3. Don’t Be Afraid to Challenge
The Jeopardy researchers and clue-writers are the best out there, and they rarely make mistakes. They seem to be slipping lately, though. Just recently they credited a Richard Strauss opera to Richard Wagner, although that didn’t affect the game’s outcome. And just this week they had a spectacular goof in Final Jeopardy, asking about the Bible’s Last Supper but giving an incorrect scriptural reference. Again, they were lucky in that it didn’t affect the outcome; the winner had more than twice the amount of the next player and therefore couldn’t lose.
Their goofs aside, sometimes a player will give an answer that needs to be challenged. For the question “Men’s shirts come in sizes like 15 ½-34, based on measurements of these 2 body parts,” I answered “neck and sleeve.” During the commercial break, one of the other players noted that it technically asked for body part, and of course “sleeve” is not a body part. He challenged, and the judges agreed. (The judges sit at a table just off camera between the stage set and the audience.) The money was taken away and Alex made an explanation when they came back on-air. It made no difference in the long run; I won the game anyway.
Sometimes you might give an answer that is judged wrong but upon appeal is upheld. In a recent game they were looking for kachina as the answer for a Native-American spirit. A player answered kokopelli and was judged wrong, but during the commercial break the judges ruled that a kokopelli was in fact a Native-American spirit and also met the category criterion of starting with the letter K. He was awarded the money. (He still lost the game.)
Nothing’s lost by appealing a decision that favored an opponent or disfavored you. Just make sure you have a good case before appealing.