He’s a three-game ‘”Jeopardy!” winner who has a curious beef with the show that brought him a measure of TV fame and fortune.
Who is Yogesh Raut?
The trivia savant, blogger and podcaster has been on a weeks-long social media rant against the show, asserting that it’s not a real quiz contest, questioning its value to society and accusing it of being “fundamentally incompatible with true social justice.”
Raut said Monday that his critiques of “Jeopardy!” are not poor sportsmanship and he pushed back on anyone who calls him a sore loser.
“I don’t know if there’s any way it could not come off that way to someone who wants to read it that way,” said Raut, a 38-year-old resident of Vancouver, Washington.
“People who know me know that long before I was ever called to be on the show I was saying the exact same things, the exact same sentiment, the exact same words.”
Fans of the venerable answer-and-question show were introduced to Raut on Jan. 11 when he won the first of three games, which were taped in mid-November.
Raut, a well-known figure in quizzing circles, won $96,403 in prize money before being knocked out by a museum interpreter Katie Palumbo in a spirited contest that aired Jan 16.
Raut’s ongoing rants generated renewed interest Monday when former Deadspin editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell mocked the “Jeopardy!” champion’s “multi-week Facebook meltdown” to her 31,000-plus Twitter followers.
Although Raut didn’t compare himself to Muhammad Ali, as Greenwell said, he cited the famed boxer as an example of a non-white American who stood up to powerful interests.
Raut’s recent “Jeopardy!”-related rants fell into several categories.
- That true quizzing talent isn’t displayed on “Jeopardy!” a show that’s been on the air for 39 seasons. He wrote on Jan. 14 that “Jeopardy!” will “never top the list of my quizzing accomplishments – not even my quizzing accomplishments of 2022.” Raut also compared “Jeopardy!” to an ABC show that takes place on a zany miniature golf course, writing on Jan. 12: “It is entertaining to watch but it bears the same relationship to real quizzing that ‘Holey Moley’ does to golf.”
- The the quizzing “community has a hideous gossip problem,” as he wrote on Wednesday. Raut was annoyed that word leaked that another big name in the quiz community, Troy Meyer, was on the “Jeopardy!” set at the same time but that dream “clash of titans” didn’t come to fruition.
- Raut was the target of racist trolls during his “Jeopardy!” stint and he appeared to hold the show somewhat responsible.
“‘Jeopardy!’ is a fun TV show but putting it on a pedestal is an objectively bad thing. It’s bad for the future of quizzing,” he wrote in a Jan. 12 critique of the show.
“It’s bad for women and POC who want to be treated with the same levels of dignity as their White male counterparts. It is fundamentally incompatible with incentivizing the next generation of quizzers to excel, and it is fundamentally incompatible with true social justice.”
Bianca Britton contributed.