An Ottawa software developer is looking to make it three wins in a row on Jeopardy Thursday, and his popularity with fans of the game show appears to be growing as quickly as his winnings.
Grant McSheffrey has won $53,400 over two nights on the long-running TV show. McSheffrey's enthusiastic reaction to his first win on Tuesday night went viral, his beaming face quickly turned into memes as fans of the show shared in his excitement.
"It was just ... I can't believe I am a Jeopardy champion! I'm on Jeopardy and I just won! I can't get over it. This is amazing," he told guest host Stu Mills on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.
McSheffrey said he's been watching Jeopardy since he was a boy, and as he got older he dreamed of competing on the show.
"Back then I didn't know basically any of the answers, and gradually just kept reading and learning about new things as I got older," he said.
McSheffrey said he tried for about five years to become a contestant. When an in-person audition failed to get him on the show, he tried again in January 2016 with an online test.
The show briefly forbade Canadian contestants for a short period, but he got around that by entering an American zip code. When Jeopardy contacted him, he came clean and admitted he lived in Canada.
"This time they decided they liked me enough, so I ended up getting the phone call in November, got to fly myself down to L.A. It worked out well!"
Longtime trivia buff
McSheffrey, who works for BlackBerry in Kanata, prepared by reviewing old Jeopardy episodes online. He even mimicked holding a buzzer to sharpen his reflexes.
McSheffrey said he regularly plays online trivia and is a member of a pub trivia league here in Ottawa.
His friends and family have been gathering at the Clocktower Pub in Westboro this week to watch his Jeopardy episodes, which were taped last December. McSheffrey is sworn to secrecy about the duration of his run on the show.
"It's amazing ... just packing in as many people as we can fit. And just hearing all the cheers of everyone when I get one right," he said.
But his mother's reactions to his Jeopardy expertise trumps them all.
"Watching her reaction is just absolutely priceless. She's shocked every single time — like, 'How do you know that?'"
McSheffrey's fans can tune in again Thursday to see if he can keep his winning streak going.