Jeopardy Star Takes on Upper School Statistics

Zara Paul

Jason Zuffranieri, a 19-time Jeopardy winner, recently joined the Greenhill community to teach multiple statistics classes and lead the Quiz Bowl team.

Zuffranieri is a multiple-time record holder for the game show. He is ranked sixth overall in Jeopardy history for consecutive games won and seventh for all time winnings, including tournaments. He is third in highest earnings, winning around half a million dollars.

His passion for Jeopardy started around the age of six.

“When [Jeopardy] came on, and my parents are watching it, I’m like, ‘Oh, this is fun,’ and I’ve been watching it basically ever since,” said Zuffranieri. “Then a bunch of years later, I finally got the call [to be on the show].”

The process of getting on the show is extremely rigorous and takes lots of preparation, as there is a test and an interview during each tryout. Zuffranieri tried out nine times for Jeopardy before he made the game show.

“You could feel like you did everything right but still not get in,” Zuffranieri said. “It’s not a matter of [acing] the test, that might actually be a diffraction. The [judges] might be looking for someone with more personality and less facts, it’s all judgmental.”

Jeopardy has provided publicity and stability for Zuffranieri. Not only have Zuffranieri and his friends been playing for 20 years, but he has also made many new connections through attending Jeopardy-hosted conventions and events.

“It’s definitely helped smooth out a lot of the dramatic changes in life,” Zuffranieri said.

To help hopeful Jeopardy competitors pursue interests, Zuffranieri is the coach of the Upper School Quiz Bowl team. He initiates several practices a week after school and during club time.

“If you’re into jeopardy and shows like that, we’re gonna have a really good quiz bowl team, it’s a great way I met some of my best friends in the world,” Zuffranieri said.