jeorpardy

Miami Herbert Lecturer on ‘Jeopardy!’ for 1,000

By Cibeles Duran

Miami Herbert Lecturer on ‘Jeopardy!’ for 1,000

By Cibeles Duran
Who is two-time Jeopardy! champion Jeffrey Weinstock?

Miami Herbert Marketing Lecturer Jeffrey Weinstock recently achieved a personal goal of competing – and winning – on Jeopardy! During episodes that aired from June 22 to 24, he earned a total of $30,201 and walked away a two-day champion of the hit television quiz show.

A lifelong Jeopardy! fan, Weinstock describes himself as an insatiable reader who seeks to learn as much as possible about any and all subjects.

“I love trivia; I love knowledge. I love learning about everything. There is no field in the world that I wouldn’t want to learn something about,” he says, adding that he reads about one book a week.

The achievement marked the fulfillment of a promise to his late mother, with whom he regularly watched the show. As he cared for her during her illness, he stated that he would one day compete on the show and send her a signal to let her know that he was OK. He drew inspiration from Carol Burnett, host of the long-running Carol Burnett Show, another one that mother and son enjoyed watching together. Noting that Burnett would pull her earlobe three times as a gesture to her grandmother at the end of every episode, Weinstock declared to his mom that he would stroke his chin three times as his way of delivering the special message.

The audience observed Weinstock give the signal, stroking his chin accordingly, during the closing Final Jeopardy! round in all three of his matches.

“Being able to keep my promise to my late mom, and to tell the story, meant more to me than winning or the prize money. It meant more than anything else on the show,” he says. “Without a doubt, one of the most important moments of my life has been giving that signal on TV for my mom.”

He credits his mother, who was a teacher, for instilling in him a love of reading.

“She knew that one of the secrets to stimulating intellectual curiosity in a child is getting them to love books. Books became an enjoyable activity for my brother and me.”

His approach to knowledge served him well during the trivia matches. He unseated Megan Wachspress, who was on a six-day winning streak, on his first night. In game two, he was in a safe second place with $9,000 when he hit a Daily Double. Weinstock boldly wagered the full amount, doubling the value to $18,000 and went on to win the game.

The move reflected his overall strategy as he repeatedly chose the options of higher value in his quest for the Daily Doubles. He landed the coveted options five times throughout the episodes, leading to host Mayim Bialik’s remark in game three:

“You have an uncanny way of finding those Daily Doubles,” she noted.

In three of the five Daily Double clues, he wagered all of his earnings, and doubled his dollar amounts.

Bold decisions have marked his professional life as well. In 2009, after 20 years of a corporate career in international marketing, he left behind the corporate arena to become a full-time lecturer at Miami Herbert. A graduate of Yale University (B.A.) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (MBA), and speaking six languages, he held leadership positions with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean at software companies Surecomp, Inc. and Sabre Holdings. In 2004, he joined Carnival Cruise Lines as the vice president of worldwide sales and marketing and also began teaching at Miami Herbert as an adjunct lecturer. He juggled both teaching and corporate roles for nearly five years until eventually leaving his practice to fully pursue his love of teaching.

Weinstock draws from his professional experience to teach undergraduate students at all levels through hands-on projects, practical exercises, and business simulations. His classes include a capstone course, which he teaches in the spring in rotation with his mentor, Professor of Marketing Arun Sharma, who teaches the class in the fall.

The lecturer also passes down valuable advice that he received throughout his own upbringing and education, namely, “Just roll up your sleeves and dive in,” as he learned from his calculus teacher in high school.

“I say to my students as well, ‘the only way to really learn marketing is to just do it,’” he states.

For Weinstock, rolling up his sleeves and learning by doing also entails traveling to exotic lands. His last trip before the pandemic included visits to Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia, among other distant countries, during a one-month excursion. The avid traveler enjoys absorbing the various histories and cultures by connecting the books that he reads to direct experiences. 

“I have so many stories about places I have been to,” he says.

He can now add his new status as a two-time Jeopardy! champion to his stories. He recalls being calm and focused in front of the cameras, yet nevertheless relishing in the moment.

“It’s an incredible experience and somewhat unbelievable when you walk onto the set. You are there with the famous Jeopardy! board, the podium, the buzzer, the music, the host. For those of us who really love the show, it’s almost like an out-of-body experience,” he says.

His advice for anyone who aspires to compete?

“Try it, you have nothing to lose,” he says, adding, “Learn something all the time. Just read.”