Conservative or liberal?

     At the top of today’s show, Mr. Trebek said, “In the old days, the early days of Jeopardy!, women contestants were very cautious in wagering on Double Jeopardy [Daily Doubles?] or Final Jeopardy.  Thankfully, that is no longer the case.”  This was in response to yesterday’s Final Jeopardy: Today’s champ of one day, the genial Cathy Melocik, had wagered 10401 of her 14000.  But that was a traditional bet for the situation, man or woman:  Her nearest opponent, Sally Ronald, had 12200, so Cathy wagered to beat Sally by a dollar if Sally doubled her score (assuming Cathy got it right, too).  What do you guys think?  When I play with my Jeopardy Challenger, I am conservative on Daily Doubles.  I don’t like to wager much, no matter what the category is, if I have a lead.  I want to protect it.  And if I am behind, I don’t want to do any more damage.  I have to admit I try to save a little face, too, although I know that is BAD BAD BAD!  My scores compared to the contestants prove my strategy isn’t working, and that’s not even taking into consideration whether I ring in first.  My final score yesterday was 21800, Sally’s was 10400, and Aaron Ammerman’s was 14000.
     Today, Cathy was joined by Cheryl Parrott and Shaun Desmond.  Cathy dominated.  She found all three Daily Doubles, and she had well over half of her opponents’ totals each time she found one.  On the first two Daily Doubles she found, she had exactly three times her nearest opponent’s total!  She wagered roughly 15%, 10%, and 11%, respectively, on the three Daily Doubles she found.  (Two thousand was her highest wager.)  She got the first two right.  Those wagers don’t sound so liberal to me, but I think I’d have done something similar.  I’ve said in the past that I think it’s classy for a contestant with a gigantic lead to not get greedy or rub it in by wagering huge.
     Believe it or not, by the end of the Double Jeopardy round, the game was not quite a runaway.  Cathy had 21500, Shaun had 6800, and Cheryl had 10800.  The category for Final Jeopardy was The U.S. Military, and this was the clue: “This corps’ motto is ‘Building Strong.'”*  All three contestants got it right.  Cathy, as she did the day before, wagered enough, by a dollar, to beat Cheryl if Cheryl doubled and both ladies got it right.  Cheryl had wagered 3000.
     Two solid performances in a row from Cathy.  Can she make it three?
     Now, a request for assistance: A gentleman who appeared on Jeopardy! in the 1970s is looking for tapes/recordings of his episodes.  Does anyone know how he can get them?  Leave a comment or e-mail me ([email protected]) or contact me through Twitter (@vamosdavid) if you can help him, please!
     Finally, happy 26th birthday (yesterday) to my little sis, “Peaches.”  Mwah!
*The Army Corps of Engineers

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