Opinion: Jeopardy’s 1 Dollar Bastards

I hate the people on the TV Game Show Jeopardy who bid just enough to beat their opponent by 1 dollar. It’s like sitting across the table from a stranger at a restaurant where you’re both being served an 8 course meal. Everything looks good, both of you are smiling, then right before your seatmate takes a bite, you slap the lobster off the table and stamp on it. Your reward for this tasteless act? A single M&M for dessert. I hope it tastes like ashes.

Everything beyond this point is just me raging at the television and at the players who have no strategy, seriously… I have a problem! Listen to this song while you read the rest of the article, it’ll put you in my headspace.

I believe that people do this 1 dollar screw-over, because the rules of Jeopardy mislead them into believing that there are tiebreaker questions when a tie is achieved. I have no evidence of this accusation! I’m just speculating, because why else would these sociopaths force someone to lose 20,000 dollars so that they can gain 1 dollar? There is literally no other benefit to what they’re doing.

Understand: the Jeopardy tiebreaker rule is real but mostly only sees use during tournament play and when players are forced into a tie (I did my research). Players can be forced into a tie (and a tiebreaker) if they enter the final stage of the game, Final Jeopardy, with tied scores. Then if those 2 players who enter tied both bid everything (or nothing), and they both get the question right, then only 1 is allowed to walk away the winner… at least that’s how I understand it. It’s some sort of collusion prevention tool to make sure nobody games the system. Like that guy who won over and over again on Press Your Luck.

from http://www.buzzerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/LarsonW.png

and over and over and over and over and over and…

But so often you see the leading player edging out the other guy in Final Jeopardy rounds where a tied score is not forced. “Not forced” being the important phrase, because that’s when ties are allowed and both players will walk away with the total of their winnings. Ending a game where you purposefully tie another player lets you both win everything, isn’t that great?

Game theory will also tell you that bidding that extra dollar to edge out your opponent actually lowers your chances of winning. Suppose the leader got the question wrong, they’d be 1 dollar lower than they would have been had they been had they just been bidding to tie. And as we’ve seen in the reverse situation, 1 dollar is the difference between 20,000 dollars and second place’s 2,000 dollar award.

So what could possibly be making these people bid to win by 1 dollar? Confusing rule sets supplied by the company? Some deep seated conspiracy that proves Jeopardy is fake? Insatiable bloodlust? A Dark Elder God of Mania? Just their own antisocial tendencies? Fuck if I know. I just wish they’d understand the rules of the game they’re playing and start realizing there’s more to life than winning. In fact, I bet if you purposefully tied another player and allowed them to win the 20,000 dollars they worked so hard for, they might just buy you a beer. And that’s going to put you up 5 dollars, better than the 1 you would have won by shitting in their cheerios.

from http://corruptcamel.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/AlexTrebek.jpg

This is that Dark Elder God of Mania I mentioned.

P.S. I swear I’m going to do a game review next week. I just haven’t been playing a lot of board games recently. Look for it next Friday!

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