David Madden (Jeopardy! contestant)

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David Madden (born June 13, 1981) is the founder and executive director of the National History Bee and Bowl. He is also a former 19-day champion on Jeopardy!.

Early life[edit]

During his time at Ridgewood High School[1] in Ridgewood, New Jersey, he competed on his school's Quiz Bowl team, and attended the National Academic Championship, where he was later named to the Hall of Fame, being one of only 19 people named to it in its 25-year history.[2][3] David also led his Ridgewood team to consecutive titles at the Eighth & Ninth Annual Omar Q Beckins Academic Challenge Tournaments, an off-shoot of the Westchester Academic Challenge of Knowledge Organization, in 1998 and 1999. He was Omar MVP in 1999, after placing second to Sahir Islam of Somers HS (Sahir was the 1998 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament Champion). David was inducted into the Omar Q Beckins Hall of Fame in 1999 (one of only 19 in the twenty-year history of OMAR).[4]


Making his first appearance on the July 5, 2005 episode, Madden continued on a winning streak through September 19 of that year, winning a total of nineteen games and $432,400. His last appearance during non-tournament play was on September 19, 2005, when he was defeated by Victoria Groce, a musician from Decatur, Georgia.[5] During the 2006 Tournament of Champions, Madden won his first-round match[6] (defeating the eventual winner of the Tournament, Michael Falk), but failed to win his second-round match,[7] taking home a consolation prize of $10,000 and bringing his total to $442,400, the fifth-highest, behind Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings, Jerome Vered, and Roger Craig.[2][3][8] His streak of 19 wins in regular games was the second-longest on Jeopardy! (after Jennings) until Julia Collins won 20 games in 2014; his dollar winnings in regular games are still the second-highest, after Jennings and slightly ahead of Collins.

Madden had first watched Jeopardy! with a babysitter when he was 11–12 years old. While watching Jeopardy! at that age, Madden would get the correct response to more clues than his babysitter. Madden claims to have studied a great deal in preparation for the show, which helped him with the clues. His parents did not realize Madden was going to be on Jeopardy! until his first game aired.[9]

Other work[edit]

Madden studied at Princeton and Berlin and is a co-author of the 2010 catalogue raisonné of the American artist Richard Anuszkiewicz.[10]

From July 2007 to February 2008 he hiked the length of the United States as a fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that provides free accommodations for family members of veterans at American military hospitals. In 2010, he founded the National History Bee and Bowl, two academic quiz competitions for students with a history focus (the Bee is for individual students, the Bowl is for teams). Madden currently oversees all aspects of NHBB, and has expanded the competitions to include colleges and middle schools in the USA, and high schools in seven foreign countries as well.[9]

In 2012, he organized the National History Bee Middle School Competition, whose National Championships were filmed in May 2012 for broadcast on History.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fran Scavuzzo, Sam. "'Jeopardy!' Champ Starts History Bowl at RHS". Ridgewood. April 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Madden '03 wins big on 'Jeopardy'". Daily Princetonian. September 25, 2005. Retrieved October 4, 2010. "Until Monday, when Madden lost for the first time in 20 games, the 24-year-old alum held the title of reigning champion. He earned $430,400 in all, second only to the legendary Ken Jennings, who earned more than $2.5 million over the course of 74 wins last year." 
  3. ^ a b "I'll Take Quiz Kids For $600, Alex". New York Times. October 9, 2005. Retrieved October 4, 2010. "By the time the episode on which he finally lost was broadcast last month, Mr. Madden had won 19 straight games -- second only to Mr. Jennings -- and his winnings came to $432,400. ... Mr. Madden was the captain of the Quiz Bowl team at Ridgewood High, and was on a similar freshman team at Princeton. When he comes home he says he plans to teach high school and perhaps enter politics. But his days as a quiz-show star are probably behind him" 
  4. ^ lroby, tournament director Omar Q Beckins
  5. ^ Jeopardy!. Season 22. 19 September 2005. Syndication.
  6. ^ Jeopardy!. Season 22. Episode 4831. 19 September 2005. Syndication.
  7. ^ Jeopardy!. Season 22. Episode 5002. 16 May 2006. Syndication.
  8. ^ "David Madden". J-archive. Retrieved October 4, 2010. "2006 Tournament of Champions semifinalist: $10,000. Season 21/22 19-time champion: $430,400 + $2,000. During David's Jeopardy! run, he resided in Berlin, Germany as a student pursuing a master's degree in international relations." 
  9. ^ a b Jeopardy! Champion Updates. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Ursus Books and Prints.
  11. ^ The National History Bee. History.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ken Jennings
Biggest Jeopardy! winners by season
Succeeded by
Mehrun Etebari