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  #101  
Old 04-25-2019, 11:44 AM
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I'm wondering if the difficulty of the questions has been elevated, in order to make James lose.
I don't think so. Besides, he answers way more questions right than his competitors. If you make the questions harder, you just make it less likely that his competitors can get any points at all. If you want to get him off the show, you make the questions first-grade easy, Make it a contest to determine who can ring in first. Then change the timing of the lights that allow people to buzz in and put him up against champion race car drivers and fencers.
  #102  
Old 04-25-2019, 12:10 PM
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Then go to jail.

Besides, as noted above, James is ratings gold, at least for now.
  #103  
Old 04-25-2019, 12:19 PM
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Then go to jail.

Besides, as noted above, James is ratings gold, at least for now.
Jail?
  #104  
Old 04-25-2019, 12:42 PM
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After the quiz show scandals of the 50s, any attempt to "get rid of" a successful competitor by altering the way the game is played or manipulating the board would get the producers in a butt-load of legal trouble.
  #105  
Old 04-25-2019, 01:58 PM
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After the quiz show scandals of the 50s, any attempt to "get rid of" a successful competitor by altering the way the game is played or manipulating the board would get the producers in a butt-load of legal trouble.
I don't think that anyone from the quiz show scandals went to jail and most of the big shots were back on tv several years later. Back then, they gave answers to people directly. Making the questions relatively easier doesn't fall into that category.
  #106  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:08 PM
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I think the FCC has rules about altering a competition while it is still going on. They can change the rules after James craps out, but not before.

Jail might be a bit of hyperbole, I'll admit. But the blow to the reputation of the show and people involved with it would be tremendous. I'm pretty sure Trebeck wouldn't stand for it.
  #107  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:18 PM
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I think the FCC has rules about altering a competition while it is still going on. They can change the rules after James craps out, but not before.

Jail might be a bit of hyperbole, I'll admit. But the blow to the reputation of the show and people involved with it would be tremendous. I'm pretty sure Trebeck wouldn't stand for it.
That's for sure. Plus, as stated earlier, he has created a huge spike in ratings. It would be silly to get rid of him.

How far in advance do they tape? I think that I read that they have finished the season already. It may be a long wait to see how the streak continues or he may be done already.
  #108  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:21 PM
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I think they finished filming in February. Anybody know when the end of the season is?
  #109  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:25 PM
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I've seen interviews with this guy all over the place. It's gotta be weird to be doing these interviews, when he know when it all ends.
  #110  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:33 PM
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I've seen interviews with this guy all over the place. It's gotta be weird to be doing these interviews, when he know when it all ends.
He may not know if he kept it up until the end of the season. Finding information on when the season ends has stumped me so far but it looks like the end of July is typical.
  #111  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:36 PM
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It will be interesting to see him on the annual Tournament of Champions; how will he do against the best recent players?
  #112  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:42 PM
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It will be interesting to see him on the annual Tournament of Champions; how will he do against the best recent players?
When is the ToC? Is he eligible for the next one?
  #113  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:57 PM
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If not the next one, surely he's eligible for the one after that. There's one every year. I think Ken Jennings was still winning at the end of the season and so he wasn't in the tournament until his second year?
  #114  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:10 PM
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I think the FCC has rules about altering a competition while it is still going on. They can change the rules after James craps out, but not before.
Who said anything about changing the rules? I just said they were using harder questions*. There's nothing illicit about that. Also nothing provable.

*I was also half-joking.
  #115  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:17 PM
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Also, it's weird to see Trebek in the introduction commenting on how much social media attention James is getting. Like you'd know, Trebek, as that was recorded months before the show airs.

It was a good prediction, but not accurate when he said it.
  #116  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:22 PM
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Is it possible they could splice in the intro later? Because at the beginning of one of James's earliest games, Alex Trebek commented on how his performance was resembling Ken Jennings's.
  #117  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:36 PM
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I think the FCC has rules about altering a competition while it is still going on. They can change the rules after James craps out, but not before.

