In 2009, his first year in the White House, Michelle gathered a group to play basketball with him at Camp David.
“He has a general philosophy that whatever he does, he’s going to do the very best he can do,” his friend Marty Nesbitt told The Times in 2012.
One would assume that drive would extend to a trivia game that other celebrities have proved capable of winning. With the help of his family, the 86-year-old newsman Dan Rather was able to pull off a win at Christmas.
HQ played it coy in a statement: “The Secret Service will be pleased to hear that we don’t share details on the identities of our players.”
The game has grown prodigiously since its introduction in August, attracting tens of thousands of people to its December games and peaking (for now) at 1.3 million players in a game on Sunday.
And Mr. Obama certainly seems as if he would have known the steps involved in a wine tasting (swirl before smelling), and be familiar with the songwriting career of Alan Thicke, knowledge that was integral to winning Wednesday’s second game.
But a spokeswoman said that Mr. Obama, to the disappointment of all who have known the delight of surviving what the game calls a savage question, was not the account that had shared the jackpot Wednesday night.
“President Obama is as competitive a trivia player as anybody,” said Katie Hill, a spokeswoman for Mr. Obama. “But he was celebrating his wife’s birthday last night with dinner and a play. In other words, not exactly the most conducive environment for gaming on a phone.”