|David Steinhardt, a writer from Quarry Hill, VT
||Karen Gasperino, an administrative assistant from Las Vegas, NV
||Ken Jennings, a software engineer from Salt Lake City, UT (9-day total: $291,598)
Alex’s opening: What can I tell you about our current champion, Ken? He’s been around longer than I have! By now, you know everything there is to know about him. You’ll either love him and want him to continue, or you’re saying, “Hey, he’s got enough money. Let somebody else pick up the cash.”
(Somehow not-so-puzzlingly, that still happens 12 years later with superchamps.)
J! round categories: NATION”Z”; HOME, SWEET TELEVISION HOME; FASHION; CELEBRITY AILMENTS; THE NAME GAME; 3-LETTER WORDS
DJ! round categories: FAMOUS AMERICANS; HITS OF THE ’60s; LAST WORDS; MIND YOUR SCIENCE “P”s & “Q”s; PHOTOGRAPHY; SCRAMBLED STATE CAPITALS
This was a rather archetypal Ken Jennings game. Ken got 11 of the 15 before the break to start out to his lead, another 10 coming out to have 21 after 30 clues, 19 in Double Jeopardy. The outcome was never really much in doubt, and the only question was “how much money is Ken adding to his total today?”
Ken did go 3+ in 10 of the 12 categories today, though, going 4/5 in NATION”Z”, HOME, SWEET TEVISION HOME, 3-LETTER WORDS, FAMOUS AMERICANS, LAST WORDS, & SCRAMBLED STATE CAPITALS and 3/5 in FASHION, CELEBRITY AILMENTS, THE NAME GAME, & PHOTOGRAPHY.
Scores going into Final Jeopardy:
Final Jeopardy! category: CLASSIC LITERATURE
Final Jeopardy! clue: “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me man…” is the epigraph to this 1818 novel
What is Frankenstein?
Karen 2000 + 1000 = 3000
David 5800 + 0 = 5800
Ken 35000 + 15000 = 50000 (10-day total: $341,158)
Ken’s interview today, though, is what makes this game memorable for me personally 12 years later:
Alex: Ken Jennings is our champ. Is this true? You’ve won…we know you’ve won nine games here on Jeopardy! You also won a contest by eating how many pieces of French toast?
Ken: 108 pieces of French toast in one week, Alex.
Alex: Well, that’s not so great. That’s what? Twelve a day or more?
Ken: 13, 14 a day.
Alex: That doesn’t sound too impressive.
Ken: Well, it was enough to beat my roommates. We were having…we had a little bet to see who could eat nothing but French toast in one week.
Alex: Oh, nothing but French toast. Okay, do you still eat French toast?
Ken: No, I’m pretty much done with French toast.
Alex: I would think so. [Audience laughing] Alright, I hope you’re not done with Jeopardy!
A personal aside: Round 1, Tossup 1 at 2004 TRASH Regionals (where I was playing that year for Brock at CWRU), opened: “He consumed 108 slices of French toast in a week…” – that was all I needed.
Ken’s stats through 10 games:
348 correct (41 today, including Final)
19 incorrect (2 today)
12 unforced errors (incorrect response after a buzz-in)
15/19 on Daily Doubles (78.95%)
7/10 in Final Jeopardy (70.00%)
55.44% in first on buzzer (316/570)
Average Coryat Score: $29,200
5 correct responses in a category: 12 times
4 correct responses in a category: 29 times
3 correct responses in a category: 32 times
3+ correct responses in: 60.83% of all categories seen
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(contestant photo credit: jeopardy.com)
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