This Green Bay philosophy professor set a record for consecutive runaway games on ‘Jeopardy!’

Who is Ben Chan?

Ben Chan on Jeopardy
Ben Chan, a philosophy professor at St. Norbert College, has won eight games on Jeopardy. Screenshot by Bridgit Bowden

A philosophy professor at St. Norbert College is making an impressive run on the TV quiz show “Jeopardy!” and is heading into Monday night’s game with more than $225,000 in winnings so far.

Last week, Ben Chan set a record for the most consecutive runaway games, or games where the two other contestants mathematically can’t catch up, at the end of the Final Jeopardy round. He broke the record when he reached six runaways on May 17, and then went on to win two more runaways on May 18 and 19.

As of the show that aired Friday, Chan had won eight total games and $227,800.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

He began his run on “Jeopardy!” in April, but had to miss several games due to illness. He returned to the show last week, beating eight-day champion Hannah Wilson of Chicago.

He has become known for his smiley disposition, and for holding the signaling device unusually high and close to his chest.

Over the course of his run, Chan has answered a number of clues related to his home state. On May 15, he selected the clue “Brewer’s Hill in this city is home to historic buildings once used by Miller & Schlitz,” and quickly buzzed in, cheering “What is Milwaukee!?”

On the game that aired May 16, host Mayim Bialik read the clue “Dropping ‘Green Bay’ or ‘Superior’ leaves this state school,” and Chan answered “What is The University of Wisconsin?”

Chan isn’t the first famous Green Bay resident to make waves on ‘Jeopardy!’. In 2021, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a guest host of the program, part of a rotation of celebrities who tried their hands at hosting the show after the death of longtime host Alex Trebek.

Chan will face Joe Lasser, an astronautical engineer originally from Colfax, Illinois, and Nancy Duran, a marketing copywriter of Stowe, Vermont in the game airing Monday. If he wins, he will go on to face two more opponents on Tuesday.