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Every season, every champion. It all adds up to 145 players on a quest for $2 million.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host: Alex Trebek
Clue Crew: Cheryl Farrell, Jimmy McGuire, Sarah Whitcomb
Announcer: Johnny Gilbert
Creator: Merv Griffin
EP: Harry Friedman
Packager: Jeopardy Productions for Sony Pictures Television
Airs: Check local listings or
jeopardy.com


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"Round 1: Seal/Srinivasan/Phillips" - February 11

In round one, there are 135 players competing in 45 games. The winners of those games will take on nine seeded opponents. The 18 winners then face off for six slots. The two winners of those semifinal games have a date with destiny in the form of one Ken Jennings for a three-day final. The winner of those games wins $2 million. Second place is guaranteed $500,000, while third place is guaranteed $250,000.

No wild cards, no second chances. It's (my favorite words when it comes to Jeopardy! tourneys) win or go home.

MELISSA SEAL
Law student
Kingston, ON
1999
Teen Tournament champ
BABU SRINIVASAN
History professor
Houston
2000-01
Biggest winner of 2000-01 season
ARTHUR PHILLIPS
Novelist
Brooklyn
1997
5-time champion

Jeopardy! categories: Coming Soon... History (presented by Don LaFontaine)!, 2004 Oscar Nominations, Secretaries' Day, 20th Century Science Tidbits, States' Former Governors, Modern Quotations

Daily Double: $600 20th Century Science Tidbits. Babu ($600 to Melissa's -$200 and Arthur's $400) wagers $1000 early. The clue: entomologist Thomas Eisner helped decipher the flash code used by the femmes fatales of these insects. Babu's response: "What are fireflies?" Correct for $1600.

End of Round:
Melissa - $1400
Babu - $8800
Arthur - $4200

Double Jeopardy! categories: University of Chicago Alumni, Deep Voices, Nonfiction, "M"mmm Good, World Capitals, American Heritage Dictionary Preferred Plurals.

Daily Double #1: $1200 World Capitals. Arthur ($5400 to Babu's $8800 and Melissa's $1400), once he remembers how to say "true Daily Double", goes all in.  Clue: Emperor Menelik II established this city, whose name means "new flower". Arthur's guess: "Oh, man... What is... uh, Ankara?" Correct response: What is Addis Ababa? Arthur: "Can I change my bet, Alex?" Alex: "No, the rules haven't changed since you were a five-time champion." Per rules, Arthur starts from scratch.

Video Daily Double #2: $1200 "M"mmm Good. Babu (tied with Arthur's $12,800 to Melissa's $3000) wagers $2800. Clue, delivered by Jimmy from Napa Valley: this grape, an early ripening alternative to cabernet, has become popular with vintners and drinkers. Babu's guess: "What is merlot?" Correct for $15,600.

End of Round:
Melissa - $3000
Babu - $17,200
Arthur - $12,800

Today's winner is guaranteed $15,000. Runners-up receive $5000 each.

Final Jeopardy! Category: 1930s Movies. Answer: this film that originally hit the big screen in 1930 was re-released soon after the German invasion of Poland. Correct response: What is All Quiet on the Western Front?

Melissa's question: What is War of the Worlds? (WRONG) Wager: $180. Final score: $1200.
Arthur's question: What is All Quiet on Western Front? (WRONG - in cases of titles, phrasing must be exact) Wager: $4000. Final score: $8800.
Babu's question: What is All's Quiet on the Western Front? (WRONG, see above) Wager: $8500. Final score: $8700.

So Babu's "aggressive wagering strategy" was inevitably his undoing (see "petard, hoist by his own"), and Arthur, while it wasn't the way he wanted, comes away with $15,000, and joins Eric Terzuolo and Michael Rankins in the final 45.

Next time, Janet Wong, David Traini, and a favorite about these parts, Alan Bailey. See you soon!

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