Sure, a lot of it has to do with being remarkably intelligent and having an encyclopedic knowledge of miscellaneous trivia besides, but if you want to cram for a shot at winning Jeopardy!, there just might be hope for you yet.
In a recent column for The Economist‘s Babbage blog, correspondent Glenn Fleishman details various techniques that have led to big wins on the famous game show. His special interest? Fleishman himself appeared on the show—and won—just last week.
His studying technique wasn’t too surprising, prepping “two to four hours a night” before taping and paying special attention to frequent Jeopardy! subjects like “popes, potent potables, royalty, recently popular songs, state mottos and capitals, major rivers and presidents,” but other winners took things further. For instance, Bob Harris, a winner from the 1990s and author of Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!, is said to have “turned his home into a simulator of the studio, down to the snack food offered in the ‘green room’ (much to the consternation of his then girlfriend).”
(Photo: Courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)