Math Quiz

I have watched Jeopardy since it began in 1964, with then host Art Fleming. If Jeopardy tapes twice a week, five shows a day, three weeks a month, nine months a year, and I’ve watched it 54 years fairly religiously, what are the odds I’ll ever see a contestant on air I know?

I’d think the odds should be high that in all these years, given my education background and all the smart people I’ve run across in my life, that I’d know one person. It hasn’t happened yet.

Is it even remotely possible mathematically that I could EVER see someone I know? Do the math.

18 thoughts on “Math Quiz

  1. Let’s allow someone else to do the calculations taking into account factors such as returning winners, programming breaks, two week teacher & college tournaments. I’m a regular watcher of Jeopardy and knew only one person who has appeared on the show. She lost. That was back in the early 70’s and haven’t spoken to her since then.

    1. It’d be interesting to follow one time Jeopardy champs to see if their wins alter their personal or career paths, or have no effect at all.

  2. My French teacher’s husband. An air force guy. Didnt make it to Tourney of Champs.

  3. Went on a blind date with one of my friend’s Harvard classmates. She was a three night winner. Said she got approached by lots of creepy guys as a result.

  4. I purchased way to many powerball tickets for Wednesday’s drawing and didn’t get one number,not one.what are the odds?only I can accomplish that!

    1. I’m just back in the door from running errands etc and got a small stash for Saturday’s drawing. I’ve also been buying a couple of random scratch-off tickets, something I’ve never done until a couple of weeks ago when I was behind a women collecting a few hundred from her scratch -off. I thought, hey, I could do that. I’ve won at almost every ticket, yesterday $25. Not enough to retire, but enough to keep playing that winning money. I bought three different scratch-off’s today, plus $4 of PB and $2 of MM. I got $7.00 back in change.

  5. My wife spotted a guy she knew in college on Jeopardy. She said he was always convinced he was the smartest guy in the room then and never hesitated to sarcastically put others down. He finished in the minus and wasn’t around for Final.

    She ran into him a couple of years after that. How she ever managed to resist mentioning his performance on Jeopardy I’ll never know.

    1. Jeopardy does get its fair share of I Know It All Cocky contestants and you are right, it’s one of life’s little pleasures seeing that person bumped off his pedestal.

      I think every Jeopardy contestant fears ending up in the minus column. Have you been watching the Teacher’s Tournament? The three finalists are all very different. I like the guy with the white mustache, whose name eludes me, but I’m rooting for Claire, the Latin teacher.

  6. Me too. I remember my HS Latin teacher very fondly. I had her for three years straight, Latin 2-4. She had taught my mother Latin. At first the teacher was quite the harridan, and we were kind of afraid of her, but by Latin 4 she really mellowed out. There were only about 6 of us students, and she would spend the first 5 or 10 minutes of every class just chatting with us about the news or whatever as equals.

    Then one day that year I had occasion to sit in on one of her Latin 2 classes and realized that she had not mellowed at all over the years. In that class she was the same old battleship she had been when I took Latin 2. She had learned from her experience what she had to do to keep her various groups motivated.

    1. What a fabulous story. We were both lucky to have taken Latin so long.

      My Latin teacher was Russian. She fled Russia with nothing. What intrigued us the most about her, other than her genius, was she had a glass eye so when she read she’d put the book up to her only good eye.

      I’m so glad I took Latin and I’m sad my kids only had two years of it.

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