My short bio:

My name is Sam Deutsch and I'm the USC student who won the College Championship over the last two weeks.

Joe Biden tweeted at me, New York Magazine had an article about my admiration for Kanye, and I just won a bit of money so maybe this will pick up some steam.

here are a couple articles about it

oh and this one

I did a mini AMA in the /r/USC subreddit but a few people have told me they'd be interested in a bigger one so we'll see - i'm happy to talk about my experience on the show/usc/kanye/alex trebek/dank memes/anything else you'd want to ask.

yo, also

Comments: 327 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

ken2723865 karma

Redditor for 5 years

So is the key to success using reddit or not using reddit?

samdman150 karma

major key

AmaziaTheAmazing55 karma

Is there any strategy to how you answer questions, or is it just raw knowledge?
You fixed your proof pic link, good on ya!

samdman121 karma

there are two main types of questions - straightforward raw knowledge (this country with capital of Sofia) and then tricky ones where you have to pick up on and synthesize little bits of information - like my last final jeopardy (this man cast a 12,394 votes while serving in the senate from 1973 to January 2009) -- of course no one is going to have each senator's vote count memorized, but I was luckily able to pic up on the critical information of January 2009 - that's when Obama was inaugurated, now I know he was still in grade school in 1973, so he can't be the answer... but Joe Biden may just be right!

At first, I thought they were trying to go for who had served in the Senate longest, which led me to Byrd, but I luckily realized that they were really asking who stopped serving in the senate in 2009

and thanks for the heads up! should be fixed now hah

MattBaster46 karma

Congrats! Hate to ask, but how much do you get to keep after taxes?

samdman265 karma

around 70k or so... I don't really mind paying taxes, and would be happy to pay more if it meant better public infrastructure and universal healthcare

PM_Those_Tits_Girl39 karma

Was there any sexual tension between any of the contestants, with all of them being in college?

samdman285 karma

only me and alex

ontopic38 karma

I heard that Trebek keeps his mustache under a glass bell in his office and he smokes a strand of it with some primo hash and menthol tobacco in a Lakota peace pipe that was twice blessed and thrice cursed in order to maintain his powers.

Any truth to that?

samdman36 karma

i can neither confirm nor deny

bxncwzz32 karma

Did you ever get those pair of Yeezys? Has Kanye reached to you for money yet?

samdman46 karma

i actually wore a pair of yeezys for the finals, but I haven't heard from him yet, unfortunately

bxncwzz14 karma

Let me see

_Buff_Drinklots_28 karma

Did you get to know or hang out with any of the other contestants, or were they your enemies that you ignored?

samdman59 karma

I'm actually pretty good friends with all of them and still talk to them. which makes it awkward when people are like "im so glad you won i hated X contestant" and i'm like uh thanks but s/he is actually pretty cool

Cutting_Up24 karma

What are you going to do with the money?

samdman79 karma

The current plan is to invest most of it for Law School, and I also plan on traveling after senior year.

I'm also excited to donate some of it to the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University, as my mom is a survivor and raises money for them on her birthday every year.

newprofile155 karma

Where do you plan to go to law school?

samdman24 karma

not sure yet, depends on my LSATs hah. The dream would be Yale, but I also really want to go to Michigan or UVA.

bmelche10 karma

Come to UVA! Charlottesville is the greatest city in America (not that I'm biased or anything)! But seriously though, UVA Law is fantastic and in such a better location than Michigan haha.

samdman14 karma

haha I was looking at UVA undergrad and really liked it! I'm still just a bit salty about getting waitlisted there though

IvyGold7 karma

UVA law grad here. I was astounded when I began practicing and finding that most of my colleagues hated law school. I had more fun there than I did in college.

Winning Jeopardy! is going to be a real bonus when it comes time for your essay. Let them know you applied undergrad, too -- they like commitment to the University.

samdman5 karma

thanks for the advice!

kendamagic0 karma


samdman2 karma

nah i'm investing in bitcoin

bfarnsey22 karma

Do you find that people think of you as intelligent up until the point that they realize the extent of your admiration for Kanye?

drake072718 karma

congrats for winning! A question, do you guys know the topics before the show so you can do something of a psuedo cram session?

samdman22 karma

thanks! and hah I wish, it would make things a lot easier - see the sleepy hollow category in my semifinal match haha.

we actually have no even remote idea of what's gonna come up before hand and the producers are extra careful to make sure we don't have any contact with anyone who does.

