‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Buzzy Cohen Says the Key to Winning Is Paying Attention to How Alex Trebek Speaks

Buzzy Cohen is sharing his secret to being a successful Jeopardy! player. The advertising music executive from Los Angeles says performing well on the classic game show is all about how longtime host Alex Trebek delivers clues to contestants. Keep reading to learn more about Cohen’s time on the program and his strategy for winning. 

Buzzy Cohen smiles on the set of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' in 2020
Buzzy Cohen on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Buzzy Cohen has a 9-game winning streak on ‘Jeopardy!’ 

First stepping behind a podium as a Jeopardy! contestant in 2016, Cohen brings jokes and celebratory moves to the program. He wins game after game, dominating categories by answering clue after clue. 

Fans take notice of Cohen even more during Final Jeopardy when he wagers nothing after dominating the first two rounds of the game. “What is see you tomorrow, Trebek?!” and “Who is you aren’t rid of me yet, Trebek?” are the responses he chooses to give instead. 

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’: What Happens to ‘Problematic’ Clues, According to a Head Writer on the Game Show

When he’s not answering a piece of trivia correctly in the form a question, Cohen’s teasing Trebek. He goes on to win nine consecutive games of Jeopardy! before losing. When he departs the game show, he leaves with more than just an interesting story to tell his family and friends.

He says goodbye to Jeopardy! with $164,603 in winnings. Wait, there’s one more thing. He’s got a new nickname given to him by Trebek, “Mr. Personality.”

He says contestants must pay attention to Alex Trebek’s ‘cadence’

After winning Jeopardy! nine times, Cohen spoke with Vanity Fair about his experience on the show. Speaking to the publication in May 2016, he talked about the secret to success. In his opinion, it’s all about hitting the buzzer at the right moment more so than trivia knowledge. 

“Everybody on the show knows almost everything,” Cohen said.

That’s why he stresses practicing buzzer technique at home.

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’ Challengers Are Picked ‘5 Minutes Before the Show Tapes’

“I would watch the show and click along to work on the buzzing in. It’s kind of the hardest part of the show,” he said.

Later on, he highlights just how important it is to click the buzzer at the precise time. 

“If you buzz in before Alex is done reading the question, you get locked out for a quarter of a second,” he said. “So you have to time it—you have to get used to his cadence.”

Cohen isn’t the only Jeopardy! contestant to stress buzzer technique. Other past winners of the game show have shared that before competing on the program they used a pen as a buzzer at home. 

Buzzy Cohen returns to win the 2017 Tournament of Champions

The nine-time winner returns to Jeopardy! in 2017 to compete in the Tournament of Champions. He stands behind a podium once again with Trebek dishing out trivia. He wins the tournament beating out fellow contestants Austin Rogers and Alan Lin in the finals to win first place and $250,000. 

RELATED: Alex Trebek’s Wife Asked Him to Take a Break From Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ After Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Jeopardy! and Trebek really can’t get rid of Cohen as the contestant once joked on the show. He returns yet again in 2019 for Jeopardy! All-Star Games. Not walking away victorious, Cohen loses to fellow champion Brad Rutter and his team. 

The Jeopardy! Contestant hopes to one day come back to the game show not as a contestant but as the new host after Trebek retires. For now, the Canadian-American TV personality continues to be the face of the program.

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’ Writers on How They Come up With Questions