Plenty of us might think we might have what it takes to make it on some of the United States’ favorite game shows. We play along at home, and, every now, and then we might find that we fair better than the actual contestants. However, as we saw on Tuesday’s episode of Jeopardy!, sometimes it’s just the pressure of the spotlight that costs contestants big time.
April Marquet Opens Up About Devastating ‘Jeopardy!’ Loss
On Tuesday, fans of Jeopardy! were given a treat when contestants Justin Tarbox, April Marquet, and defending champion Luigi de Guzman got caught in a neck-and-neck race to the top. The men took an early lead, leaving Marquet in the dust, but by the final round, she was well ahead of her competitors.
So, what went wrong? Well, now that the episode has aired, Marquet decided to share her side of how she lost big time. According to the trivia wiz, it all came down to two simple mistakes.
First, Marquet missed a clue about football. “Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas each caught two scores as a part of this quarterback’s monster seven-touchdown day against the Ravens in the 2013 opener,” the hint read.
However, in a rush to get her answer in, Marquet answered prematurely. According to the contestant, she didn’t see the photo provided on a separate screen from the question and provided her answer as soon as she heard the name “Wes Welker.” Knowing that Welker was once a teammate of Tom Brady’s, Marquet settled on her answer then and there: “Who is Tom Brady?”
Unfortunately, she didn’t notice the photo of Peyton Manning provided, and her rushed answer set her back.
Despite the hiccup, Marquet was not only able to catch up to her opponents, but she had surpassed them by the final round. By Final Jeopardy, Marquet was sitting at $16,600 while de Guzman and Tarbox sat at $15,700 and $11,000 respectively.
Strategy Is Just As Important As The Trivia
The nature of Final Jeopardy requires contestants to place a bet on their answer. Since Marquet was in the lead, she had the chance to wager her entire score if she was confident enough, making her the clear winner of the day’s show. Host Ken Jennings provided the clue: “Prince Philip’s titles included Baron of Greenwhich and Duke of Edinburgh, but not prince consort, last used by this royal.”
Tarbox took a guess: “Who is George V?”—an incorrect answer that cost him $1,500. De Guzman was up next, answering, “Who is Prince Albert?” with a bet of $15,699. The correct answer effectively doubled his score to $31,399.
Marquet, however, missed her chance to take home the gold. She answered: “Who is Prince Albert?” but only wagered $1,801, bringing her total up to $18,401. Now, Marquet is finally getting a chance to explain what happened.
No Room For Human Error On ‘Jeopardy!’
According to the runner-up, she tried to place a strategic bet that would carry her over de Guzman’s score without risking all of her money. As a consequence of her rushed math work, she miswrote her intended bet.
In the scratch paper she later shared online, she calculated that it would take at least $14,800 to beat de Guzman’s highest possible total score. If you don’t have a calculator on hand, then let us tell you that her math was perfect. According to Marquet, she would have won if she had trusted her gut, but she got in her own head.
“I’d practiced wagering before the show but not nearly enough. I devoted way more time to cramming trivia, not just to win, but also to avoid embarrassment on national TV. Didn’t work out!” Marquet wrote. Here’s hoping Marquet gets another go at more prize money on the recently-announced Jeopardy! Second Chance Tournament, set to air this fall.