Year 13 pupil Jasamrit Rahala recently appeared on television’s Countdown for eight gruelling matches, including seven victories. Although filmed in mid-August, Jasamrit’s episodes were broadcast to the nation’s screens over the last two weeks, between the 18th and 25th of October and all now available on demand.
The Channel 4 programme operates in a ‘winner-stays-on’ format, in which the victor of that day’s game becomes, or retains the status of, the ‘champion’. On the following day, the champion is faced by a ‘challenger’, although it is worth noting that the champion can only participate in a maximum of eight games before being forced to step down.
At the season’s terminus, the eight players with the most wins are recalled for one conclusive showdown, to establish a series champion. With seven victories in hand, Jasamrit is highly likely to acquire a place in this event, the series final.
Whilst you might think that based upon Jasamrit’s entirely STEM-based A-Level set and university aspirations the mathematical element of the programme may better suit him, he was nevertheless incredibly impressive in the literacy component, repeatedly conjuring up astonishing words to secure win after win.
One particularly brilliant moment came during his second appearance when, coming into the final round of the Countdown Conundrum, the scores sat at 80-81 to Jasamrit’s opponent. The round carries 10 points, though, so victory was still a possibility for either side. Not for long, however, as in less than two seconds, Jasamrit managed to re-arrange the unintelligible nine-letter scramble into the word ‘condition’, securing his second victory.
Two commanding wins followed, 115-66 and 90-39 respectively, and, although some later contestants did strain to close the gap, Jasamrit was in control for the vast majority of his performances.
The Conundrum proved to be something of a defining feature of Jasamrit’s games as under immense amounts of pressure he was able to arrive at words like ‘enclosing’ and ‘unkemptly’ in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, in Jam’s final game, the Conundrum eluded him, and he lost out to the challenger by just five points.
Nevertheless, his seven wins, gaining 727 points along the way, are truly extraordinary and we would like to wish Jasamrit the best of luck for the finals.
Keep an eye out for the upcoming Press Office interview with Jasamrit.
Photo Credit: Channel 4