Harvard Physics Professor Dominates Jeopardy

A Harvard science professor who moonlights as a crossword puzzle constructor is the reigning champion on Jeopardy, amassing three-day winnings of more than $100,000.

Joon Pahk, 32, teaches physics to undergrads at Harvard and for the last three years has created crossword puzzles for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. Pahk said he wanted to use his winnings to take his family on a trip to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

Fans of the popular and long-running game show seem to be enamored with Pahk’s vast knowledge, quick trigger finger and aggressive wagering tendencies.

“I’d like to make this a true daily double, Alex,” Pahk calmly informed host Alex Trebek during the first round of Wednesday’s show, putting up all of his accumulated $2,400.

The answer: In the beginning, this team iced the puck at the Border Cities Arena in Windsor, Ontario; then for 50 years at Olympia Stadium.

Long, awkward pause. “Who are the Senators.” No, the Detroit Red Wings. Doh!

No matter, Pahk was back up to $2,400 in a few minutes and by the end of the first round had racked up $4,800. In round two, Pahk’s coffers swelled to $13,600 and he hit a daily double. He went conservative this time, however, wagering just $3,000.

The answer: Frisian, a Germanic language, is spoken in three areas, each with its own dialect, along the coast of this sea.

“What is the Irish Sea.”

Nope. The answer was the North Sea.

Despite the second failed Daily Double, by the end of the second round, Pahk was up to $13,400, and trailed leader Katie Baker by $3,000. But after the commercial break, Trebek said the judges accepted Pahk’s answer of Rumba as an alternative to Salsa, putting Pahk back into the leader’s spot at $16,600.

The Final Jeopardy category was “literary title characters.”

The answer: He gave his horse a name that partly means ‘nag’ in Spanish; the name he gave himself refers to a piece of armor.

All three answered correctly with “Don Quixote” but Pahk’s wager was a baller-esque $16,500, bringing his total to $33,100 and a three-day grand total of $112,700.

Answer: The winner and STILL reigning Jeopardy champion.

Who is Joon Pahk!