Some loyal viewers are calling him the "Jeopardy! villain." Arthur Chu is the current champion on the game show and his unusual approach is raising eyebrows.
But there is a method to his so-called madness. Chu has won six times on Jeopardy! so far using the strategic concept called game theory, including Tuesday night.
That's the idea that there's a scientific approach to always gain an advantage over another player. So when you see him play for the tie instead of the win in final Jeopardy!, Virginia Tech associate professor Sheryl Ball says it may be the right move.
“What Arthur's figured out is that in Jeopardy!, winning in a particular day is great," she says. "But if you really wanna maximize the amount of money you can make, what's important is you can come back and play the next day."
By wagering less in final Jeopardy, if he happens to get it wrong, he may still win overall. What isn't game theory is his unorthodox question selection, often picking the hardest questions first instead of the normal approach of picking the easiest ones. Ball, who teaches behavior economics and has studied game theory, says that is more psychological to catch his opponents off-guard.
"Because he's skipping all over the place instead of going down a column, he knows a second before anyone else what category he's going to," she says. "And that lets him make a faster decision about whether to hit the button and try to answer the question."