Well, that was fast. My lifelong Jeopardy! journey ended Tuesday with the broadcast of my second match, when I lost to Sunrise, Florida's Jorge Rivero after one glorious day as Jeopardy! champion.
It was an exciting game. Early on Rivero and I fell behind Issaquah, Washington's Kelly Rabin. Although I had played a strong game on Monday -- at the end I was in the happy position of not having to wager in Final Jeopardy -- on Tuesday I never quite found my feet. That was thanks to some tricky questions and also to my opponents' quickness on their buzzers. As I learned, buzzer control is a crucial Jeopardy! skill, at least as important as brushing up your Shakespeare.
Rabin, especially, was on fire, and by the end of the match she had taken a commanding lead. But she answered wrong in Final Jeopardy (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Rivero and I answered right (Ernest Hemingway), and Rivero triumphed. I took second. The loss was disappointing, but when I watched the broadcast yesterday, I saw the smile on my face and remembered that I was having a glorious time.
My boyfriend said I looked dazed in Tuesday's match, and I probably was. That taping started only about ten minutes after Monday's game. So I was still in shock at the win, at the cash prize, and at the fact that contributing to my victory were three words it wickedly pleased me to say on national television: "Who is Spears?" (It also pleased me that I knew that answer because I'm fan of the song referenced in the clue, Britney Spears' recent hit "Womanizer." One of my guilty pleasures, listening to the hits music radio station Z104, paid off.)
And now it's time to get back to reality -- my work, my homelife, that stack of books I mean to read if I can tear myself away from What Not To Wear. But I am, and forevermore will be, a Jeopardy! champion. It's a fun and funny distinction; I'm proud of it. My win partly owes to luck, yes, but also to a lifelong interest in knowledge and learning, for which I can thank my parents, my teachers, the academy ...someone stop me before I get all Kate Winslet-y.
Yes, back to the grindstone. Except that I hear Deal or No Deal is always looking for energetic people.