Philip Tiu guesses 'What is Vancouver?' on Jeopardy! to win $19,000

Atlanta, Georgia math professor Philip Tiu won big on Jeopardy! by correctly naming Vancouver for a Daily Double wager, despite never having been to B.C.

Atlanta, Georgia resident says he'll kiss the ground when he comes to visit B.C.'s largest city

Jeopardy! contestant Phlip Tiu struggles to decide if the answer to his $19,000 Daily Double wager is Victoria or Vancouver. He guessed Vancouver and was right. (Jeopardy!/Twitter)

Vancouver's newest super fan might just be an Atlanta, Georgia math professor who has only set foot in Canada once in his lifetime, and has never been to the West Coast.

But Dr. Philip Tiu says he will visit the biggest city in B.C. soon, after doubling a $19,000 wager on Jeopardy! by saying "What is Vancouver?"

"Oh most certainly, most certainly. God bless your beautiful city. The first thing I'll do is I'll kiss the ground...when I get off the plane," he said in a phone interview with CBC News on Sunday.

Tiu competed on the game show for four episodes that ran from March 14 to 17. He says the highlight was on the second show when he took a big chance on the answer, "The country's busiest port, this southwestern Canadian city is about 15 miles from the U.S. border."

Tiu was born in Philippines and immigrated to the U.S. in 1987. He's only been to Canada once to visit his sister in Toronto. Still, he knew right away that the question to the Jeopardy! answer was either Victoria or Vancouver.

"I told myself, well...probably can't be Vancouver because they wouldn't make it that obvious. On the other hand I know for a fact that Victoria is significantly smaller than Vancouver," he said.

"So I was going back and forth between those two, and I must confess I lost track of time a little bit and I'm just very thankful that I recovered in time."

The video of the segment, posted on the game show's Twitter account, shows Tiu pausing before answering, after host Alex Trebek prompts him.

"I really thought I had died and and gone to heaven. I told my wife afterwards, 'No offense to you honey, but I'm happier, more elated than the moment I said I do to you,' and she said she understood."

Tiu joked with her that when the couple retires, he will move them to Vancouver. Jokes aside, he does plan to visit the city as early as this summer and even asked CBC News when the best time to come was.

But first he will use his winnings, slightly more than $97,000 US, to pay off his mortgage and help out his mother.


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