Jail might be a bit of hyperbole, I'll admit. But the blow to the reputation of the show and people involved with it would be tremendous. I'm pretty sure Trebeck wouldn't stand for it.
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Who said anything about changing the rules? I just said they were using harder questions*. There's nothing illicit about that. Also nothing provable.

*I was also half-joking.
I agree with Just Asking Questions. I certainly didn't suggest changing the rules. The rule says respond to the clue with a question. There is no rule that says how hard the clue has to be. The rule says ring in after the lights come on. I suggested changing the regularity with how long after the question is asked that the light comes on. Thus, players have to watch the light and use their reflexes to buzz in rather than anticipating when the buzzer will be unlocked. I don't see how changing the difficulty of the questions or the timing of the lights is changing the rules.

I also agree that he is ratings gold so they should want to keep him on for a while.

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Also, it's weird to see Trebek in the introduction commenting on how much social media attention James is getting. Like you'd know, Trebek, as that was recorded months before the show airs.

It was a good prediction, but not accurate when he said it.
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Is it possible they could splice in the intro later? Because at the beginning of one of James's earliest games, Alex Trebek commented on how his performance was resembling Ken Jennings's.
I remember that and like Dewey Finn, I suspect they can splice those shots in later. I remember the line about Ken Jennings and I thought the comment was premature. In retrospect, it looks prescient but it was probably just a post-production trick made simple by keeping Alex's suits, shirts, and ties in wardrobe.
  #118  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:48 PM
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If you couldn't change anything while anyone was still competing, then you'd never be able to change anything, because there's always one of the three players who's the returning champion. Whenever someone eventually unseats Holzhauer, then that person would still be competing.
  #119  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:26 PM
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How do they avoid the fact that those who attended the taping of the last Jeopardy of the season will know who was the champion and have no incentive to keep it a secret?
  #120  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:54 PM
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I think upthread someone wondered when the season ends, so I Googled and according to the J! Archive, this season runs from 10Sep2018 through 26Jul2019. And the Tournament of Champions for 2017 was in November. I don't see one in 2018.
  #121  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:59 PM
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How do they avoid the fact that those who attended the taping of the last Jeopardy of the season will know who was the champion and have no incentive to keep it a secret?
Good question.
  #122  
Old 04-25-2019, 05:17 PM
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Are the audience members sworn to secrecy?
  #123  
Old 04-25-2019, 05:38 PM
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From here, it is suspected that audience members must sign NDAs (competitor certainly do), but for some reason it doesn't seem to be general information.
  #124  
Old 04-25-2019, 05:55 PM
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...I remember that and like Dewey Finn, I suspect they can splice those shots in later. I remember the line about Ken Jennings and I thought the comment was premature. In retrospect, it looks prescient but it was probably just a post-production trick made simple by keeping Alex's suits, shirts, and ties in wardrobe.
And making sure he doesn't embark on one of his 'grow a mustache/shave a mustache' periods.
  #125  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:07 PM
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Maybe I am misinterpreting something but the Jeopardy subreddit had today's results up this morning at around 8am Pacific Time.
.
.
.
.
.
.





SPOILER:
Only James was correct on Final Jeopardy, adding $35,117 to win with $90,812 for a 16-day total of $1,225,987.

Last edited by hajario; 04-25-2019 at 06:08 PM.
  #126  
Old 04-25-2019, 07:58 PM
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Does the total of Jennings winnings include tournaments?
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  #127  
Old 04-25-2019, 08:13 PM
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James missed a question about Pulp Fiction tonight. Didn’t the last big winner (can’t remember his name) end his run by missing a Final Jeopardy clue about the same movie?
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  #128  
Old 04-25-2019, 09:24 PM
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I have watched this show for decades, and it always bugged me that people would invariably start categories at the lowest money amount and work their way up. It was such a consistent pattern I wondered if it was actually a rule, or at least an unwritten one. This guy just blows that out of the water.

