News & Politics

8 Things to Know About DC’s Current Jeopardy Champ: Pat Curran

He's a Hoyas fan, drinks Port City's Porter, and—unsurprisingly—does the NY Times crossword daily.

Pat Curran, right, on Jeopardy! Photograph courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

If you’ve ever swung by Wisconsin Avenue’s Breadsoda for Monday night trivia, there’s a chance you’ve rubbed shoulders with DC’s current defending Jeopardy champ, Patrick Curran, who goes by Pat.

While a Jeopardy contestant from DC—one of America’s most educated cities—isn’t all that surprising, Curran has become somewhat of a local celebrity given his regular appearances at Breadsoda, where he’s also a two-time Trivia Cup champion.

Having won both Thursday and Friday nights’ episodes, and amassing $45,400 in winnings thus far, Curran will appear on Jeopardy tonight at 7:30 p.m. eastern time. You can watch it on ABC or at Breadsoda, which is hosting a watch party at 7 p.m. with the local champ in attendance. Stay afterwards to flex your own trivia skills (though good luck beating Curran).

A Georgetown grad from Vermont, Curran is now a consultant with the consulting firm LMI and has lived in DC for more than a decade. Here’s what else you should know about our latest trivia champ as you cheer him on tonight:

1. He’s a fan of Capital City Showcase trivia.

Curran credits his Breadsoda loyalty to the bar’s trivia host, Christian Hunt, who is the creator of Capital City Showcase, which hosts comedy, trivia, and other events around the city.

“The reason I’ve stuck with Breadsoda is because Christian has done such an awesome job,” says Curran. “I honestly I think a large part of it is having a host who’s very much in touch with and knowledgable about the questions. If the host isn’t involved in doing the research and understanding the questions, it’s not quite as fun of an experience.”

Aside form Breadsoda, Hunt also hosts trivia nights at Exiles (1610 U St., NW) and Reliable Tavern (3655 Georgia Ave., NW).

2. He comes from a Jeopardy-watching family.

Curran says he grew up watching Jeopardy with his family each night. In fact, his mom has a notification set up on her phone that pings her when Jeopardy is about to air. While he doesn’t have an alert set on his phone, Curran does record each day’s episode on his DVR and will choose a couple nights a week to catch up.

3. His trivia weak spots? Opera and Shakespeare.

For Curran’s sake, let’s hope there’s no Opera or Shakespeare trivia thrown to contestants tonight. According to Curran, those are his main weak spots, along with world religion and ancient history. “I read Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet in high school, but I’m not a Shakespeare buff by any means,” says Curran, who’s been brushing up with some basic “intro to Shakespeare” books.

4. His strengths: American history and geography.

“It’s ironic, because if you get the chance to watch the Thursday or Friday episodes, I missed pretty big layups in both of these categories, but I would say geography and American history are probably my strong points overall,” says Curran, who’s also pretty confident when it comes to basketball and football.

5. He’s a (disappointed) Hoyas fan.

Speaking of sports, the Georgetown graduate is a loyal fan of Hoyas basketball, even if he’s been disappointed as of late. “I try to cheer for my beloved Georgetown Hoyas, but they make it difficult sometimes, especially lately,” says Curran.

6. He does the New York Times crossword daily.

Coming from a line of local journalists—his father and grandfather were both well-known in Western New York—Curran was a bit bashful revealing his go-to crossword puzzle comes from The New York Times. “It’s cliche, and I hate to rep a big national paper over a local one, but I do The New York Times one every day,” says Curran, who is fully forgiven by this local outlet.

7. He’s a craft-beer guy.

He doesn’t show up to Breadsoda just for the trivia, but for the craft beers too. You might find him at other beer pubs about town, such as ChurchKey and The Sovereign. His go-to pour? Port City’s Porter.

8. His winnings will go toward savings.

There’s no exciting new car in store for Curran (he prefers walking anyway). Rather, he plans to put his winnings toward something a bit more sensible: savings. “The majority of it is going to go into savings,” says Curran, who, like a true millennial, adds: “My wife and I rent right now but would like to look into owning property at some point, though we’ll see how that plays out in the future.”

That said, Curran does have a few fun plans in mind: a present for his mom, a trip to Maine, and a party for his friends who’ve been following his Jeopardy journey.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor