[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the September 15 episode of Jeopardy!]
The first week of Jeopardy! Season 40 closed out with a major comeback for the first winner of the Second Chance Tournament consisting of Season 37 players.
The three finalists from the first week (of three) played with money banked from the September 14 game. Hardware engineer Hari Parameswaran was in third with $1,600, magnetic engineer David Maybury in second with $6,728, and operations manager Jill Tucker in the lead with $19,600. Those scores were added to their September 15 earnings to determine the winner.
And since win or lose, this would be the contestants’ last day on Jeopardy! for a while, host Ken Jennings, in lieu of a regular interview, had each thank the people they wanted to in the middle of the first round.
Hari thanked his parents, “who have been with me pretty much all the way, helping me get here, asking thousands of hours’ worth of questions. Without them, I would not be here for sure.” He also recognized “every trivia opponent I’ve played and every teammate I’ve played against, [who have] all taught me so much and without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Jill echoed Hari in thanking family (as well as friends and coworkers) before adding, “all of the crew of Jeopardy, who made it possible for this experience to happen and made it such a great one.” David, too, thanked “the Jeopardy! family” before adding that having his family in the audience “has made the experience complete.”
After, Jennings noted, “I’m glad you guys got a chance to play again out of the pandemic. Those were weird years.”
Hari was leading (by just $400 over David) at the end of the Jeopardy! round, then he found both Daily Doubles — in succession — in Double Jeopardy!. After answering the first incorrectly and losing $5000, he was right on the second (wagering $3000). He ended the round in the lead, with $19,200, to David’s $14,800 and Jill’s $7,800.
In Final Jeopardy!, the category was Astronomy and the clue read, “The only dwarf plant located in the inner solar system, it’s named for an ancient deity of planting & harvests.” Both Hari and David were correct (Ceres). Jill ended Week 1 finals with a two-day total of $27,400 (and earned $10,000), with David in second with $36,328 (and earned $20,000), and Hari, after a comeback from the first day, won with a total of $36,800. He advanced to the Champions Wildcard competition later this fall.
What did you think of Week 1 of this Second Chance Tournament?
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