Interesting today that he noted he learned a lot of trivia from books in the children's library. Clever!

I think the young woman today, who was held by a big-name cinematic auteur when she was a baby (Francis Ford Coppola, I think?) would be a multiday champ under normal circumstances. It's too bad, because I thought she was pretty cool. Not that I dislike Holzhauer, mind you.
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  #129  
Old 04-25-2019, 09:41 PM
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Maybe I am misinterpreting something but the Jeopardy subreddit had today's results up this morning at around 8am Pacific Time.
I just found out that there is a tv station in Alabama that airs Jeopardy at 10:30 am local time. That's why the daily results are known so soon.
  #130  
Old 04-26-2019, 06:52 AM
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I'd like them to return to the old 5 day limit for appearances. So we get a couple guys who master the timing and can buzz in before anyone gets a chance. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Maybe we'll see one guy last two entire seasons. I don't think that's good for the game.
  #131  
Old 04-26-2019, 07:28 AM
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I think upthread someone wondered when the season ends, so I Googled and according to the J! Archive, this season runs from 10Sep2018 through 26Jul2019. And the Tournament of Champions for 2017 was in November. I don't see one in 2018.
There was no Tournament of Champions in 2018. Which I'm sad about, because if there had been, I might have been in it. I've fallen off the bottom of the ToC Tracker now. For whatever reason, they seem to skip some years.

Can you imagine how nervous everybody else on that Tracker is right now, knowing that they're probably going to have to face James when the next ToC comes around?

I don't really see them reinstating the 5-game limit, or any other. They didn't do that after Ken Jennings, and I doubt they will now. On the contrary, I think they like the possibility of this sort of thing happening occasionally.
  #132  
Old 04-26-2019, 08:37 AM
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I have watched this show for decades, and it always bugged me that people would invariably start categories at the lowest money amount and work their way up. It was such a consistent pattern I wondered if it was actually a rule, or at least an unwritten one. This guy just blows that out of the water.
The low-value clues are supposedly easier to get than the high-value ones. Alex has more than once encouraged players to start at the top to get a feel for the category and then work their way down the column. It is not, however, a hard-and-fast rule, and I honestly don't see much of a difference between the clues at the top and those at the bottom (most of the time, anyway).
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  #133  
Old 04-26-2019, 08:40 AM
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I'd like them to return to the old 5 day limit for appearances. So we get a couple guys who master the timing and can buzz in before anyone gets a chance. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Maybe we'll see one guy last two entire seasons. I don't think that's good for the game.
Actually, I think it is good for the game. Normally I watch only half paying attention but now am watching more closely and I'll bet that others who normally don't watch are tuning in.
  #134  
Old 04-26-2019, 09:07 AM
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What is James doing to the Jeopardy! budget? Is it so liquid that it can absorb the extra $50K/episode they are paying out to James?

The average win is 20-25K for a Jeopardy winner, and James is earning 75K per show. Pro-rated on a monthly basis, that is over a Million dollars a month. Obviously any increase in ratings is going to offset the increased winnings.
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  #135  
Old 04-26-2019, 09:24 AM
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Even if it's more expensive than a game show usually is, any game show is going to be cheaper than any scripted show. Think about how much it'd cost for a cast of a dozen actors.
  #136  
Old 04-26-2019, 09:49 AM
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What is James doing to the Jeopardy! budget? Is it so liquid that it can absorb the extra $50K/episode they are paying out to James?

The average win is 20-25K for a Jeopardy winner, and James is earning 75K per show. Pro-rated on a monthly basis, that is over a Million dollars a month. Obviously any increase in ratings is going to offset the increased winnings.
Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are franchised all over the world. The money MGP receives from these in licensing fees is more than enough to offset any temporary drain on the US versions' funds.
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  #137  
Old 04-26-2019, 10:00 AM
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What is James doing to the Jeopardy! budget? Is it so liquid that it can absorb the extra $50K/episode they are paying out to James?

