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Tuesday Gamethread: Jeopardy!

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We may be missing sports, but there’s plenty of room to rally around the greatest competition of them all.

Alex Trebek Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

In this time of social distancing, sports cancelling, Dasani ignoring, bidet Googling, and whatever else your weird unspeakable life is manifesting, it can be challenging to be isolated at home while many preferred entertainments options are also stuck on the shelf. All the more reason to turn to the bona fide #1 on your list and catch the next Jeopardy! episode! The competition to end all competitions, the host to rule all hosts, the nerds to nerd all nerds, what better a contest to rally around than this?

Some of you may not be familiar with Jeopardy!, and to you I say you’re dead to me, but thank you for coming along the journey. Here are what I assume will be some manifesto-looking tidbits to get you up to speed that I’m not going to put much time into and reserve the right to screw up details:

Half-Baked Summary

Jeopardy! is a game show in which contestants receive clues on general knowledge (salute) in the form of an answer and must provide the correct question. If a contestant provides the correct question they receive the listed dollar amount in winnings, but if they are incorrect they lose that amount and can go into the negative. I have often lamented that contestants finishing in the red should have to work it off, but that does not appear to be the case. Contestants that provide the correct response get to choose the next clue. There are two main rounds, both with various, unique categories to select from. Dollar values double in the second round.

One clue in the first round and two clues in the second are hidden “Daily Double” clues. If a contestant selects a Daily Double clue, they get to wager up to 100% of their current winnings or $1,000, whichever is greater, and they have exclusive rights to the answer. Former champion/cyborg James Holzhauer made a name for himself by betting all of his winnings (or a very high percentage) on Daily Doubles despite often already having a commanding lead.

In Final Jeopardy!, contestants receive one category and wager up to 100% of their current winnings before getting to see the answer. When the answer is revealed, each contestant writes down their guess, and when wagers and guesses are revealed, whoever is left standing is named champion, keeps their earnings, and returns for the next episode as the reigning champion.

Host

Alex Trebek is a goddamn national treasure that will live forever fergoshsake. Jeopardy! has been around since 1964 and has been hosted by the iconic Trebek since the show’s daily syndicated version debuted in 1984. He is somehow 79 years of age and has been fighting Stage IV pancreatic cancer for over a year. He continues to work because he’s a real OG that laughs at cancer and doesn’t need your pity. You love Alex or you GTFO.

Suggested House Rules I Didn’t Run By Anyone

  • Openly yell your guess to the clues at the TV. Purists will use the form of a question, your home may vary.
  • While you might get some Ron Swanson-y gems from the contestant anecdotes here and there, they are generally the worst and are either worth fast forwarding through or sticking out for the awkward entertainment. Trebek has also recently become more of a savage in responding to these.
  • Guess the value of the Daily Double wager before the contestant offers it up. Contestants that go all in or “make it a true Daily Double” are considered heroes that play to win the game while those with conservative bets are to be mocked for the wusses they are.
  • If you’re trying to get better at guessing correctly, just start studying rivers.
  • For Final Jeopardy!, feel free to guess what the clue will be when the category is given (followed by commercial break), obviously what the question is when the clue is given, and what the contestants will wager.

Tuesday Episode

Assuming we are building off of yesterday’s aired episode, our contestants include Sid Katz, our returning champion whose 1-game winning streak totals $25,874 in earnings. Sid’s anecdote was about his publishing of a very poorly-sold book about publishing in education, and it was by far the best anecdote of Monday’s contestants.

Today’s other contestants are Nicole Economou of San Diego and Kris Sunderic of NYC.

Tuning In

Check your local listings. I am guessing localities vary wildly in air time and am too lazy to look this up.

So there you have it, leave your comments as you watch or after, and be aware of potential spoilers already in the comments. Away we go! This is our lives now.