University Challenge Brandon Blackwell has won £315,000 on quiz shows

How The Scowler became ‘King Of quizzes’: University Challenge finalist Brandon Blackwell has already won £315,000 on TV gameshows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and the teen version of Jeopardy!

  • Brandon Blackwell, 26, from Queens, New York, is University challenge finalist
  • He scooped £8,000 on teen version of the US quiz show Jeopardy aged 14
  • Won £35,000 after walking at last question on Who Wants to be A Millionaire? 
  • Following year, he won £272,700 on a show called and The Million Second Quiz

A finalist on tonight’s episode of University Challenge has already scooped a total of £315, 300 ($468,652) from three previous US quiz show appearances. 

Brandon Blackwell, 26, from Queens, New York, who provides the majority of correct answers for Imperial College London, will go head-to-head against Ian Wang, from Sale, Greater Manchester, who is captain of Corpus Christi, Cambridge in the BBC Two trivia quiz show.   

Brandon, whose mother is a lawyer and father works in insurance, combines his studies with being a career quiz show contestant, which he started aged 14, when he won  £8,000 ($9, 950) on a teen version of the US quiz show Jeopardy.

Four years later, the ‘grimacing’ and ‘brash’ American bagged £34,600 ($43, 033) on the US version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? and 12 months later, he scooped £272,700 ($219, 255) on Million Second Quiz – bringing his grand total to a whopping £315, 300 ($468,652). 

Brandon Blackwell, 26, from Queens, New York, will go head-to-head against Ian Wang, from Sale, Greater Manchester, who is captain of Corpus Christi, Cambridge, in tonight’s final of University Challenge. Pictured, on the BBC Two show

Brandon (pictured on the show), who provides the majority of correct answers for Imperial College London on University Challenge, will go head-to-head against Ian Wang, from Sale, Greater Manchester, who is captain of Corpus Christi, Cambridge in the BBC Two trivia quiz show tonight 

JEOPARDY!  

At the age of 14, Brandon, who changed his surname to Blackwell in 2019, won £8000 on a teen version of the US quiz show, Jeopardy (pictured)

Brandon (pictured), along with the others in the top 15, took to the Sony stages in Los Angeles to compete for £60, 243 ( $75,000) and the title of Teen Champion

At the age of 14, Brandon won £8,000 ($9, 950) on a teen version of the US quiz show Jeopardy.

He didn’t let the fact he was 18 stop him from putting his knowledge to the test, and instead took ‘The Test’ online.

After succeeding, Brandon, along with the others in the top 15, all took to the Sony stages in Los Angeles to compete for £60, 243 ($75,000) and the title of Teen Champion.

While second place bagged, £20, 081 ($25,000) and third £12, 048 ($15,000), he made it as a semifinalist and to week two, meaning he walked away £8, 000 ($9, 950) better off.   

WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?

Brandon also appeared in the 11th season of the US version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (pictured, on the show), and managed to walk away with £35, 000 ($43,100,) after walking away at the final question

On the show (pictured), Brandon revealed he was playing in a bid to pay for his grandmother’s medical procedure

Brandon Blackwell also appeared in the hot seat on the 11th season of the US version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

He revealed he was playing in a bid to pay for his grandmother’s medical procedure, and managed win £34, 600 ($43,100,) after walking away at the $100,000 question.

For the top-earning question, the contestant was asked: ‘On his show “No Reservations”, chef Anthony Bourdain once said that what Icelandic dish was “unspeakably nasty” and “the single worst thing” he’d ever had?’

Amongst the multiple-choice answers were: Seal heart, Fermented shark, Fetal narwhal and Pickled albatross lung.

While the correct answer was fermented shark, Brandon opted to play it safe and take the money he was on.  

SELECTION OF BRANDON’S QUESTIONS 

1. $100 

Someone in a state of complete disbelief might use the phrase, “I’ll be a” what?

A: Lemur’s cousin                                         B: Beetle’s brother

C: Monkey’s uncle                                        D: Dragon’s daughter

2. $500

What is the general military term for all types of supplies? 