The average win is 20-25K for a Jeopardy winner, and James is earning 75K per show. Pro-rated on a monthly basis, that is over a Million dollars a month. Obviously any increase in ratings is going to offset the increased winnings.
I've seen a couple of articles speculating about that. Jeopardy! has a prize budget, which is based on the average winnings. James is trending way above average, so it might potentially put a strain on things, especially if he lasts a long time.

The good news is that they won't have to pay out to him right away. They don't send out the check to a contestant until a few months after that contestant's final episode airs. As long as he's still playing, they don't actually have to pay him! That gives them a bit of time to figure out the financing. He's also apparently getting them big ratings, which might allow them to increase their advertising rates.

Those same articles mentioned that a lot of game shows carry insurance policies that cover going over their prize budget. Particularly shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, where the top prize is rarely won, but is very expensive on those few occasions when it is. It seems to be unknown whether Jeopardy! has such a policy or not.
  #138  
Old 04-26-2019, 10:38 AM
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He's also apparently getting them big ratings, which might allow them to increase their advertising rates.
Ah, the lies of the advertising world. "We have increased ratings because of James, so we can charge more!" But as soon as he's gone, the same surge people that only watch because of him will quit watching.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 04-26-2019 at 10:39 AM.
  #139  
Old 04-26-2019, 11:31 AM
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Might be confirmation bias, but it feels to me like he's starting to play more conservative. He goes for a true daily double in the opening round, but during double Jeopardy he's only betting so much that if he gets it wrong he still has a comfortable lead. Maybe he sees Jennings record as an obtainable goal now and wants to stay as long as possible.
  #140  
Old 04-26-2019, 07:29 PM
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...The good news is that they won't have to pay out to him right away. They don't send out the check to a contestant until a few months after that contestant's final episode airs. As long as he's still playing, they don't actually have to pay him! ...
Which gives him quite an incentive to lose....

For people who don't have major savings, being a long-term Jeopardy! champion could mean an incredible drain on their finances---assuming their jobs aren't in the LA area, they'd have to be living on savings during the weeks they're playing. (And have an understanding employer, who'd be willing to give them a long leave of absence, unless the winnings are so huge that they can quit their job.)

I guess technically since tapings take up only two days per week the person could get a temporary job in Los Angeles on the other five days---but I bet few do that.
  #141  
Old 04-26-2019, 07:35 PM
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... I think the young woman today, who was held by a big-name cinematic auteur when she was a baby (Francis Ford Coppola, I think?) would be a multiday champ under normal circumstances. It's too bad, because I thought she was pretty cool. ...
Yes, it was Coppola.

But the phenomenon of a multi-week champion means that among all the contestants mown down by the champ would be some that in other circumstances, would become five-time (+) winners themselves.

You could end up with only ONE champion for an entire season of the show, making it impossible to have a Tournament of Champions.


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There was no Tournament of Champions in 2018. Which I'm sad about, because if there had been, I might have been in it. I've fallen off the bottom of the ToC Tracker now. For whatever reason, they seem to skip some years. ...
AH...now we see why they skip some years. (Or one potential reason.) I guess with all the tournaments they do, I hadn't noticed the periodic absence of a TofC.

So this may be another such year. The new All-Stars team-game concept may have been 'it' for a while.


eta: meant to say, sorry about that result for you, MrAtoz.

Last edited by Sherrerd; 04-26-2019 at 07:37 PM.
  #142  
Old 04-26-2019, 09:54 PM
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For people who don't have major savings, being a long-term Jeopardy! champion could mean an incredible drain on their finances---assuming their jobs aren't in the LA area, they'd have to be living on savings during the weeks they're playing. (And have an understanding employer, who'd be willing to give them a long leave of absence, unless the winnings are so huge that they can quit their job.)
Doesn't MGP put up out-of-towners while they're on the show?

