Either way, Austin Rogers, who grew up in Pound Ridge, has become a national sensation as his winning streak on "Jeopardy" has reached seven games and he's won $278,300. Rogers goes for his 8th win Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. on WABC-TV Channel 7.
Rogers auditioned for the show via the online exam and then attended an in-person audition last October. In April, he got a call from producers inviting him to appear on the show. He knew he was going to do well.
"They tell you to bring three pairs of clothes," Rogers said. "I brought 14."
The outfits come from thrift shops and Rogers said it's what he generally wears when he's not on the show. He said taping "Jeopardy!", which tapes five episodes in one day, was an onslaught.
"Everything is so rapid and compressed," Rogers said. "When you win, you get pulled off stage, do a quick change and you go back out there."
Host Alex Trebek is a consummate professional who does not fraternize with the guests, Rogers said.
"He does not exist outside of the stage," Rogers said. "I like that, it adds a certain amount of drama. When he walks out on the stage, the whole tenor changes and it becomes real. It really enhances the gameplay experience."
Growing up on the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation was a great experience for Rogers, he said.
"My backyard was 5,000 acres," Rogers, who attended Fox Lane High School, said. "I would spend my days hiking, biking and falling out of trees. On weekends I would go to the city. Pound Ridge is really a special place. It's not pretentious and everyone is friendly. It's perfect."
Rogers currently bartends at Gaf West, an Irish bar on 48th St. and 9th Ave. Each night, he has hosted a viewing party, which can get pretty exhausting.
"The festivities are pretty festive," Rogers said. "I'm waking up at 6 a.m. to go on 'Good Morning America.' I'm fielding phone calls from reporters day. It's consuming. It's really like a full-time job. It's a real roller coaster, it's been amazing.
In one episode, Rogers was clearly annoyed when one of the questions involved Eagles. Don't get him started on his least favorite band.
"They're so bland," Rogers said. "They're the Coldplay of the 70s. They're a simulacrum of an actual band. People heard all these great singer-songwriters and the Eagles said let's do that but make it muzacky."
Rogers said he has been attacked on Twitter by Eagles fans, who didn't even think existed.
"Normal people are fans of people like Bob Dylan or The Beatles," Rogers said.
"Jeopardy!" fans have also gotten panic attacks from watching Rogers wager a ton of money of Daily Doubles. He said after winning one game, he decided to just have fun.
"I wanted to win a game to prove I can do it," Rogers said. "Every other game, it doesn't matter. I already have money in the bank. Everything on top of that is cherries and icing. It's a game show. Everyone takes 'Jeopardy!' so seriously, but after all, it's entertainment."
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