Fresno’s Peter Guekguezian was not messing around during Tuesday’s showing of “Jeopardy!”
Guekguezian, a linguist who earned his master’s degree at Fresno State, provided a correct response on his first 17 consecutive buzz-ins, and built such a huge lead that he had the game essentially won going into final Jeopardy. When it was over, Guekguezian had won $19,201 and boosted his three-day total to $44,800.
The 30-year-old who grew up in northeast Fresno will appear on “Jeopardy!” again Wednesday.
The showings were actually recorded back in February. But Guekguezian has not been able to talk about the results until after each broadcast under “Jeopardy!” rules.
“I think I was just ready,” Guekguezian said Tuesday night. “I had to get those nerves out of the way and was just ready for it all.”
Guekguezian provided a correct response on 21 of 23 attempts, including a “true Daily Double” wager of $2,000 during his fifth buzz-in and a $4,400 wager the second time he selected another “Daily Double.”
That made up for Guekguezian’s failed attempts at “Daily Doubles” from Monday’s show when he went 0 for 3, including when he provided a correct response but still got it wrong by failing to present it as a question.
“It was a good bounce back from (Monday) night,” Guekguezian said. “My betting strategy the whole time has been to bet conservatively when I’m up but be more aggressive when I have less money.
“I thought it was important early in the game to establish that you’re there to play hard and to win. And if you can create some early distance, it can play mind games with your competition.”
In real time back in February when the showing was recorded, Guekguezian revealed Tuesday’s episode actually was recorded about 10 minutes after Monday’s showing.
That didn’t leave Guekguezian much time to refocus or celebrate his come-from-behind victory earlier that day.
I feel like other people are invested in my success. And it’s a great feeling. I hope I can make them proud.
But Guekguezian credited the ability to get into a rhythm with the buzzer as key to his performance.
Contestants cannot buzz in to answer until after host Alex Trebek has finished reading the clue.
“Every time you get a response right, you get into a groove with the buzzer and then it just feels natural,” Guekguezian said. “You can’t buzz in too early. It’ll block you out a split second and that slows you clicking in.
“There really is a method and strategy to buzzing in and controlling the board.”
$44,800 Peter Guekguezian’s three-day total winnings of “Jeopardy!” after winning $19,201 from Tuesday’s show
At this point in Guekguezian’s “Jeopardy!” run, he’s earned as much as the average annual salary of a kindergarten teacher, based on the figures provided by careerbuilder.com.
Guekguezian said he isn’t sure what he’ll do with all of his winnings but definitely wants to take a relaxing trip with his wife Marilyn.
He’s also been moved by the support and outreach from others in Fresno as he continues to compete on “Jeopardy!”
“All of my friends and family and have been incredibly supportive the whole time,” Guekguezian said. “Now, there have been other people expressing how excited they are for us.
“I feel like other people are invested in my success. And it’s a great feeling. I hope I can make them proud.”
- Wednesday at 7 p.m.: On KFSN (ABC-30)
- Fresno connection: Fresno’s Peter Guekguezian will try to defend his title after winning $44,800 from episodes aired Friday through Tuesday.