"Jeopardy!" champion Arthur Chu, dubbed the "Jeopardy Villain" by some fans disturbed by his unconventional style, rampaged to his eighth straight victory by running up a score so high, host Alex Trebek mentioned he was within range of the show's one-day record.
By the first commercial break in tonight's pre-taped episode, Chu, 30, an insurance compliance worker and voice-over actor, had accumulated $4,000, leading his nearest competitor by more than $2,000. By the start of the "Double Jeopardy" round, he'd built his total to $12,000, almost $10,000 ahead of his nearest opponent. Before "Final Jeopardy," he was sitting on a haul of $44,200, way out of range of his nearest rival's $6,000.
Wow, $44,200. That's more than my annual salary at my "real job"— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 28, 2014
Okay, America, so should I go all-in and go for the record breaking single day win even though game theory says that's too much risk?— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 28, 2014
Trebek noted the one-day record was $77,000, but Chu didn't bite. For the final category, "Landmarks," he wagered only $14,000 -- and came up with the correct answer: Hoover Dam.
On the flip side if I had gone big and failed and lost the game I would've literally become Cliff Clavin— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 28, 2014
His total for the day was $58,200, which was added to earlier winnings of $180,000 that Trebek said already made him one of the 10 biggest "Jeopardy!" earners ever.
As usual, Chu deployed unusual techniques on his rocket ride to victory.
Traditionally, "Jeopardy!" contestants play the game board in a particular order, going through the clues in each category from lowest value to highest.
Chu has deployed elements of game theory during his matches, and he jumps around the board, usually playing the higher-value clues first and betting big on the "Daily Double" selections that often are found on that part of the display.
Read More: How 'Jeopardy Villain' Kept Winning
In the first round tonight, he bet all $5,400 he had to double his score. He won another similarly sized bet in the "Double Jeopardy" round. Later, he won a $10,000 wager with a "Daily Double" question about Pope Francis.
Giving me $10,000 is the best thing Francis has ever done #ForgetTheOrphans— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 28, 2014
Chu's style of play has raised the ire of some "Jeopardy!" viewers. But Chu, who has been live tweeting during his run on the show, seemed to savor even the negative attention.
Before show time tonight, Chu retweeted a message calling him "a fraud" and accusing him of "making the show uninteresting."
@arthur_affect dude you are a fraud. You are making the show uninteresting stop while you are ahead leave jeopardy alone— Fred P Da Blessed 1 (@blssedbythebest) February 27, 2014
However, Chu's style also has won him plenty of fans, and he retweets their messages, as well.
As the show aired this evening, Chu let it rip on Twitter, sharing wry observations about the categories, the questions and himself.
The often-rumpled Chu possibly even talked some smack about one opponent.
Hey you can see Chris' undershirt and he's not wearing a tie - why isn't the Internet all up on that? Is it the sweater vest?— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 28, 2014
He seemed to gush, sort of, over another rival.
OMG Claire is a playwright! For kids! Cinderella & the Five Average Size People! If only I weren't married and nor obligated to destroy her— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 28, 2014
All the while, the wins -- and dollars -- keep rolling in.
@arthur_affect has made $238,200.00 in technically 240 minutes (including commercial time) on Jeopardy.. Let that sink in.— taylor (@mrstayanderson) February 28, 2014
Okay enough basking in nerd glory off to the gym so I can feel pitiful and inadequate— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) February 28, 2014