My Experience

by Steven H Silver


Day Three

Once again, we showed the tape at 11:30 on Thursday for the people who missed it on Wednesday.  Once again, their opinions of my challengers matched the opinions of the crowd who watched the day before.

Since I now had documented proof that I was worth $15,000 an hour, I tried to convince my boss to give me a raise.  If he had, I figured that working one day a week would be more than enough to keep me happy.  Unfortunately, he didnít think the company could quite afford to meet that salary at this time, but he would give it all the future consideration the salary request deserved.

I now had a difficult decision to make.  Elaine works Monday through Wednesday, which meant I couldnít watch the show with her on those days.  On Thursday, however, she does not work.  I wanted to watch the show with her, but by now I had determined how much fun it was to watch with other people.  Furthermore, I was afraid that if I watched from home, the people at work would decide I had skipped out because the outcome of the third show was not to my advantage.  I suggested Elaine bring Robin to the office, but the show falls in the middle of Robinís nap.  For the same reason, I didnít feel I could invite people to our house (and we werenít really desirous of hosting forty or more people).  We managed to solve the problem by finding a neighborhood girl who could watch Robin for an hour or so when the show was on and Elaine could join me at the office.

In the third game, I lost my concentration when they stopped taping for about ten minutes to check answers and scores.  When they came back, the played a tape of Alex announcing my wrong answer several times and I never really regained my rhythm after that.  The strange thing is that during the first round, when I was doing well, I felt I had gone as far as I would.

Watching the show, I was surprised to see that I spent much of Double Jeopardy  in the lead.  A few bad answers lowered my score, but it was a much more competitive round than I remember.

In Final Jeopardy, I bet a measly $10, and people have been asking why I bet such a strange amount.  My thinking was that although a category like the Supreme Court seems  reasonable tight, it is actually quite broad.  Questions can range from John Jay to Oliver Wendall Holmes to Thurgood Marshall to Clarence Thomas.  They can ask which president appointed a justice or expanded the court.  They can ask about particulars in a specific case.  If I were a lawyer or a constitutional historian, and felt more confident, I would have bet more.  As it was, I was working from the assumption that I would get the answer wrong.  Because of that, I didnít want to bet too much.  Looking at Scott and Meg, they were close enough to each other and me, that they had to take all three scores into account.  I figured that if both got the answer right, it wouldnít matter what I bet since I would come in third.  If one got it right and one got it wrong, I would probably wind up in second.  If both got it wrong and I bet nothing or only a small amount, I might actually win.  Of course, I couldnít know that Meg would bet nothing, and so if she got it wrong and Scott got it right I would still come in third.  As it was, I was happy (but, of course, not ecstatic) about the results.