A: Bread & boots                                            B: Rice & rifles

C: Beans & bullets                                         D: Apples & armour

3. $1,000

In 2012, an Arkansas goose who survived being shot seven times with a pellet gun was named after what similarly lucky rapper?

A: Ice Cube                                                        B: Kanye West

C: Lil Wayne                                                       D: 50 Cent

4. $2,000  

The creator of the Barbie doll, Ruth Handler had a daughter named Barbara and a son, not surprisingly, named what?

A: Gus                                                                    B: Bob

C: Ken                                                                    D: Sam

5. $3,000

Because the juice of a blue agave plant is a key ingredient, a popular brand of tequila has what name?

A: Oro Rojo                                                          B: Oro Verde

C: Oro Azul                                                          D: Oro Naranja

6. $5,000

Due to its sultry late night programming, viewers have given a particular cable network what nickname? 

A: HBOgasm                                                        B: Independent Filth Channel

C: Skinemax                                                         D: Screwtime

7. $7,000

At which of these attractions is one most likely to see a T-shirt cannon being used to excite and reward audience members? 

A: NBA games                                                      B: 3D movies

C: Poetry readings                                             D: Broadway plays 

8. $10,000

A person suffering from gephyrophobia will almost certainly never visit which of these U.S. landmarks?

A: Plymouth Rock                                               B: Liberty Bell

C: Golden Gate Bridge                                     D: Gateway Arch

9. $15,000  

The Lateran Treaty, which created the state of Vatican City in 1929, was signed by which of these world leaders?

A: Winston Churchill                                          B: Joseph Stalin

C: Benito Mussolini                                            D: Adolf Hitler

10.  $25,000

Blending “etiquette” with “encyclopedia”, Etipedia is a searchable database on which of these websites? 

A: kingjamesbible.com                                      B: randmcnally.com

C: emilypost.com                                                 D: merriam-webster.com

11.  $100,000

On his show “No Reservations”, chef Anthony Bourdain once said that what Icelandic dish was “unspeakably nasty” and “the single worst thing” he’d ever had?

A: Seal heart                                                             B: Fermented shark

C: Fetal narwhal                                                      D: Pickled albatross lung     

THE MILLION SECOND QUIZ

Brandon went on to win £272,700 on The Million Second Quiz (pictured on the show) – a year after appearing on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 

Brandon went on to come second on The Million Second Quiz, hosted by Ryan Seacrest (pictured both together), and took home a cool £272,700

The quiz master came second place on the episode which aired on 19 September 2013, and was beat by Andrew Kravis. Pictured, Brandon on the show

A year after his appearance on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Brandon bagged a staggering £272,700 ($219, 255) on The Million Second Quiz, hosted by Ryan Seacrest on NBC.

He came second place on the episode which aired on 19 September 2013, and was beat by Andrew Kravis, who took home the £2.09 million ($2.6 million) grand prize on the game show.

Kravis and Brandon had both remained on a winning streak since the show started on September 9, and were put through 11 days of questioning as they beat off challengers who also took to the Money Chair. 

With Kravis eventually taking the lead, Brandon opted to ‘double’ in the hope he could dramatically increase his total before the time finished – but it just wasn’t enough. 

Kravis beat Brandon to claim the grand prize, which made him the all-time highest-earning regular-season contestant on a single American game show.  

Brandon remained on a winning streak since the show started on September 9, and continued to beat off challengers who also took to the Money Chair. Pictured, on the show

Brandon (second from left) with fellow contestants – including Andrew Kravis (far left), Lizzy Evans (second from right) and Rishi Bhandari (far right)

Brandon spent 11 days answering questions to try and beat hopefuls who took to the Money Chair. Pictured, on the show

Brandon (pictured on the show) was beat by Kravis – who went on to claim the grand prize, which made him the all-time highest-earning regular-season contestant on a single American game show

As the series progressed, Kravis (far left) took the lead, and Brandon didn’t manage to catch up. Pictured, contestant Andrew Kravis, Brandon Saunders, Hayley Jensen and Devin Landin

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