May 22, 2015 11:27 pm
Updated: May 23, 2015 10:55 am

Squamish teacher wins five straight games on Jeopardy

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A teacher in Squamish has ended one run on Jeopardy! – but is looking forward to his next one.

Andrew Haringer, a teaching fellow at Quest University, won five straight games on the show before ending his run with a tight loss on Thursday.

He finished with $96,599 in US dollars in his five wins, and gained an additional $2,000 for his loss.

Not bad for someone who was “happy to just get on the show.”

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“If you watched the games, they were all pretty close with one exception. I felt very lucky. I kind of thought it might be a one-and-done, and managed to keep squeaking by, which was great. I assumed maybe I’ll win one, but I didn’t even bank on that,” he said.

Haringer, who tried out for the show in 2013, filmed his shows in February and March this year. It meant months of waiting before he could reveal what happened.

“You kind of had to be cagey and circumspect when talking to people. It was a bit tough keeping that under wraps,” he said.

“It’s been so funny watching these games with my students and friends, and keeping mum about what was going to happen. It’s a bizarre thing, watching something where you know the outcome already, so I just had to exercise some self-control.”

He practised for the games using a ballpoint pen as a fake buzzer, so he could get the timing down. Beyond that, his advice for would-be contestants is pretty straightforward.

READ MORE: So you want to be a Jeopardy champion? Advice from a two-time winner

“Watch the show a lot, get used to the rhythm of how the clues are written, what categories come up a lot,” he said.

“Definitely broaden your knowledge base. Should you get on, just try and have fun with it. There’s a great deal of luck.”

Haringer plans to save most of the money, but hopes to do a bit of extra travelling this summer. Then, it’s back to the Jeopardy! set: since he won five games, he’ll compete in the annual Tournament of Champions.

Described on the show as “a college instructor from Squamish, British Columbia,” Haringer is the biggest winning Jeopardy! champion from this province – that is, if he was actually from B.C.

“I’m from Seattle so it’s been kind of interesting. I feel a bit fraudulent that people have been cheering me on as a Canadian,” he says with a laugh.

“It’s been great to represent Canada in some capacity. It does perhaps get me off the hook for some of the more embarrassing questions about Canada that I missed. Hopefully people will forgive me.”

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