One Wednesday, Jeopardy! ended in a very rare tie.
What made it especially notable was the way it happened.
Rampaging winner Arthur Chu first appeared on Tuesday and won three times in a row. On Wednesday's game, Chu took the rare step of neglecting to add $1 to his Final Jeopardy! bet, allowing his opponent to go home with a generous $26,800 tie.
Why bet to tie? Game theory. If Chu was wrong, he could lose big time and walk away from Jeopardy! for the last time.
Here's an interesting breakdown of his tying game by Keith Williams, whose vlog The Final Wager analyzes Jeopardy! bets.
It's not just game theory. One other tactic Chu uses is enthusiastically searching for the Daily Double, which Business Insider calls a "grating experience" for the viewer. It screws up the rhythm of the game by preventing the viewer from getting the hang of categories and leads to boards that look like this one:
As seen above, Chu pursues the Daily Double even when he knows nothing about the subject, including sports. That's to deny his opponents a chance at one-upping him.
But I saw there was just so much crap about sports on Wikipedia I was like "Screw this I would rather have time to have sex with my wife"— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) January 31, 2014
Chu's other tactics including buzzer rushing, which has not won over some fans. At times, it almost seems like he's cutting Trebek off. But it's hard to fault the guy for knowing every answer. He's rushed to answer after other players screw up, such as when he hastily rung in to correct competitor Cesar Perez-Gonzalez's incorrect identification of an antelope as a "prog-horn" with the correct answer, "prong-horn."
These tactics have won him both praise and condemnation.
Arthur Chu is a modern version of that guy who memorized the Whammy board.— danisse (@danisse) February 3, 2014
Arthur Chu is pure genius: http://t.co/vv8HSp5cjD— Ronald Lew (@rlew2) February 3, 2014
[AMA Request] Arthur Chu, most hated contestant on Jeopardy? http://t.co/bIzFHkpDEg— IAmA (@redditIAmA) January 30, 2014
And his Jeopardy! strategies have provoked in-depth analyses, definitely marking him as the show's biggest flashpoint in recent memory.
But it's been just three games. He has a long way to go before even coming close to challenging a record like Ken Jenning's, who won 74 consecutive games in 2004.