more than the record-setting Ken Jennings, even more than IBM’s Watson computer. In seven days, he racked up $231,200 in winnings.

The "Final Jeopardy" question on the last day that ended his streak was about sports.

He’s smart, but he didn’t just use his smarts to memorize a lot of trivia. He’s a computer scientist who was finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware when he first went on the game in 2010 -- and before playing he developed a computer app to help figure out the patterns of questions on the show.

In a talk at New York University, he said he went to a website called J! Archive, where fans have diligently recorded the clues on the show, game after game. He said the questions really aren’t random when you put them through a computer.

“A lot of people will say, ‘Oh, Jeopardy! asks about anything,’ but it really doesn’t,” he said in the NYU talk, posted on Vimeo. “It comes back to capitals, presidents, Shakespeare, and there are hundreds of other categories, but it will never ask really obscure things in an obscure field.”

He appears on the game show’s website, smiling with Alex Trebek and admitting that while he wasn’t surprised he won, he is a bit surprised at his new fame: “I was a little naïve about the power of television when I first was on.”

Craig has publicly said he’d like to reconfigure his app as an educational tool, though not with questions from Jeopardy!

He said he plans to give some of his winnings to Virginia Tech and the University of Delaware, where he studied.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio