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Tournament of Champions 2009
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15 of the best champions of the past year face each other in trivial combat for bragging rights and $250,000.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

FACT FILE:
Host: Alex Trebek
Clue Crew: Jon Cannon, Jimmy McGuire, Kelly Miyahara, Sarah Whitcomb
Announcer: Johnny Gilbert
Creator: Merv Griffin
EP: Harry Friedman
Packager: Jeopardy Productions & Sony Pictures Television for CBS Television Distribution
Origin: International Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas
Website: www.jeopardy.com
Airs: Check local listings

 

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Finals: Kelly/Schroeder/Pawson - Part 2
March 2
4

The familiar phrase goes "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", but when you're sitting at a high-tech version of a final table in the International Consumer Electronics Show, with the eyes of a nation upon you, it'll be a bit hard to keep that saying true.

The cream has risen to the top as the longest-serving champion Dan Pawson and the winningest champion Larissa Kelly go up against the veritable Cinderella story Aaron Schroeder. One of them is going to win $50,000. Another still, $100,000. But the player who has the most money at the end of the two-part finale... they get a quarter of a million dollars and the title of Jeopardy! Grand Champion.

At this crucial juncture of the game, it's all about two things... How bad do you want it... and how good do you think you are?

Last time, it was thumb versus thumb, wit versus wit, and in the end, the two powerhouses led.

Larissa Kelly
El Cerrito, CA
grad student
Won Game 2
Won Game 7
Aaron Schroeder
San Diego
grad student
Won Game 4
Won Game 8
Dan Pawson
Boston
legislative aide
Won Game 1
Won Game 6
$24,400 $9,600 $22,301

$2099 separates first place. This is going to be a buzzer battle for the ages. Zero out the scores and let's get to the Jeopardy! round...

A LITTLE LIT VEGAS FILMS AT THE BUFFET FLOORING REBELLIONS: SHAYS' & WHISKEY POETIC WORDS

Daily Double: $600 Flooring. Dan has $400 to Larissa's $200. Yes, it's that early. Dan bets the max of $1000 on this: this durable material almost synonymous with mid-20th C. flooring was patented in 1863. "What is linoleum?" Correct for $1400!

At the end of the Jeopardy! round...

$8,600 $3,800 $2,000
Larissa Aaron Dan

Double Jeopardy! categories:

TOUGH CAPITAL CITIES THINK YOU KNOW BASEBALL? CHAMPIONS OF TOURNAMENTS MEET THE BEADLES ADJECTIVES TO USE IN VEGAS A VISIT TO THE BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY

We're all going hunting for the Daily Doubles, but Larissa would find both.

Daily Double #1: $2000 Adjectives to Use in Vegas. Larissa trails by $4600, $10,200 to his $14,800. Aaron has $9000. She bets $5000 on this: from the Latin for "great-souled", it will describe your immense generosity after you win big bucks. "What is magnanimous?" Correct for $15,200 and the lead! And right afterwards...

Video Daily Double #2: $1200 A Visit to the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Now comes the question... do you prefer to win the tournament now or later? She opts for... later with a bet of $3000 on this: the etcher used in the Center for Functional Nanomaterials' clean room uses this highly ionized state of matter to work on tiny circuits. "What is plasma?" Correct for $18,200!

At the end of the Double Jeopardy! Round...

$21,800 $7,400 $19,200
Larissa Aaron Dan

Alrighty. Here's where we stand.

- Aaron has $7400 today. He has no choice but to bet it all, giving him a final total of $24,400, which is only good enough to tie Larissa's total from yesterday. Since she doesn't have to bet it all today, Aaron is theoretically locked out of the big money. So sorry, Aaron, but them's the breaks.

- Larissa had a $2099 advantage going into today's show. If Dan were to go for broke, that would put him at $60,701. In order to lock the tournament away, Larissa has to bet at least enough money to supersede that. The magic number to do that... $14,502... If ever there was a time for you to go big, now would be that time!

- But of course, Larissa could get the Final wrong, dropping her to a theoretical total around $31,000. Dan already has $22,301 banked, so he could do one of two things... Bet nothing and hope that Larissa has a brain fart, or bet everything and force her into getting the question right.

Final Jeopardy! category for all the cheese: BRITISH ROYALTY

 

BORN IN 1683, THE SECOND BRITISH KING OF THIS NAME WAS THE LAST ONE NOT BORN IN THE BRITISH ISLES

 

Correct response: who was George II?

Aaron's response: what is George? CORRECT. Wager: $7400. Total: $14,800.
Dan's response: what is George? CORRECT. Wager: $7000. Total: $26,200.
Larissa's response: what is Philip? WRONG. Wager: $15,000. Total: $6800.

And that sound you heard was a woman screeching, because she can't believe just what happened...

$24,400 $9,600 $22,301
$ 6,800 $14,800 $26,200
$31,200 $24,400 $48,501
1st Runner-Up
$100,000
2nd Runner-Up
$50,000
GRAND CHAMPION
$250,000

Congratulations to Dan Pawson, this year's Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner! And props to both Aaron and Larissa for making this one of the greatest tournament finals, if not THE greatest tournament final, in the history of Jeopardy!

We're back in LA next time!

If you would like to become a contestant on Jeopardy!, go to jeopardy.com.