tulo6418 karma

Do you think Barack Obama knows what he's doing?

samdman43 karma

nice meme, marco

but tbh yea i do i volunteered for him in 2012

horacejt18 karma

Did you find the way that Niki answered questions (By directly cutting off Alex and moving to the next question, audibly voicing her frustrations on a wrong answer) distracting at all in the two day final?

samdman31 karma

it wasn't distracting so much as it was disorienting, she was totally in the zone and i just wasn't on her level, especially the second half of that first game

thr33beggars17 karma

Where would you rank TLOP in Kanye's discography? I haven't had a listen to it yet (waiting until he remasters it in a week or so) but I hear it is really good.

samdman30 karma

It is really good. I honestly think it would take a miracle for anything to surpass MBDTF (which is my favorite album) but if I had to rank the albums it would go


I know lots of people would disagree with me on that one but i think that LR-CD are all really close, like a 9/10, and could change depending on how I'm feeling, with MBDTF being a 10 and Graduation being an 8.

ultralight beam, famous, waves, FML, Real Friends, NMPILA, and Fade are all fantastic songs

thr33beggars6 karma

My man. For me, its


I would have to agree, LR and CD seem like a part 1 and part 2 of the same album to me, and some days I prefer one to the other so it is hard to give them a fair ranking. At first I HATED 808's but it really starting to grow on me. Can't wait to give TLOP a listen since it went from 10 to 18 tracks

samdman7 karma

agreed on 808s, it really grew on me after Yeezus. And yeah I definitely hope that by "fixing wolves" he means that he'll bring Vic and Sia back

samdman27 karma

that dude with the cart on 36th and vermont who makes dank tacos al pastor?

jeihkeih14 karma

What'd you get on your SAT's?

samdman21 karma

i did well but not a 2400 or anything, talking about test scores gives me unfortunate flashbacks to high school

but moral of the story is that i'm not some sort of genius, unfortunately (thankfully you don't have to be one to do well on Jeopardy!)

rule2DoubleTap11 karma

At what point during the competition did you figure out buzzer timing?

Also, how do you feel about your chances for the Tournament of Champions? Will you make any changes to how you prepare, now that you know what to expect?

samdman13 karma

I got a decent hold on it relatively quickly but I never felt like i was either at a huge advantage or disadvantage as far as the buzzer went, and in the finals niki was totally killing me on the buzzer

welcomethewall8 karma

At what point does your buzzer register? If you press your buzzer while Alex is reading, will your podium light up first? Or do the buzzes only count after he stops reading?

whitehouses5 karma

If I recall there is a light that goes off when they can buzz, which is usually the last syllable of the last word Alex says.

samdman5 karma

this is correct. and if you buzz too early it locks you out for a quarter second

munjifoot11 karma

What are you majoring in college? And did it help you?

samdman21 karma

Political Economy - it's a cool major at USC that allows me to take a nice mix of hard econ and ir/development economics/polisci classes, it definitely helped me, especially the stuff I learned about different countries.

I'm also in a liberal arts gen-ed program unique to USC - the Thematic Option, which definitely really helped. To be honest though, IB Literature and European History and APUSH were the most helpful classes as far as jeopardy knowledge goes

Slytherin4Lyfe11 karma

Are you going to Disney World?

samdman50 karma

nah, but if they pay me to say yes i'll gladly edit this answer

realjefftaylor19 karma

Are you gonna celebrate with some budweisers?

samdman110 karma

adhi-5 karma

/u/uhhhhmmmm your meme has peaked

uhhhhmmmm9 karma

Hey I watched this guy! I was rooting for Augustana woman, but I'm glad he won. Thanks for using my meme, man

samdman8 karma

it's a nice meme

Euchre4 karma

Would you still do it if they didn't pay you, but the trip itself was all free?

samdman7 karma

We'll I'm currently studying abroad so it's kinda far, but sure. you offering?

Cokedacola11 karma

Are you getting any love mail from fans? If I were in the area, I would have asked for a date... My friends and I all thought you were super cute. I did visit DC in 5th grade though :) Unfortunately we're in Belgium, but hopefully you're happy to know you have fans from all around the world!

samdman20 karma

who/how do people in belgium watch jeopardy?

