. . . Monday July 12, 2004

What is a Million Bucks?

Will anyone ever defeat Jeopardy champ and memorizing madman Ken Jennings?

It will not be easy. There are three key factors involved in winning on Jeopardy. First, there is the memory, smarts and brainpower that stores the data required to do well. Second, there is art of mastering of the buzzer. And third, there is the need for a contestant to relax and not be thrown by the bright lights, cameras and nervousness that comes along with being on nationally televised show (not to mention, the stomaching of Alex Trebek).

On the last two elements, Ken Jennings (who has won 28 straight times) cannot be defeated. He knows the buzzer well. And the show’s set is probably as familiar as his own living room by now. That means it will take a person who is incredibly knowledgeable and who gets the right combination of categories and lucky breaks on daily doubles to beat the champ.

In the gameshow world of ethics and fairness, what is most upsetting about Jennings run is how little cash he has won. The guy has crushed opponents 28 times in a row and has been worth millions of PR for the recently tired gameshow. Yet, he has only pulled in about nine-hundred grand.

Regis gave out that kind of dough in forty-five minutes.

Concentration is important!