I’m a huge fan of the game show JEOPARDY!, which has been on, in its current iteration, since 1984. Seldom, though, have I enjoyed it as much as I did during the second week of the Teen Tournament this month. There are fifteen contestants in week one, whittled down to nine in week two. They play three games, only the winners of which go to the two-game final.
Game 1 of the semifinals was won by the aptly-named high school senior Barrett Block, who looked and sounded like Clark Kent. He had a large, but not an insurmountable lead, was the only one who got the final question correct, and won going away, $28,001 to $100 to $0.
Going into the final question on Game 2 of the semis, Kelton had $16,400, Joe $12,000 and Tori $1,600. Inexplicably, all three wagered everything on the last question, and all got it wrong as well. With everyone at $0, it became the first tournament semifinal ever with no winner. Host Alex Trebek was gobsmacked by the outcome.
It turns out that, with no winner in Game 2, the second place player with the higher score in Games 1 or 3 would get into the final.
Going into the final of Game 3 of the semis, Emily Greenberg had $18,400, Nilai Sarda $16,200, Leonard Cooper (pictured) $15,200. Leonard bet $15,000; I assume he wanted to have $200 in case he was wrong, which was more than the 2nd place player in Game 1, but he got it right, and ended up with $30,200. Nilal bet $14,200, got it right, and ended with $30,400. Emily also got it right but bet a timid $6,000; she should have wagered $12,001 or more. So Nilal wins, and Leonard, improbably, is in the two-game finals.
Game 1 of the two-day final match:
Scores at the end of the Double Jeopardy! Round:
Nilal and Barrett get right but Leonard gets wrong.
End of game:
In Game 2 of the two-day final match: Leonard has a lead when he picks clue #24 of the Double JEOPRARDY! round:
It’s the Daily Double, and Leonard bets $18,000! He gets it right.
Scores going into Final:
The game ends this way. But as the commenters noted, if Nilal’s answer were correct, HE would have won, not Leonard. Still it was all very exciting.
*** Speaking of competition, happy 50th birthday to basketball superstar Michael Jordan.