BRADFORD GATES "BRAD" RUTTER (born January 31, 1978) is the
highest-earning contestant on the U.S. syndicated game show Jeopardy!
and also the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time
In 19 regular season and tournament games, Rutter has never lost a
Jeopardy! match against a human opponent (though he twice trailed at
the end of the first game of a two-day tournament match before coming
back to win in the second game). In 2011, both Rutter and Ken Jennings
(another holder, at various times, of the all-time money winning
Jeopardy! and for game shows) were routed in a two-day
exhibition match against an
IBM computer platform developed
specifically to compete on Jeopardy!: Watson . Rutter finished third
in the match: both his first defeat overall and the first time he
finished behind a human opponent. Because the man versus machine match
was declared an exhibition match, none of the records from this match
count towards official show records.
* 1 Personal life
* 3 Other game show appearances
* 4 Later pursuits
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Until 2007, Rutter lived in
Lancaster, Pennsylvania , where he hosted
InQuizitive, a local broadcast quiz show for high school students. He
has also been a reader and judge for the high school National Academic
Championship. He now lives in
Los Angeles where he is pursuing acting.
Rutter is a 1995 graduate of
Manheim Township High School in
Neffsville, Pennsylvania , where he was on the quiz bowl team. He is
one of the 19 people to have been named to the National Academic
Championship Hall of Fame in its 25-year history. At the 2005 Manheim
Township High School graduation ceremony, he announced the start of a
scholarship fund in memory of his late high-school quiz bowl coach,
Miss Ann Clouser.
Rutter has described himself as a "slacker" in school and a Johns
Hopkins dropout (while there, he studied English ). Before his
success on Jeopardy!, he worked at the Lancaster Coconuts record store
Rutter first appeared on
Jeopardy! in October 2000, when the rules
stipulated that a contestant who won five consecutive days retired
undefeated and was guaranteed a spot in the Tournament of Champions.
Rutter retired as an undefeated 5-day champion, with $55,102 in
winnings (he was also awarded a choice of
Chevrolet cars of which he
Chevrolet Camaros ; at the time, Jeopardy awarded new cars to
5-day undefeated champions). The rules would be changed in 2003,
Ken Jennings 's run of 74 consecutive days in 2004, making
Jennings the (then) all-time
Jeopardy! money winner.
As a 5-day champion, Rutter was invited to the 2001 Tournament of
Champions , where he defeated other 5-day champions and won the
$100,000 main prize. He was invited back for the 2002 Million Dollar
Masters Tournament , where he won the $1,000,000 main prize and became
the all-time money winner in
Rutter returned for the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions ,
winning the tournament and $2,100,000. After his 2005 tournament win,
in which he defeated Jennings and
Jerome Vered in the finals, Rutter
surpassed Jennings as the highest money-winner ever on American game
shows . Jennings later regained his record by 2008 after appearing on
various other game shows. There is a minor discrepancy between sources
as to Rutter's total
Jeopardy! winnings stemming from the prize
structure of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Those who won the
first round earned $15,000, but Rutter was among nine top winners who
received a first round bye . While some analysts suggest that Rutter's
money totals should include $15,000 for a first round 'win' in this
tournament, the official Jeopardy.com website does not count this
$15,000 when stating that Rutter's winnings were $3,255,102 after the
completion of this tournament.
From February 14–16, 2011, the
IBM Challenge featured IBM
's Watson facing off against Rutter and Jennings in a two-game
cumulative total match aired over three days. This was the first ever
man-versus-machine competition in Jeopardy!'s history. The computer
program, equipped with a precisely timed mechanical "thumb", won
handily, finishing with a $77,147 score, while Jennings took second
place with a score of $24,000 over Rutter's $21,600 score.
its $1 million purse to two charities. Jennings and Rutter did
likewise with half of their respective winnings of $300,000 and
$200,000. Rutter kept $100,000 and donated the other $100,000 to the
Lancaster County Community Foundation .
Rutter participated in the
Jeopardy! 2014 Battle of the Decades ,
pitting top champions from throughout the previous 30 years of
Jeopardy!, where he won the tournament and $1,000,000. With this win,
Rutter regained the record as the highest money-winner ever on
American game shows, which Jennings had held since 2008.
