‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Grant DeYoung Addresses Why He Sits on Show & Freak Car Crash

Grant DeYoung on Jeopardy!
Jeopardy, Inc!

After defeating three-day Jeopardy! champion Will Stewart on Wednesday (May 15), grocery clerk Grant DeYoung returned to the Alex Trebek Stage on Thursday (May 16) and continued his winning ways with a dramatic comeback.

DeYoung faced off against Elizabeth Brzozowski, a social studies teacher from Fishkill, New York, and Chen Yan, a surgeon from Happy Valley, Oregon. While his opponents put up a solid effort, DeYoung delivered an unbeatable performance.

Even after crashing to $0 in the first round after a failed Daily Double, DeYoung remained unfazed and simply worked his way back up. By the end of the Jeopardy round, he’d answered 13 clues correctly for a total of $3,000, putting him only $600 behind Brzozowski.

The Prescott, Arizona native stepped on the gas in Double Jeopardy, finding and nailing both Daily Doubles for a combined $11,000. While Chen put up a strong fight, DeYoung was unstoppable, amassing a runaway total of $20,800 heading into Final Jeopardy.

DeYoung was the only player to answer the Final Jeopardy clue correctly, though he wagered $0, meaning he won the episode with his $20,800. His two-day total now stands at $46,401.

Fans praised DeYoung’s performance on social media, but some were also curious about why he was sitting in a chair. Jeopardy! contestants usually stand behind their podiums.

“Why do some contestants sit on chairs and others stand? Just curious, no complaints,” wrote one viewer on the Jeopardy! Reddit forum.

DeYoung replied to the comment, explaining, “They give it if you ask. I have some back arthritis that makes standing still for that long very difficult. I wouldn’t expect everyone who sits for Jeopardy! to disclose their reason for needing one, but I don’t mind saying mine.”

Another user asked, “Do they let you sit on the job at the grocery store? (That’s great if they do, just wondering).”

DeYoung quipped, “Even better, they let me walk around and be in continuous motion, but Jeopardy hasn’t quite figured that one out yet.”

During his first episode, DeYoung explained to host Ken Jennings how he was struck by a car at the exact moment he found out he was going to be on Jeopardy!

“I got off work and got in the car and pulled out my phone out and it was sinking in,” he said. “I’m on the verge of tears there staring down at it, and I got hit and ran.”

“A car hit you while you were getting the text?” a shocked Jennings asked.

“Yes,” DeYoung replied. “And I didn’t even notice because I was so, you know, engrossed in getting the text. I had people coming up to me after [saying], ‘Are you aware you just got your car hit?’ and I was like ‘No,’ holding my phone and staring at the message.”

Thankfully, DeYoung wasn’t injured in the incident, telling Jennings, “The car needs some work, but I’m certainly fine, thank you.”

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