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Preliminaries: Breitenbach/Richards/Vaz - May 10

Fifteen of the best Jeopardy! players this year have returned for one more shot at $250,000. In the next two weeks, three will play in a two-day final to determine who will walk away with the grand prize.

Another standard two-week affair awaits with an increased minimum guarantee of $100,000 for second place and $50,000 for third.

Semifinalists are guaranteed at least $10,000, while quarterfinalists are guaranteed $5000 for participation. As always, any and all winning accrued depends on how far up the ladder a player goes.

So far, Maria Wenglinsky has her semi-final ticket stamped, but who will join her?
 
KERRY BREITENBACH
Cleveland, OH
Marketing analyst
Six days, $90,400
JASON RICHARDS
Old Town, ME
Lawyer
Four days, $99,200
VIK VAZ
Austin, TX
Medical student
Three days, $72,002

Jeopardy! categories: Opera Houses, Bruce Springsteen, When Australian Animals Attack, Legal Types, It's On the Map, Letter Perfect

Daily Double: $1000 Opera Houses. Vik (tied with Kerry's $600) bets the max of $1000. The clue: London's Royal Opera House traces its history back to a 1728 performance of this John Gay "opera". Viz's response: "What is The Beggar's Opera?" Correct for $1600.

End of round:
Kerry: $2000
Jason: $4200
Vik: $6000

Double Jeopardy! categories: The New York Times Arts, TV Numbers, Alternative Energy, Politicians, Short Fiction, Parlez-Vous Anglais?

Daily Double #1: $1600 Politicians. Vik ($6800 to Jason's $10,200 and Kerry's $8000) bets $4000. The clue: in 1832 this Couth Carolina statesman resigned as vice-president & became a senator. Vik's response: "Who is John C. Calhoun?" Correct for $10,800 and the lead.

Daily Double #2: $1600 Short Fiction. Vik ($16,400 over Jason's $12,200 and Kerry's $8400) fronts $4000. The clue: this Mississippian's 1941 story "The Worn Parth" won her an O. Henry Memorial Contest award, the first of several. Vik's response: "Who is Eudora Welty?" Correct  for $20,400.

End of round:
Kerry: $10,400
Jason: $13,000
Vik: $23,200

Final Jeopardy! category: Characters in Shakespeare. The clue: poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge referred to the "motiveless malignity" of this character. Correct response: Who is Iago?

Kerry's response: Who Iago? RIGHT. Wager: $399. Total: $10,700.
Jason’s response: Who is Othello? WRONG. Wager: $2000. Total: $11,000
Vik’s response: Who is Iago? RIGHT. Wager doesn't matter.

Vik got to where he is today because of one strategy: attack, attack, attack. He scored with the board on the Daily Doubles, and that kept him competitive up until the end.

Now the playoff picture becomes a little clearer. As of now, both of Monday's runners-up are now out of contention. Aaron from yesterday's show stands a greater chance of clinching a wild-card spot, but we'll see what happens when we play game four tomorrow.

 

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