The one dollar win.
Many Jeopardy! champs have won by a dollar, but only one other time in our history did a contestant actually win with a single buck.
In 1993, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Darryl Scott found himself at the finish of the Double Jeopardy! round one dollar ahead of returning champ Nancy Melucci. Although his fellow competitor Kate Marciniak was still a factor in the game, Darryl went for the win. “Boy, you guys are gutsy today,” Alex Trebek observed about the all-or-nothing wagers before revealing Darryl’s final response. No one came up with the correct Final Jeopardy! question, but at the end of the game, Darryl was left standing with a dollar.
On today’s show, Manny Abell was faced with a different situation. A strong returning champ who found himself in a distant third place at the end of the second round of play, he faced two strong competitors tied for first place. Whatever his wagering strategy was, it worked out, and when the dust cleared, no one looked more surprised than Manny – except for maybe Alex.
There are a couple of takeaways from a game like this one. First, a Jeopardy! champ is a Jeopardy! champ. Once you’ve earned the title, no one can take it away from you. Next, Manny had a running total of $42,798 coming into today’s game and unlike his competitors, he gets to come back tomorrow and try again, just like Darryl did (he took home another $13,401 after his second game).
Oh, and one last thing: It isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always pretty, but a win’s a win.