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Saturday, May 21, 2005


I had fully intended to talk about my JEOPARDY! experience from 1998, starting today. Unfortunately, I've had limited computer time recently, and moreover, I have little time at home to do the research. (It was only seven years ago; you'd think I'd remember every detail as though it were yesterday. But, NO. Memory cells lie gasping on the side of the road.) SOON.

So, I thought I'd write about...JEOPARDY!
First off, I haven't watched it since last Tuesday, May 10. So, PLEASE don't ask me what I've thought about the end of the "Ultimate Championship". In due course, I will watch these shows IN ORDER. I almost always watch the show IN ORDER. If I happen to catch that some person had won the game I've not seen, it diminishes the enjoyment somewhat. (I've also taped World Series games, and some "March Madness" basketball games", and as long as I don't know the outcome, it a great watching experience - better because I can zap through the commercials, and close basketball games tend to have coaches using all of their timeouts, which means a LOT of commercials, near the end.

On the other hand, during the first round of the JEOPARDY! tournament, I watched some games out of order, because it didn't inform who won a previous match that I didn't see. Likewise, in some of the other tournaments with 15 players, I'll watch the first week Monday-Friday shows in any order so long as I avoid the end of Friday's "who makes it to the next round" segment. The following week, M-W in any order, with the same caveat. The final two days IN ORDER.

The other rule is that you oughtn't to call me between 7:30 and 8 pm, Eastern time, because I'm not likely to answer. Indeed, there were folks over at my house, and someone wanted to take a picture of Lydia, Carol and me DURING Double JEOPARDY! I was not accommodating. (In other words, I ignored him.) If he'd asked three minutes later, which was during that four minute gap between Double and Final JEOPARDY, I would have posed gladly.

Finally, I never mock players on the set for not knowing an answer. I AM surprised (and REALLY PLEASED) when I get Final when none of the constants do. I WILL, however, mock bad betting. If one's in first place, one has to bet enough to win if the person in second place bets it all. Conversely, Second only really has to bet enough to be ahead if he/she gets it right and First gets it wrong (assuming that Third is in as distant third. If Third's close, Second should bet similar to the way First bets in relation to Second. (Wha?)

OK, say, at the end of Double Jeopardy!, the totals are $14,000, $10,000 and $9,000. First should bet twice what Second has (2 X 10,000=20,000) less First's score (-$14,000) + 1, or $6,001. Second will have to bet $8001 to protect against Third. BUT if Third has only $6000, Second can bet $4001, enough to win if First gets it wrong, quite possibly even if Second gets it wrong as well. Being in First is great because, if you get it right and bet enough, you can't lose. Being in a close second is great, because you can win if it's a really tough Final.

On the other hand, if you REALLY hate the topic, bet little and hope for the best.

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