Monday, March 19, 2007


Before thoughts on Jeopardy, here's the coolest site I've found in a long time... Enjoy.

Otherwise, I had a thought while watching today's Jeopardy that I think is worthwhile. On Friday's show, the three contestants tied with $16000 a piece - the first time in the show's history that a three-way tie had occurred. My initial thought was that the gentleman with the lead going into Final Jeopardy, Scott, was a bit of a knob for not risking the extra dollar to take the victory. However, further examination led me to a different conclusion. Scott had been beating his opponents soundly going into Final Jeopardy; both of them were tied at $8,000 and had no choice but to wager everything. Therefore, by betting just enough to tie both of them, Scott assured that a correct answer would net him no less than $16,000 (as the victor) as well as the possibility of competing against one or two opponents he had already essentially defeated. In Jeopardy every new contestant is a serious threat to the previous day's victor, if a contestant can assure himself of beatable competition then he has a decided advantage over a contestant competing against unknown competition.
Today after running out to the early lead and being up something like $22,400 to 11,600 to 10,000 going into final Jeopardy, Scott failed to answer the question correctly (On May 5, 1961 he said this "Oh, what a beautiful view" - answer at bottom) and lost. Maybe this invalidates the argument, but as any good poker player will say, make the decision based on the odds, if the results don't work, you’ve still made the right play. If the move was made strategically on Scott's part - I applaud his creativity and believe future contestants should consider his approach; If the move was not made strategically, then I still (begrudgingly) applaud him for his altruism.
Answer: Alan Shepard (both Scott and the third place finisher said John Glenn)

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