OTHER GAME SHOW APPEARANCES
He appeared on the U.S. game show
1 vs. 100 (as a member of "the
Mob") on December 1, 2006, and again on December 8, 2006. He answered
every question correctly and was one of only seven mob members to
survive to the next show, as was
Annie Duke . He would eventually be
eliminated on the December 15 episode, on a question about Jewish
Matisyahu . He appeared again on February 9, 2007, and
was eliminated late into a winner-takes-$250,000 "last man standing"
competition, but before
Ken Jennings . Rutter was the top seed in
Grand Slam , but lost in the second round to
Ogi Ogas , a former Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant.
Rutter competed in the 2010
World Quizzing Championship
World Quizzing Championship , where he
finished 140th. He was also a contestant on the 6th episode of Million
Dollar Mind Game (aired on November 27, 2011), where his team won
$600,000. In May 2012, he did a pilot episode as a "Chaser" for the
American version of the British game show The Chase . Fox network
ordered two pilots for consideration in its lineup. The Chaser in the
other pilot was
Mark Labbett , who is one of the five Chasers on both
the British and Australian versions of the show. Despite the show not
being picked up by Fox, it was later picked by GSN , with Labbett as
the only Chaser.
Rutter subsequently moved to southern
California to pursue a career
as an actor and TV host.
He also appeared in the 1990s week of the 2014 Battle of the Decades
tournament hosted by
Jeopardy! as part of its 30th-anniversary
commemoration. He won the March 7, 2014, game against Mike Dupee and
Jill Bunzendahl Chimka. He then appeared in the quarterfinals of the
tournament again on May 7 against Dan Pawson and
Mark M. Lowenthal ,
and won the game in a lock. On May 13, he defeated Leszek Pawlowicz
and Tom Cubbage in the semifinals. Following that, on May 16, 2014, he
Ken Jennings and Roger Craig and went on to win the
tournament and $1,000,000. As a result, he became the biggest game
show winner in world television history.
In 2017, he competed in a
Los Angeles citywide pub tournament as part
of Team of Enchantment (along with Brian Fodera, Matthew Frost, Pam
Jerome Vered and Hans von Walter), taking home his share of a
* Biography portal
American game show winnings records
* ^ "IBM\'s "Watson" Computing System to Challenge All Time
Jeopardy! Champions". Jeopardy Productions. 2010-12-14.
Archived from the original on 2013-06-16.
Lawrence Van Gelder (May 27, 2005). "Arts, Briefly:
\'Jeopardy!\' Titans Battle".
New York Times
New York Times . Retrieved 2010-10-04.
But in the culmination of a three-round battle of former champions, he
finished second on Wednesday night to Brad Rutter, a former record
store clerk from Lancaster, Pa. Mr. Rutter, now the host of his own
local quiz show, beat Mr. Jennings in all three games, winning a total
of $62,000 to Mr. Jennings's $34,599, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Rutter, who won $1 million on
Jeopardy! in 2002, received an
additional $2 million for his latest win, achieved on Wednesday in a
test of rapid responses to questions about Belgian and Asian history,
Latin, poets, rocks and sports.
* ^ "2008 NATIONAL ACADEMIC CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS". QUnlimited.
* ^ Alfred Lubrano (June 12, 2005). "Quiz-show whiz has stopped
Baltimore Sun . Retrieved 2010-10-09. The 27-year-old Johns
Hopkins University dropout and former record-store worker beat
Ken Jennings on
Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of
Champions on May 25, winning $2 million. Add that to the Jeopardy!
booty he has scored since he first played the game in 2000, and his
total is $3,255,102, making Rutter the biggest TV game-show winner in
history, according to the show's people.
* ^ "
Jeopardy! Premieres Milestone 20th Anniversary Season
September 8, 2003: America’s Favorite Quiz Show Launches Season 20
With Many Exciting and Historic "Firsts"" (Press release). King World.
September 4, 2003. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
Retrieved November 29, 2006.
* ^ Stauffer, Cindy (May 1, 2002). "Manheim Twp. man back in
'Jeopardy!' in Million Dollar Masters Tournament". Lancaster New Era.
* ^ "Did You Know..." from Jeopardy.com
* ^ "Smartest Machine on Earth" Archived February 17, 2011, at the
Wayback Machine .; retrieved 14 February 2011.
* ^ Markoff, John (2010-12-16). "On ‘Jeopardy’, Watson\'s a
Natural". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
* ^ Bill Toland. "A: He beat the best. Q: Who is Brad Rutter?"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 27, 2005.