Every once in a while, a game show contestant comes along that takes America by storm. I still remember watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 1999 when John Carpenter became the first-ever winner of the million bucks and it was the only thing people could talk about.
I could also never forget Ken Jennings 74-win streak on Jeopardy! in 2004. But now, 13 years later, there is a new Jeopardy! celebrity who everyone is obsessed with.
Austin Rogers, who works and lives in Manhattan, didn’t just garner attention for his brilliance with trivia, it was his lovable and goofy personality during the introduction segments that made him a hit with viewers across America.
Instead of just smiling and waving at the camera while being introduced, Austin pretended to solve a Rubik’s cube, talk on the phone, pop champagne, and make a balloon animal.
Off the Jeopardy! stage though, Austin is a normal guy who works at a New York City bar called the Gaf West. The bartender credits his natural intelligence and “encyclopedic knowledge of everything” to his 12-game streak.
His Jeopardy! reign came to an end when a single mother beat him by $51 — but he still took home $411,000! Austin told USA Today that he plans on saving the money and not blowing it all on something lavish — he’s even keeping his day job as a bartender.
Even host Alex Trebek was a huge fan of Austin. “Austin was outside the box — completely different from what many viewers expect a Jeopardy! contestant to be,” he said in a statement. “He was fun to be with and slightly irreverent.”
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Footage provided by WPIX New York
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