I'm actually studying abroad in the netherlands and I had to get friends to facetime it to me lol

suchredditnamewow10 karma

How did you get on the show? Also, how much studying did you do before the show and how?

samdman15 karma

there's an online test on and then from there something like 5% are invited to in-person auditions, and then 5% of those are invited to be on the show.

and studying was mostly just watching the show and practicing with a pen as a buzzer, and a ton of sporcle.

loondawg10 karma

Shouldn't we give you the answers and you provide the questions?

samdman21 karma

what is... no

_Hei_Bai_9 karma

So did you keep the sweatshirt? In all seriousness though congrats, I was pulling for you from the beginning as a fellow MD native and Yeezy fan.

samdman9 karma

haha I had to keep it, yeah.

and some people misinterpreted that comment haha, I love USC but I have more than enough sweaters for LA where it's only cold enough to even wear them one week every year; and the bookstore sweaters aren't cheap!

justifications9 karma

Simcity or Cities Skylines?

samdman8 karma

i really want to get into cities skylines but i haven't played it because i know i'll get addicted. I absolutely love minimetro though, it's an addictively simple game about designing subway lines!

justifications8 karma

The modding ability of Skylines is the best part, but I do enjoy the challenge of Minimetro. If you like simple games like that one, you may also like Concrete Jungle. Its a puzzle solving city builder

samdman5 karma

I'll def check it out!

hurtsdonut_9 karma

Do you film one episode or multiple episodes in one day?

samdman30 karma

5 episodes per day! so it was all in 2 days of filming

hurtsdonut_7 karma

So no studying in between?

samdman44 karma

I played the countries of the world quiz on sporcle after day one of filming if that counts

Squishy_Vengence9 karma

Then why do you look so damn glum?

samdman36 karma

taking a selfie while smiling is more awkward than conversing with alex trebek

DoctorDetroit88 karma

I read that there is a 'Personality Test' that you need to pass in order to be selected to be on TV for Jeopardy! What exactly is that and did anybody not pass? Thanks,

samdman13 karma

there is no personality test, and it's not like they're looking for specific things. But for the in person auditions (that like 300 people are invited to for the college show), they have everyone say a couple fun facts and play a practice game in addition to a written test, so i'd assume personality is one of many factors they look at when selecting contestants

LYFT_PROMO_MN1238 karma

Are there strategy games that you are just oddly terrible at? How are your crossword skills? Are you amazing at all board games?

samdman43 karma

I am not a huge fan of crosswords to be honest, there are way too many cheeky or just ridiculous clues that make no sense to me.

And haha I don't really play many board games, but i've heard good things about the cones of dunshire

joshublansky8 karma

Who served in the senate from 1973 to 2009, casting a total of 12,394 votes?

Just wondering, thought you might know.

samdman9 karma

bernie sanders?

driedyam7 karma

Gratz dude! I was hoping that you would pull through instead of that snobby chick from Berkeley. And what is Alex's off camera personality like? After the game ends and the 4 of you are chit chatting, what are you guys talking about?

samdman14 karma

Niki is cool. And he's chill, but was in serious pain due to a knee replacement surgery so he wasn't having the best time... he did not appreciate us jumping all over the board haha.

And it's literally just small talk haha

trangquility6 karma

What are some of your best study tips for college? c:

samdman36 karma

procrastinate as much as you can

Occasionally_Girly6 karma

A few things:

  1. Your username is awesome and you should feel awesome

  2. What was it like being on Jeopardy? Anything you didn't expect?

  3. What are your thoughts on The Life of Pablo?

samdman9 karma

  1. hah thanks i think it's a little silly but it could be worse considering it's my middle school email

  2. It was surreal - that's the word i think is most accurate. I definitely didn't expect it go by so quick

  3. Big fan, not my favorite work of 'ye's but there are some fantastic songs on there.

madisonfootball996 karma

What prompted you to change your final jeopardy answer in the championship(from Byrd to Biden)?

samdman8 karma

I was pretty sure Byrd had died sometime in 2010 so I wasn't comfortable with that answer - this led me to brainstorm and I had kind of an aha! moment when I realized it's probably Biden

nonvegan6 karma

Was it hard to concentrate over Niki's aggressiveness?

samdman5 karma

it definitely caught me off guard and made it hard to settle down, it's a good strategy

TreeAndPlants3 karma

Will you go to Disneyland with that cash? Also, is that cash enough to pay your student loan (if any)

samdman13 karma

i'm gonna drink a budweiser

immagrownwoman3 karma

I watched the whole championship, congrats!

