At last, the Jeopardy! Second Chance Tournament has drawn to a close, and the two winners are advancing to the Tournament of Champions. One of those winners has made big waves with their inspiring story. Here’s how Rowan Ward put their original Jeopardy! winnings to good use.
Rowan Ward Gets Meaningful Second Chance On ‘Jeopardy!’
When Rowan Ward competed last year on Jeopardy!, it was under a different name. Now, the nonbinary trivia expert is opening up about how their Jeopardy! winnings were life-changing. Ward originally competed in August 2021, but sadly wasn’t able to advance to the next broadcast. The Chicago native was in a tight race with Superchampion Matt Amodio before losing all of their winnings in a Final Jeopardy! bet.
However, third-place Jeopardy! contestants still go home with $1,000. While it may not seem like much, that kind of extra cash can make a big difference. Ward was the first to admit how much it changed their life. The sports writer was not publicly out as nonbinary at the time of their original Jeopardy! appearance. In that August broadcast, Ward competed under their deadname.
“Before going on Jeopardy!, I told my close friends to call me Rowan. I was under another name on the show, but I’m nonbinary. I wanted a name that fitted me,” Ward revealed upon their return to the Jeopardy! stage. “So, what I did with the money was I used it to pay for my name change filing and now I’m back on Jeopardy! with a second chance as my true self.”
Ward Wipes Out The Competition
Names are a powerful thing! It seems like Ward went into the Second Chance Tournament with confidence and it paid off. Ward cleared the semifinal with an astounding $36,800, and they took home another $37,799 in the finals, in addition to the $35,000 final prize. Yet, the excitement just doesn’t stop!
Ward will progress to the Tournament of Champions, which kicked off on Monday. They will face off against 7-game champion Courtney Shah and 4-game winner John Focht on Thursday, November 3. Ward is just the latest member of the LGBT+ community to join Jeopardy! legend, along with last season’s record-setting Superchamps Amy Schneider and Mattea Roach.
If Ward performs as they did in the Second Chance Tournament, they’ll be set up for an impressive run in the Tournament of Champions. Who knows? They just might end up getting to claim victory over their original competitor, Superchamp Matt Amadio!