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Who is Sam Buttrey? 'Jeopardy!' contestant almost boarded missing Titan sub for visit to Titanic wreckage

2023-06-22 11:15
'Jeopardy' contestant Sam Buttrey mentioned that he missed an opportunity to explore the wreckage of the Titanic due to his son's wedding
Who is Sam Buttrey? 'Jeopardy!' contestant almost boarded missing Titan sub for visit to Titanic wreckage

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: As people still scramble in search of the submersible that went missing on its way to the ruins of the Titanic, it is believed that a 'Jeopardy!' contestant had initially been invited on the exploration as well. Sam Buttrey, one of the game show's champions, was close to boarding the sub but it appears that luck was on his side.

Buttrey previously mentioned the submersible trip on the show in a conversation with host Ken Jennings. It was quite obvious which trek he was talking about as the details were too similar to ignore.

Who is Sam Buttrey?

Sam Buttrey first gained fame after his appearance on the game show 'Jeopardy!' in 2021 and later when he also joined the 'Tournament of Champions' in 2022. The contestant won the first-ever Professors' Tournament which was his 'Jeopardy!' debut. Following that, he was also part of the 'Jeopardy!' Masters edition for which he stood against Matt Amodio, Andrew He, James Holzhauer, Mattea Roach and Amy Schneider for the grand prize of $500,000 in May 2023.

The 62-year-old Buttrey has been an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California since 1996. He is undoubtedly a scholar having gained his educational qualifications at prestigious institutes such as the University of California, Berkeley, Phillips Exeter Academy and Princeton University.

Sam Buttrey's 'nautical story' and close miss from disappearing

Buttrey had previously brought up a "nautical story" during one of Jennings' interviews where he said he had attended his son's wedding at a "great cost". The contestant said, “I have a friend who operates a company that will take you out to the wreck of the Titanic."

“You go out in a boat, and then you go down in a submersible craft and tour the wreckage," he continued, "It sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Buttrey went on to say that it was a shame that he couldn't attend the trek because of his son's wedding. "But through a miracle of bad timing, my son John and daughter-in-law were getting married that weekend. I was very happy to go there, it was a beautiful wedding, not a shred of regret in my life."

Buttrey definitely didn't know back then but he had probably missed out on the opportunity for all the good reasons. The submersible craft he mentioned is quite similar to the one that is recently making headlines due to its disappearance in the deep and dark ocean.

Speculations on Buttrey's friendship at OceanGate

Buttrey did not mention the name of the company and nothing has been confirmed yet about his story's connection to OceanGate, the company that owns the missing sub, but it is speculated that Buttrey knew CEO Stockton's wife, Wendy Weil Rush. The two are friends with each other on Facebook and seem to have attended Princeton University around the same time as well.

Rush has previously posted about Buttery's participation in 'Jeopardy!' on her Facebook page although nothing directly confirms that they were friends in real life. The submersible has been missing for a few days and the search has been going around the area of the Titanic wreckage.