'Jeopardy' Champion Turned Teacher Arrested in Front of His Students at Elite Private School


A former “Jeopardy!” champion and math teacher at an elite New York City private school was arrested in front of students earlier this month in a police probe involving the sharing of “sexualized” images online, according to reports.

Winston Nguyen made a name for himself in 2014 when he participated in a “Jeopardy!” match and won.

He made news again in 2017 when he was charged, arrested, and jailed at New York’s Rikers Island after stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly couple, the New York Post reported.

Despite spending time in prison, Nguyen was hired in 2020 as a math teacher at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn — an institution that can cost students over $60,000 per year to attend, according to the Post.

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Nguyen has not been charged with a crime, but a school official told parents he had been placed on leave while police investigate him, according to a memo obtained by The Daily Beast.

Headmaster Kenyatte Reid told parents Nguyen had been named as a suspect in a criminal investigation.

“I was informed this evening by the Assistant District Attorney that his arrest is in relation to an investigation that dates back to January 2024,” Reid told parents.

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Reid later said that Nguyen had been banned from the school while the NYPD conducted its probe into him related to “inappropriate sexualized images” that might have been shared on social media platforms such as Snapchat.

No further details about what was allegedly shared were available.

“This incident is very disturbing to all of us,” Reid concluded on the matter. “We pride ourselves on our amazing faculty and a learning environment rooted in trust.”

Several people with children enrolled at St. Ann’s told the Beast they were asking questions about how Nguyen was able to secure employment at the school with a prison stint on his record.

Nguyen had never taught before and was convicted of stealing from a couple in their nineties that he had been hired to care for as a home health aide.

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Investigators said that throughout two years beginning in 2015, Nguyen wrote himself $200,000 in checks from the bank account of a 96-year-old blind man and his 92-year-old wife, the Post reported.

He also charged another $100,000 on the couple’s credit card and opened lines of credit worth $35,000 in their names.

Nguyen covered his tracks by intercepting his victims’ bank statements and altering them.

He ultimately only spent four months behind bars as part of a plea deal, per the Post.

Before the theft, Nguyen appeared on two episodes of “Jeopardy!” in 2014, winning one contest and bringing home just over $10,000.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.