I can't believe this on Jeopardy...

I was watching Jeopardy the other day and sat through it admiring the knowledge of the participants. I could hardly answer more than a few of the questions. And then came final Jeopardy. The clue was OPEC and the question was to name the only African country who is a member of OPEC. I knew the answer to the question rightaway, as I guess most people would, who are aware of world affairs to some extent.

I was almost certain that all the three participants would get the answer and the interesting part would be to see who bet the most.

And what happens? Not . one . of . the . three . got the answer!! NOT ONE!!

I have always been in somewhat of an awe at the breadth of knowledge exhibited by those participating on the show. With that much knowledge how do they sometimes get stumped at the simplest of questions? And this is not the first time it has happened either.

Can someone please correct the spelling of Jeopardy in the header please…thanks

This happens to me quite often. The clue will be something that I had learned in 3rd grade . . . and none of them will get it.

I looked it up.

I guessed Chad and SO said Libya.

According to this website: http://www.opec.org/library/FAQs/aboutOPEC/q3.htm

There are four–Algeria, Angola, Chad and Nigeria.

Looks like it was a bad question?

Huh? There’s like 4 African countries that are members of OPEC.

Did the question specify Sub-Saharan Africa, maybe?

“This African nation of 150 million is the only member of OPEC that’s also a member of the British Commonwealth.”

One of the reasons it’s easier to play Jeopardy! at home is there are no official judges to tell you when you’re wrong!

I do not recall the exact question but I don’t think anything was specified. I could be wrong though

In any case, my question is how the participants who seem so good at general knowledge, fail to answer the simple questions sometimes.

Doesn’t sound like the question was so simple.

Yes, that was the stipulation

Then that’s a lot different from what you remembered, and not really base-level common knowledge either.

There was one who said Botswana!!

Not base level, maybe. But for someone on Jeopardy?

**wisernow, **what you don’t seem to acknowledge is that the answer to this “simplest of questions” you knew “rightaway” was wrong, so you’re not in a great position to point and laugh at others for getting it wrong.

I would have presumed that most people would have an easier time figuring out that Nigeria has a population of 150 million than that it is both an OPEC and Commonwealth member.

Incidentally, it hasn’t been the “British Commonwealth” since 1946. The organization is now called the Commonwealth of Nations.

ETA: Please say it was actually Nigeria.

Out of curiosity, what was wisernow’s handle before s/he read this post?

It was Nigeria. I got it right, but I wouldn’t have been happy with the guess till I was shown to be correct.

You have me all wrong. I am not pointing and laughing at any of the contestants in Jeopardy. If you read my initial post, I have said that I am in awe at the breadth of knowledge most have.

I posted this only because I am truly confused when sometimes I find them not able to answer what I would think would be simple questions.

I don’t consider myself knowledgeable at all when I put myself beside any of the Jeopardy contestants.

OK, let me ask a question. How does one prepare for a Jeopardy challenge? Are the contestants aware of the answers they give in a general way and know them as part of there day to day life, or do they put themselves thro a specific course of learning to prepare themselves for the Jeopardy challenge?

That’s just the point - you gave as an example of what you thought was a simple question a question that wasn’t simple at all. Now that you know it isn’t simple, consider that maybe some or all of the other questions you thought were simple aren’t so simple either.

I haven’t been on the show (I think we have two regular posters who’ve been called to audition, one of whom was on) but I’ve taken the online application test thingy a couple of times and gotten qualifying scores.

Remember two things: one, everything on TV is harder than it looks; and two, you lose money for wrong answers, so if you aren’t sure, guessing might not be a good idea. Remember, you don’t lose anything if you get it wrong at home.

There’s no way to study, because there’s no way to know what the topics will be.

I memorized state capitals prior to my appearance, because it’s a finite data set that often comes up in one way or another; tried and failed to memorize the order of the presidents.

twicks, who won three games in 1994