Tom Nichols, a five-time champion of the game show, recently told Boston Public Radio in response to the slew of win streaks in recent years: "After about two or three wins, I think you've got such an advantage. You've been using the buzzer, — which is much more important than people realize; you're a lot more comfortable in the studio; you understand the rhythm of the game. Newer people just walking in there don't really have much of a chance, and that's purely because the returning champions have mastered the mechanics of the game. If you've done that for eight, nine, 10 games, there's a reason they used to retire you. But the ratings are up, and people want to treat it like a sport and professionalize it. You might as well move the show to Vegas."
Jeopardy! winning streaks are sparking jealousy among some five-day champions: The contestants who went on winning streaks but were limited to five days before Jeopardy!'s fall 2003 rule change can't help asking, "What if?" “Yeah,” says John Beck, who won five consecutive games in 2003 before the rule change. “It’s hard not to think about the ‘What coulda, shoulda, woulda’ happened. I don’t think I would have gone 50 games, 30 games or even 20 games. But who knows? To have the opportunity would have been cool.” Babu Srinivasan, who $75,000 during a five-game win streak in 2001, said "it’s kind of a First World problem — you get $75,000 for pressing a button instead of maybe $150,000 for pressing a button. Big picture, I’ve never been mad about getting $75,000." If there’s anything to be jealous of, he added, it’s that modern super-champs can segue from winning streaks to being household names with other opportunities post-Jeopardy!”