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Bartender wins Jeopardy 8 times — here's what he's doing with his $300,000 winnings

CNBC logo CNBC 10/7/2017 Kathleen Elkins

New York City bartender Austin Rogers has made an impressive run on Jeopardy, winning eight straight games and more than $300,000.

He has the chance to extend his streak on Friday night.

The 38-year-old, whose quirky personality and risky bets have made him a fan favorite, doesn't even own a TV.

So what's his secret? Watching a ton of Jeopardy episodes. "If you watch enough, you'll start seeing things repeat," he tells Good Morning America. For example, "if it ever says Romanian poet, it'll be Eminescu. I have no idea who Eminescu is, but I've seen that come up three times in episodes across the decades."

During a CNBC appearance on Friday, Rogers compared the game show to playing Scrabble.

"You have to know the tricks," he told Michelle Fox on Closing Bell. "It's more like a matrix of thought. If you have accumulated enough tangential things, they start stringing together, so 'sunflowers' automatically goes to 'van Gogh,' automatically goes to 'self-mutilation.'"

His strategy has earned him $306,900 so far. He even held his own during CNBC's financial version of the game show, in which he was pitted against CNBC senior markets commentator Michael Santoli. Rogers and Santoli tied.

As for what the Jeopardy champion plans to do with his small fortune, it'll either be invested in a municipal bond or used to fund a BMW, he tells GMA.

Look for Rogers on Jeopardy Friday night at 7:00 PM. If he extends his winning streak, he still has a ways to go when it comes to the all-time record: In 2004, Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row.

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