As for getting leave, most players (even the ones who don't win big) are entrenched professionals, so I expect their employers would be sympathetic to their participation in Jeopardy!
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  #143  
Old 04-26-2019, 10:03 PM
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And maybe even rooting them on.
  #144  
Old 04-26-2019, 10:10 PM
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And maybe even rooting them on.
It would be great publicity for any employer.
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  #145  
Old 04-27-2019, 12:01 AM
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I'd like them to return to the old 5 day limit for appearances. So we get a couple guys who master the timing and can buzz in before anyone gets a chance. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Maybe we'll see one guy last two entire seasons. I don't think that's good for the game.

I don't think it's just his buzzer speed. He seems to rarely miss a Daily Double.
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  #146  
Old 04-27-2019, 04:19 AM
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For people who don't have major savings, being a long-term Jeopardy! champion could mean an incredible drain on their finances---assuming their jobs aren't in the LA area, they'd have to be living on savings during the weeks they're playing. (And have an understanding employer, who'd be willing to give them a long leave of absence, unless the winnings are so huge that they can quit their job.)
Considering James's profession, I don't think that's a problem.

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I don't think it's just his buzzer speed. He seems to rarely miss a Daily Double.
But he does occasionally miss a really easy clue that another player quickly gets. It's like his brain momentarily drifts off. This could eventually be his downfall.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:22 AM
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I'm surprised how often I know the ones no one buzzes in on, but I don't know as many of the ones they do get (even your average Jeopardy winner). But I don't remember many like you're describing.

It would be interesting if they gave the person who got the most recent correct answer a chance to have just a couple millisecond jump on using the buzzer. Sort of like pool or volleyball, it would give people a chance to go on runs and would be exciting, I think.
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  #148  
Old 04-27-2019, 03:46 PM
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Doesn't MGP put up out-of-towners while they're on the show?

As for getting leave, most players (even the ones who don't win big) are entrenched professionals, so I expect their employers would be sympathetic to their participation in Jeopardy!
They don't pay for your lodging. They do have discount deals with a couple of hotels, although the discount is only about 10%. They don't pay travel expenses either, for most contestants. For returning champions, they do pay airfare.

It's been discussed a few times in various Jeopardy! contestant forums, that it's really true that Jeopardy! is a game that actually does require some level of economic security before you even participate. You have to pay your own way to get to the auditions, and then if you're chosen, you have to pay your own way to L.A. to be on the show. Of course, you get some money even if you lose ($1,000 for third place, $2,000 for second place), so that can theoretically help cover those costs.

But it's literally months before you actually get that money. For example, my episodes taped in February 2018. They aired in June and July, and I got my check in September. So you have to be in the financial position that you can afford to pay for travel expenses and a hotel in a fairly expensive city, knowing that you won't be "reimbursed" for those expenses for several months. You also have to have the kind of job where you can go in and tell your boss, "I need a few days off in a couple of weeks," and your boss won't say, "If you're not here those days, don't bother to come back."

This is where James is in a good position. As a professional gambler, he's pretty much his own boss. And I suspect that he's been successful enough that he had a good amount of money even before this all started.

It should be noted that on this past Friday's show, James didn't find any of the Daily Doubles, and he still blew the others away.
  #149  
Old 04-27-2019, 06:45 PM
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They don't pay for your lodging. They do have discount deals with a couple of hotels, although the discount is only about 10%. They don't pay travel expenses either, for most contestants.
That sucks.
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  #150  
Old 04-27-2019, 07:51 PM
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It's been discussed a few times in various Jeopardy! contestant forums, that it's really true that Jeopardy! is a game that actually does require some level of economic security before you even participate. .... You also have to have the kind of job where you can go in and tell your boss, "I need a few days off in a couple of weeks," and your boss won't say, "If you're not here those days, don't bother to come back."
That explains why there are so many lawyers, or as I call them, Anna Tourney.
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