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April 3, 2014

Battle of the Decades preview: 2000s, game 14

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

To see what happened, click here.

Today we’ve got the guy who’s spent more time on the Jeopardy! stage than anyone except for Alex Trebek. We’ve also got a TOC Champ and a College Champ who must have gotten on the contestant coordinators’ bad side.

Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades 2000s Game 14

Click to see the wagering history of:

Michael Falk, winner of 3 games and the 2005 TOC
Ken Jennings, winner of 74 games, and the runner-up in the UTOC
Vinita Kailasanath, winner of the 2001 College Championship


Tough to pick against Ken here; however, Michael has torn up some stiff competition, and Vinita has a great range of knowledge. I won’t be surprised to see one or both in striking distance heading into Final, although barring a huge Daily Double from one (or a botch from Ken), it’s likely Ken will hold the lead.

Michael Falk

Michael won 3 games in Season 22. That win total is usually insufficient to lock up a TOC berth, but Ken Jennings prevented anyone else from running up a streak for much of that qualifying period. (How ironic.) It wasn’t a fluke, though: Michael went on to win the TOC, beating strong players like Maria Wenglinsky, Vik Vaz, and Bill MacDonald along the way.

Michael wagered to win by a dollar in games 2 and 3, and was locked out in game 4.

Game 1 (04/04/06)

Lizard Michael Craig
16,800 16,200 1,800

Proper wager: 1,200 – 11,400
Actual wager: 1,201
Verdict: perfect wager, covering an “unsafe” one by Lizard (great name).

TOC semifinal (05/17/06)

Michael Maria* Jason
13,800 11,000 10,000

Proper wager: 8,201
Actual wager: 8,201

Ken Jennings

Do I need to say anything here? Nah. Ken has never trailed heading into Final in a single-game match, and has always tacked on the extra dollar out of fear of facing an experienced opponent.

Vinita Kailasanath

Vinita was the College Champion two seasons before I was, but played in my TOC because the taping of the 2003 edition conflicted with her final exams. She had a lead over Russ Schumacher heading into the last clue of her semifinal match, but second-guessed herself and missed the question. She fell victim to the gunslinging Mark Eckard in the second round of the UTOC; Mark amassed $14,000 on Daily Doubles alone in Double Jeopardy!.

TOC semifinal (09/27/04)

Vinita Russ* Seth
11,200 9,300 3,400

Proper wager: 7,401
Alternate wager: 600 (Shore’s Conjecture)
Actual wager: 7,401

UTOC Round 1 (02/16/05)

David Vinita Steve
20,000 14,600 5,400

Proper wager: 0 – 3,799
Alternate wager: 14,600
Actual wager: 3,800
Verdict: risking the tie with Steve. Why?!

One Comment
  1. Cerulean permalink

    Vinita did play against Mark Eckard in that round, but it was actually Brian Moore who risked a lot on the daily doubles.

What do you think?