1) you're the one who was the Kanye fan right? Hear his new album yet? Thoughts?

2) Do any of you network or socialize at all with the other contestants during the whole process or is it pretty separate and competitive?

3) How cool is Alex Trebek? He's my fave. Any anecdotes about him?

samdman14 karma

1) TLOP slaps 2) haha we're all friends 3) he showed up the first day in a canadian tuxedo - a denim shirt with denim pants. a legend

Y2flound3 karma

As a Pitt alum and Kanye stan I don't know if I've ever been as torn as I was watching the finale. Did Alex actually talk to you about Kanye during the commercials like he said he was going to? I bet he hates him and made fun of you for liking him.

samdman4 karma

haha he didn't really bring it up, he just makes largely inoffensive small talk "oh this is a close one, you guys feeling good about it?"

TVFAN5673 karma

Since you did this what is your next goal big goal you want to achieve?

samdman10 karma

get a summer job!

hopefully as bernie's vice president

whoisjoshwoo3 karma

Fight on, Sam! Fellow Trojan (Annenberg '13) and Jeopardy! alum (Kids' Week 2003) here. Congrats on winning the tournament against some very strong competition.

How do you feel about going back for the Tournament of Champions, knowing that the material will likely be more difficult?

samdman2 karma

haha well i'll probably not do as well but i'm excited, it's gonna be fun

Limit7603 karma

Hello, It's me your brother.

Will you share your winnings with your brother?

hmdeutsch7 karma

ok im actually his brother: notice last name, and I am advising u to chill, hes not giving me any

samdman3 karma

can confirm

RealSinJax2 karma

What's the first thing you bought, and what is your plan with your new found money?

samdman3 karma

I'm going to try and spend it responsibly - it's a nice safety net to have and not one I plan on wasting. That said, I just went on a trip to Prague and Vienna that was amazing.

to copy my answerfrom above about what i'm doing with it:

The current plan is to invest most of it for Law School, and I also plan on traveling after senior year. I'm also excited to donate some of it to the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University, as my mom is a survivor and raises money for them on her birthday every year.

p0wderz2 karma

Niki was hawt, get her number by chance?......

samdman8 karma


buckyboy282 karma

How long ago did you film the College Championship episodes? Was it tough keeping it a secret this long?

samdman4 karma

a month ago - it wasn't easy but i definitely had some fun with it, my friends were convinced that I came in third place haha

kinda_witty2 karma

Oh I hope this isn't too late but big Jeopardy! fan, it looked super fun to be on the college tournament. First of all congratulations on the win! You mentioned the tournament took place over 2 days, but how much time did you guys actually have together and around the studios? What was your initial reaction when Niki stole your thunder on that Yeezy question? And most of all, aside from winning of course, what part of the experience was the most fun?

samdman2 karma


we all stayed in the same hotel for three nights so we were able to hang out for a bit after the filming!

And I'll never live that kanye question down haha.

The most fun part was just make friends with all of the other contestants-so many amazing people from all over the country

Jorddeman2 karma

How nervous were you heading into the last game knowing that 100k was on the line?

samdman3 karma

it wasn't too bad actually - I was more nervous before the semifinals to be honest, the whole 2 day thing helped lower the pressure a little bit, and just knowing I had already made it to the finals, i figured even coming in 3rd would be solid

MaineSoxGuy932 karma

What would be your dream Jeopardy category?

samdman7 karma

well the easy answer is kanye but that came up and i got outbuzzed so...

mad men characters?

credditordebit1 karma

How did you feel when you didn't get to answer the Kanye question? Alex made it seem like a bigger deal than your initial facial expression. You seemed more focused with you're eye on the prize.

samdman3 karma

hahaha the question came up and it was easy enough that I knew everyone knew it and it would be a buzzer race, and when i lost i was just like bruh

OttieandEddie1 karma

Are the buzzers as frustrating as they seem on TV?

samdman2 karma

yup, but it's bound to be that way when there are a ton of questions that 2 or 3 of us all know

arshaqV0 karma

How's The Life of Pablo?

samdman2 karma


LurkeyMcLurkerson0 karma

i fell like you are really liberal but i enjoyed watching you on Jeopardy. Do you drink?

samdman2 karma

lmao wat

unicraven0 karma

That whole kanye thing was a joke right?

samdman11 karma

It was a bit tongue in cheek of course but I really like his music. Seeing him on the Yeezus tour was legitimately one of the greatest nights of my life.