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|I'll tell you right now I didn't win this game. It was far from a disaster, although naturally I cringe whenever I think about it. My total for the previous two games was on a pace to beat Frank Spangenberg as the all-time biggest five-game winner. I have to admit the thought was entering my mind, too although during taping everything just moves too fast to dwell on such things.|
|The evil Don Sloan (far right) is a composer/professor from Ohio. Just before this show's taping he approached me, shook my hand, and said "good luck." I think it was some kind of curse! (Don's not really evil. In fact, we've kept in touch since our episodes aired. I've also stayed in touch with Mary Hirschfeld, the champion I beat in my first game. Mary and I even played a round of golf together!)|
|I often forget that well into Double Jeopardy of this game, I was kicking some serious Don Sloan butt! But like every good player, he didn't get rattled and just kept plugging along playing it like a game rather than a matter of life and death. (And that curse probably didn't hurt, either!)|
|Hey, how'd that happen?! Well, Don started to make a move, hit the third Daily Double at the very end of the round, wagered practically everything, and got it right. Suddenly it was a real game and more of a challenge than I'd faced since the first round of game one, when I was a mere challenger. I think my timbers must have started to shiver a little bit.|
|One Final Jeopardy clue later, and I'd been dethroned. The morals of the story? 1. Jeopardy is a game of knowledge and luck, and either one can make you or break you. 2. That last Final J category (Business & Industry) was a weak one for me, and I could have won if I'd bet zero so go-for-broke wagering isn't always the best idea. 3. If someone tries to wish you luck before a game, tell 'em to get lost!|
To hear Alex Trebek declare me the new Jeopardy champion, click here (for an AIFF file) or here (for a .wav file). (both about 165kb)
To hear Alex call me a "giant" (after I lost), click here (for an AIFF file) or here (for a .wav file). (both about 75kb)
I guess part of your losing on Jeopardy! a few weeks ago is my fault you see, after your second game, I started vigorously rooting against you nothing personal, you seem like a terrific guy, (and also a cat lover which greatly increases your worth as a human being); but I just didn't want to have to play you in the Tournament of Champions this year. I had been writing e-mails back and forth to Michael Dupee, the subjects of which were: "Karl...OH NO!" and finally, "Karl... WHEW!"
Michael and I were in contestant class together last December; our shows aired in April '96 almost back-to-back and we are the 2 top money-winning 5-day champs this year; he had 66K and I had $72K. I must say, that we were both VERY impressed. I tried out for J! 6 times: I failed the test 4 times, passed once and was never called, and finally passed again in March of '95. They didn't call me to go on until December '95. You seem like a young guy (I am 33 and Mike is 30), but you are probably in your 20s, which is even more impressive, because in my 20s I couldn't even pass the test. I was amazed you beat Barefoot Mary. (I was rooting for YOU in that game, especially when you started smoking in the Double J! round.) She was just an incredible player. On your second game, my wife turned to me and said, "You're in trouble, Jeopardy Boy, if you ever have to play this guy Karl!" After your 3rd game, I tried to look you up in www.iaf.net to send you a congratulatory e-mail, but couldn't find you; I'm glad I found your page which is interesting, well written and nicely designed, by the way.
On my 3rd game, I had $16,000 at the end of DJ! and they also mentioned (off-camera, I think), that I had a chance of hitting the all-time one-day record, but like you, I played it safe. I know that I was no better a player than any of my opponents, and it's really just a matter of hitting the right clues, and having a good day. But YOU my friend could have beaten the venerable Frank Spangenberg's all-time 102K total if just a few questions had gone the other way, I'm sure of it. At least you know that you're the biggest one-day winner of this year, and that's a great honor. I think you have even won more money than one or two of the 5-day champs this year.
I'm the big cash winner of the season, (and I'm told the 18th of all time big whoop), but let me congratulate the truly best player of the 1995-96 season, and one of the best I've ever seen.
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