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October 9, 2015

Update: Why did the Jeopardy guy go for a tie?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 17th 2007 1:12PM

Jeopardy tie!

If you watched Jeopardy yesterday, you saw the first three way tie in the show's history. Each player ended up with $16,000. The three players had a rematch, which will air this Monday.

But some were immediately asking: why did champ Scott Weiss, who was in the lead at the end of "Double Jeopardy," wager just enough for a tie? Well, Weiss gives the answer on his friend's blog. Seems that Weiss, well, is just a great guy, and thought it would be cool for all of them to end up with a bunch of money! I guess it's our cynical nature to immediately think that Weiss had made a mistake in betting the way he did. So good for him.

Now, I'm not sure if I would have done the same thing, but then again I don't see myself every being in that position, so...

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In the original daytime Jeopardy! with Art Fleming, the losers kept their money. When the new version with Trebek debuted, the money was substantially increased which is why I think they made it winner-take-only.

May 05 2007 at 1:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@ Larry G

While it may seem that Jeopardy's only paying the winner is being cheap, it's actually their way of forcing people to go all out on Final Jeopardy. People won't be so willing to bet it all or most of it in order to catch someone if they could just walk away with what they have.

March 19 2007 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Consider that Mr. Weiss was really acting in his best interest. He gave up $1 to pick his competition the next week. Two guys that he just beat badly. Check out: http://davekeenan.blogspot.com/2007/03/three-way-tie-on-jeopardy-why-doesnt.html

March 18 2007 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of the things that has always pissed me off about Jeopardy, going back to the original New York shows with Art Fleming, was that only the winner gets any cash. CHEAP! CHEAP! CHEAP! Kudos for going for the tie and letting everybody collect.

March 17 2007 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Has no one pointed out yet that 3 people tied with 16,000 on 3-16 (I know it didn't 'happen' on 3-16, it just aired then, but still!)? I thought that was more interesting than some guy rigging his score to tie. Especially since Jeopardy can't just time the episodes like that.

Could he have done it because he was obsessed with Jeopardy and felt like being in the first (and possibly only) three way tie would instantly land him in the Jeopardy books and give him more fame around trivia circles than simply winning would (even if he made a 5 day champion, I doubt people would care that much). I don't know if he could planned it all out or how important Trivia fans take this stuff, but certainly he is getting more fame (even if it is just a little) than he would for just winning.

March 17 2007 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The first comment on the blog post is the guy himself.


You can go here to read his blog and you'll learn that the three contestants became friends while on the show. Which might shed some more light towards motivation.

March 17 2007 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Seems like it's been rigged to me, to get Jeopardy in the news again after Ken Jennings.

March 17 2007 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a fool! Forgot to bet an extra dollar.

March 17 2007 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think he just messed up his math and have to cover up the fact he can't do basic math, but like the guy on the Teen version.

March 17 2007 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


It wasn't an odds expert (though they may have mentioned one in the show). I thought it was odd that they specified "game theory" expert in the run-up. You're right Ryan... it's based on assumptions of human nature (that's the whole point of game theory). I guess they figured that anyone in the same position would just go for the victory.

March 17 2007 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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