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February 6, 2014

Battle of the Decades preview: 1980s, game 4

Battle of the Decades – preliminary round
1980s 1990s 2000s
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
knockout rounds

Check out what actually happened.

We’re back with another Grand Champion of years past. The big question: will he continue his roll from the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, or will an underdog trip him up?


Phoebe Juel JeopardyPhoebe Juel took care of business in the 1993 College Championship, representing Grinnell College. She made the TOC semis, and had a fighting chance in the first round of the UTOC. Unfortunately, the College format doesn’t give us much of an opportunity to analyze her past wagers.


Mark Lowenthal JeopardyMark Lowenthal won the 1988 Tournament of Champions, and went on to write Secrets of the Jeopardy! Champions with Chuck Forrest, still a good read for any aspiring player. Michael Rooney (who was, to my chagrin, not invited to the tournament) was too quick on the buzzer for him in the UTOC.


Frank Spangenberg JeopardyFrank Spangenberg is Jeopardy! royalty. And then there’s that moustache! He’s one of the most popular and memorable players of all time, and for good reason: this NYPD cop doesn’t fit the profile of a typical champion. He was one question from heading to the finals of the UTOC, but he missed the last clue, and Jerome Vered claimed the spot.


Prediction: Frank should win this one handily, unless his opponents get aggressive on the Daily Doubles.


Phoebe Juel


Phoebe was locked out of her TOC semifinal.

UTOC Round 1 (03/23/05)

Steve Phoebe Brad
13,200 10,400 8,400

Proper wager: 10,400 (but at least 6,401)
Actual wager: 10,000
Verdict: leaving a few hundo on the table, perhaps.

Mark Lowenthal


Mark had a lock in his second game.

TOC semifinal (11/14/88)

Michael Mark Kate
3,000 2,200 1,200

Proper wager: 801 – 999
Alternate wager: 1,400 – 2,200
Actual wager: 2,200
Verdict: yeah, those scores are correct. Michael might pull some funny business with a small wager so as not to fall below Kate, so Mark could go all in.

Super Jeopardy! quarterfinal (07/14/90)

Mark Keith Paul Cathy
27,000 20,100 10,800 5,600

Proper wager: 13,201
Alternate wager: 0 – 599
Actual wager: 13,300
Verdict: this is one of those “small wager” mind-game situations.

UTOC Round 1 (03/09/05)

Michael Erik Mark
24,000 17,600 3,800

Proper wager: irrelevant
Actual wager: 3,799

Frank Spangenberg


Frank had locks in his first, second, fourth, and fifth games; and in UTOC Round 2.

Game 3 (01/11/90)

Frank Dan Bill
10,500 5,600 2,800

Proper wager: 700 (but no more than 4,900)
Actual wager: 4,500
Verdict: go big or go home? Sure, if you like the category.

TOC semifinal (11/13/90)

Erik Larry Frank
10,400 6,300 5,400

Proper wager: 5,400 (must wager at least 2,800)
Actual wager: 5,299
Verdict: a Cruella de Ville shout-out?

Super Jeopardy! quarterfinal (06/23/90)

Frank Eugene Brian Kate
17,500 13,000 9,200 7,900

Proper wager: 8,501
Actual wager: 8,501
Verdict: good wager, but Eugene held tough.

10th Anniversary semifinal (12/01/93)

Frank Lionel Robert
15,200 8,000 4,700

Proper wager: 801
Actual wager: 1,000
Verdict: no reason to wager more since the only prize is advancing.

UTOC Round 3 (05/11/05)

Shane* Frank Grace
18,400 17,200 10,000

Proper wager: 2,801 – 9,999
Actual wager: 17,199
Verdict: but that dollar!Jeopardy 1980s game 4 matchup

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