“Jeopardy!” fans know Brad Rutter as the highest-scoring contestant in “Jeopardy!” history.
Although Rutter only won five games of “Jeopardy!” back in 2000, he later came back to win four tournaments: the “Tournament of Champions” in 2001, the “Million Dollar Masters” tournament in 2002, the “Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions” in 2005 and the “Jeopardy!” Battle of the Decades” tournament in 2014. After h won the “Ultimate Tournament of Champions” in 2005, he became the highest-scoring winner on a game show – a record that has never been broken.
In January 2020, Rutter played against current host Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer for the “Jeopardy! Greatest Of All Time” tournament. Although Jennings walked away as the official “Jeopardy!” G.O.A.T., Rutter finished in third.
Although Rutter may have lost their tournament, he has still won $4,938,436 dollars from competing on “Jeopardy!” – including tournaments and regular gameplay. Jennings comes in second with $4,370,700 and Rutter comes in third with $2,962,216.
Although Jennings, Rutter, and Holzhauer all compete as “Chasers” on “The Chase” game show together, it doesn’t mean that he’s left his “Jeopardy!” roots behind him completely!
Brad Rutter Admits He Still Watches ‘Jeopardy!
In a new interview, Rutter commented on watching pal Ken Jennings step into the hosting role, which used to be filled by the late Alex Trebek.
Although he said that they don’t “talk about it too much,” he has been watching the show and thinks that Jennings is “doing a great job, but I would’ve expected that.”
He also commented on the win streak set by current champion Amy Schneider. As of Friday’s game, Amy surpassed James’ streak of 32 games to grab the third-longest winning streak in “Jeopardy!” history.
“I have watched Amy and obviously, she’s fantastic,” he said. “It seems like we have super champions coming on every couple of months or so now, which has all the conspiracy theorists talking of course.”
“Somebody asked me about it the other day and the example I gave, which I’m not sure is great, was if you flip a coin a million times, you’d be surprised how many times it’ll come up heads 20 or 30 times in a row,” he went on. “It’s way more than you would expect. Even if they wanted to rig [the game], I don’t know how they could. This kind of stuff just happens. And I think we should just enjoy it while it’s happening.”
Although the styles of gameplay in “Jeopardy!” and “The Chase” are pretty different, Rutter does still find himself drawing on his “Jeopardy!” roots.
Brad Rutter Dishes On ‘The Chase’
Brad Rutter also talked about the success of “The Chase,” which was adapted from the British game show of the same name.
“As we get more experience, we have even more fun with it,” Rutter said. “As great as the trivia is, we get better at messing around and making jokes and stuff like that too.”
He says that when he competes, he is “always going for full out.”
“However, with certain contestants who I end up liking, I do in the back of my mind start thinking, ‘well, I would feel kind of bad to beat this person,'” he continued. “I remember Elliot from Season 1, which it didn’t end up being an issue because he ended up beating me, but he was just so much fun that it would’ve seemed unfortunate to beat him, but I’m giving it all I have every time out there.”
He also added that, now that he’s getting older, it’s a bit harder to remember all of those pop culture questions!
“Since I’m starting to get into middle age, I have to work really hard to keep up with current pop music,” he said. “And so I put a lot of effort into that.”
He recalled that, one time, “There was a question about Camila Cabello’s group before she went solo. I was like, ‘Oh God, I’ve heard this before. Ah, but I can’t remember it.’ And, now I’ll never forget that it’s Fifth Harmony. And the woman I was playing against knew it right away.”
He added that one thing that he’s trying to do more of on “The Chase” is to slow down and take his time to make sure he gets the right answer, even at the expense of time.
One thing he has learned from chaser Mark Labbett is “If you have to think about it for a couple of seconds to get the right answer, do it. And you’ll usually end up having enough time to go on a run if you need it towards the end of the two minutes.”
“That was great advice,” Rutter recalled. “And, you can go faster by going slower. So that’s the new approach I’ve taken in the final chases.”
Episodes of “The Chase” are available to stream on Hulu.