Jeopardy Jerk's Darkest Secrets

Published on: February 18, 2014
Photography by: Merv Griffin Productions
Jeopardy Jerk's Darkest Secrets

JEOPARDY!” champ Arthur Chu has racked up more than $100,000 in winnings on the hit game show, but life hasn’t always been a Daily Dou­ble for the trivia wiz.

Years ago, he reached out through Twitter during a particularly dark period of his life. On Aug. 14, 2009, the 30-year-old posted: “Feeling tired, depressed and unproductive.” And just three days later, he again vented his unhappiness, saying he was “frustrated and upset.”

IF Chu hasn't grown thicker skin since then, he’s in trouble seeing how he’s become one of the most unpopular players in the three-decade history of the show, hosted by Alex Trebek. Along with his snarky expres­sions, Chu has annoyed fans of the show with his strategy of bouncing around helter-skelter from category to category – instead of taking them in relative order – in a bid to unsettle his competitors. Now known as the “Jeopardy Jerk” for his methods, Chu also admits to being a “bicoastal snob” and butting heads with his wife Eliza until finally agreeing to settle in the Midwestern town of Broadview Heights, Ohio.

Though he grew up in Los Angeles, Chu, whose parents are from China, has indicated that his Asian heritage makes him feel like an outsider in America. Following George Zimmerman’s acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murder, he tweeted: “Days have passed and the bitterness and rage are still not out of my system. My father told me once this would never truly be my country...”

Noted an insider: “Hopefully Arthur’s six-figure ‘Jeopardy!’ winnings will make him start feeling better about himself and where he belongs.”