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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: Halpern/Gilmer/Naegeli" - April 1

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.

BOB FLEENOR
Newspaper copy editor
Martinsburg, WV
2001
5-time Champion
MATT ZIELENSKI
Research analyst
Orig from Broadview Heights, OH
1995
'95 Teen Tourney Winner
KURT BRAY
Scientist
Oceanside, CA
1994
5-time Champion

Jeopardy! categories: The FDR Library; TV Shows By Character; -Isms; Tim, Tom, Tammy; State Capital Ideas; 5-Letter Words.

Daily Double: $800 State Capital Ideas. Bob ($4600 slightly over Matt's $4200 & markedly over Kurt's $200) fronts $1400. The clue: originally Le Fleur's Bluff, it was renamed for a war hero who would become President. Bob's guess: "What is Jackson?" Correct for $6000.

End of Round:
Bob - $7800
Matt - $5400
Kurt - $200

Double Jeopardy! categories: American Lit, Riff Raff (from Total Guitar Magazine's Top 100 Guitar Riffs - and if "Sweet Child of Mine" isn't among them... I don't know), 19634, Southern California Architecture, Hot Babes, A Perfect "Ten"

Daily Double #1: $1200 1963. Kurt (-$600 to Bob's $8600 and Matt's $7800) goes for the maximum, $2000. Clue: declared a security risk back in 1954, this physicist won the Atomic Energy Commission's Fermi Award in 1963. Kurt's guess: "Who is Oppenheimer?" Correct for $1400.

Daily Double #2: $1600 Hot Babes. Matt ($11,800 to Bob's $15,800 and Kurt's $3000) fronts $4000. Clue: this club, founded for girls in 1910 first admitted boys in 1975. Matt's guess: "Camp Fire Girls? What are the Camp Fire Girls?" Whew! Correct for $15,800.

End of Round:
Bob - $17,800
Matt - $20,200
Kurt - $3000

Remember, runners-up will take home $5000, while the winner is guaranteed at least $15,000.

Final Jeopardy! Category: Automotive History. Answer: in 1959 the ad firm of Doyle Dane Bernbach began using the slogan "Ugly is only skin-deep" for this import model. Correct response: What is the VW Beetle?

Kurt's question: What is the Volkswagen Beetle? (RIGHT) Wager: $2500. Final score: $5500.
Bob's question: What is Volkswagen? (WRONG) Wager: $4200. Final score: $13,600.
Matt's question: What is the Volkswagen Beetle? (RIGHT) Wager: $15,401. Final score: $35,601.

In the best thing to happen to VW since fahrvergnugen, Matt becomes the first teen champ in the final 45 with one of the highest totals to date, $35,601. He joins Eric Terzuolo, Michael Rankins, Arthur Phillips, David Traini, Bob Harris, Vinita Kailasanath, Bev Schwartzberg, Dan Melia, Mark Eckard, Michael Dupee, Jeff Richmond, John Beck, Tad Carithers, Jerome Vered, Bruce Borchardt, Fred Ramen, Ed Schiffer, Grace Veach, Ryan Holznagel, Mark Dawson, Michael Rooney, Pam Mueller, Steve Newman, Chris Miller, Leah Greenwald, Jonathan Groff, Brian Moore, Robert Slaven, Shane Whitlock, Michael Daunt, Steve Berman, Eugene Finerman, John Cuthberson, India Cooper, Kyle Hale, Rick Knutsen, and Bruce Naegeli.

Next time, Larry Cloud, April McManus, and Paul Thompson with seven to go.

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