When it comes to quizzing credentials, surely it’s hard to beat Yogesh Raut. He holds three Masters Degrees in three disciplines. He’s been a quiz show enthusiast and expert for decades, writing and competing in pub trivia, Scholastic Bowl state championships, collegiate quiz bowl, the Trivia Championships of North America, the World Quizzing Championships, and more. He’s done it all. He produces the podcast Recreational Thinking, he runs the blog The Wronger Box, which is a cornucopia of fascinating facts, regularly updated, and he made news in January this year following his run on what is probably America’s favourite TV quiz show – Jeopardy!
SH: Yogesh Raut, Welcome to HowToWinGameShows.com!
YR: Thank you.
SH: When were you first bitten by the quiz bug? Or what initially piqued your interest in the world of quizzing?
YR: I told a story to local media about how when my brother was two grades ahead of me in school, he started playing Scholastic Bowl. I wasn’t eligible. I was at a different school, different grades, but my father put me in the front row of his matches with a clipboard and a notepad and told me to just write down all the answers I knew. And after two straight years of doing that, I finally got to middle school myself and got to play and in my first game, I answered the first seven questions correctly, and the coach of the opposing team called a timeout to try to break my rhythm. But then when we came back, I got the eighth one.
I think it’s a good metaphor for after multiple decades of trying to get on Jeopardy, and of honing my skills in many, many, many different formats across many years, and proving what I was capable of, whether it was in Quiz Bowl, whether it was the World Quizzing Championship, the Quizzing World Cup, Connections Online Quiz League, all of these things… finally getting a chance to do it in front of an audience, rather than just having my own private little notepad where I’m like, “Look! I knew all that!”
I thought that was a very good metaphor. It seems people were offended by it. And I don’t really understand why. Other than that they just don’t want to accept that the role of Jeopardy within the quizzing ecosystem is, for elite quizzers, NOT the Olympics, the testing ground; it’s not the thing that determines how good they are. I now realise that there’s a fairly large contingent of people who don’t want to accept that Jeopardy isn’t the Olympics. And they don’t like the attitude of “Well, I proved myself in the Olympics – now I’m coming on this reality show and hoping to make some money.”
SH: Right, right. So, Jeopardy is a mainstream and very popular show, but the world of quizzing is a lot more than just that. Is that the idea?Tweet