Today’s contestants are:
- Andrew, a medical student from East Lansing, MI, who was once a player on “Reach for the Top”, hosted years ago by Alex;
- Hermine, a librarian from Tarzana, CA, who has a fossil named after her (unlike Alex, who described himself as a fossil); and
- Josh, a network engineer from North Little Rock, AR, who raps at work. Josh is a four-day champ with winnings of $102,530.
Hermine opened the show by running a category about musical groups, then Josh quickly took over, leading at every commercial break. Josh had a chance go for a runaway on DD3, but chose to make the minimum bet and missed, going on to show the way into FJ with $21,995 vs. $14,600 for Hermine and $11,400 for Andrew.
DD1 – ILLINOIS AT 200 – This official slogan of Illinois honors a man who moved there at age 21 (Josh won $1,200 on a true DD.)
DD2 – SCIENCE – A unit of atomic mass, a dalton is defined as 1/12th the mass of the “12” isotope of this element (Andrew won $4,000 – at the time he had $7,400 to wager, well behind Josh at $18,400. If ever there was an all-in situation in a category with which a medical student should be comfortable, this was it.)
DD3 – ART & ARTISTS – A category in the world beard and mustache championships honors this 20th century artist’s ‘stache (Josh lost $5 – this is how players should generally be thinking about DDs: either go big or very small, rather than the middle-of-the-road bets most contestants make.)
FJ – FAMOUS RUSSIANS – In November 1836 this writer got a letter naming him to the Most Serene Order of Cuckolds; in February 1837 he was dead
Everyone missed FJ and Josh had enough of an advantage to hang on, losing $7,206 to win with $14,789 and a five-day total of $117,319, along with an invite to the next Tournament of Champions.
Triple Stumper of the day: In the “Questionable Television” category, no one knew the NBC and TLC genealogy show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” Also note that when he gave the correct response, Alex didn’t add “What is”, as it was already in the form of a question.
DD1 – What is “Land of Lincoln”? DD2 – What is carbon? DD3 – Who was Dali? FJ – Who was Pushkin?