Who is Ben Chan from Jeopardy!? Fans think the 9-day winner was “robbed” as he gets eliminated for spelling mistake

Meet 9-day Jeopardy champion, Ben Chan
Meet 9-day Jeopardy champion, Ben Chan (Image via Jeopardy)

The latest episode of Jeopardy! Season 39 left fans disappointed as Ben Chan got eliminated. So far, he had won nine games and would have bagged his 10th win as well. But a spelling mistake sent him home in the May 23 episode. Netizens were upset with host Mayim Bialik’s judgment, citing that many players have been given points regardless of wrong spellings.

Jeopardy! fans took to social media to express their disappointment as they felt Ben was robbed in the latest episode.

On Tuesday, Ben played his 10th game against two new players — Danny Leserman, a policy communications manager from Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and Lynn Di Vito, a retired museum educator from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“This is outrageous”: Fans upset with Ben Chan’s elimination from Jeopardy!


Ben Chan first appeared on Jeopardy! on April 12, 2023, and after playing three games, he couldn’t continue due to illness. But he returned on May 16, 2023, and continued his winning streak by defeating 8-day champion Hannah Wilson.

Ben was aiming to beat 13-day champion Ray Lalonde’s record but was “robbed” in his 10th game. After a successful run for nine episodes, Ben was sent home in the May 23 episode after his final round’s answer was not identical to the correct response.

Fans were upset with the decision as they claimed many players were let go even after misspelled answers. In fact, Lynn Di Vito, who defeated Ben in the latest episode, didn’t even finish her final answer. However, it was incorrect, no-one seemed to have questioned her.

Twitter users have expressed their disappointment as they were furious with the results:

Meet 9-day champion, Ben Chan

Ben Chan is a philosophy professor from Green Bay, Wisconsin. With nine wins, he earned a total amount of $252,600 and has qualified for the Tournament of Champions (ToC).

Speaking about he would spend his winning money, Ben said:

“We definitely have a massive East Coast tour planned. I don’t know, maybe we can get like a camper now. This is oddly big money.”

Ben’s job profile states that he is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. Norbert College. According to reports, he is a former NCAA Division III baseball player at Swarthmore College. He likes to keep his personal life private and thus fans won’t find much information about him on social media.

The professor is active on Twitter (@JeopardyBenBen), where he has expressed his desire to play against Ray Lalonde in the Emmy-winning game show. The two might crossroads during the Tournament of Champions. Going by his Twitter posts, the player seemed to be witty.

Final Jeopardy question and result of the May 23 episode

In the May 23 episode, Ben Chan returned to play his 10th game against Danny Leserman and Lynn Di Vito.

The Final Jeopardy question, under the category of “Shakespeare’s Characters,” read:

“Both of the names of these 2 lovers in a Shakespeare play come from Latin words for ‘blessed.’”

The correct answer was Beatrice & Benedick.

The final results were:

Lynn $14,800 – $3,000 = $11,800 (Who are Romeo and Juli) (1-day total: $11,800)

Ben $17,400 – $12,201 = $5,199 (Who are Beatrice & Benedict Benedict?)

Danny $2,400 – $1,400 = $1,000 (Who Romeo + Juliet)

Despite giving a wrong answer, Lynn won the latest game because 9-day champion Ben misspelled his correct answer. Instead of “Benedick,” he wrote “Benedict.”

Meanwhile, he will return in the Tournament of Champions, while Lynn will come back in the next episode of season 39, hosted by Mayim Bialik.

Jeopardy! airs new episodes from Monday through Friday.

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Edited by Sushmita Sen