Freshman comes close in College Jeopardy!

by Kelly Cameron | 11/10/00 6:00am

Despite a good early showing on Jeopardy! last night, a miss on the Final Jeopardy question failed to seal Jordan Kovnot '04 a victory in a preliminary round of the show's college tournament.

Playing against fellow contestants Genevieve from Ursinus College and Jim of the University of Washington, Kovnot opened the first round for the show by answering the first two questions correctly.

Kovnot did particularly well in the film and political categories. Particularly, the questions in the first round were some of the easiest of the night for him, and he later told The Dartmouth the question asking the capital of Florida was probably the most straightforward.

Moving into Double Jeopardy! Kovnot stood at $1,500 with both opponents tied at $1,700, but Kovnot quickly joined the tie by selecting and answering the first question of the second round in the "College Movies" category, which was on "Scream 2."

When he came across the Daily Double in Double Jeopardy, the Dartmouth student moved into the lead with a $500 wager in the same category, with a correct answer on Norman MacLean's "A River Runs Through It."

Watching the show, Kovnot reflected that "As the words came out of my mouth I said to myself this better be right because I said it on TV."

The last category of the Double Jeopardy round was what seemed to turn the tables when Genevieve pulled ahead, with a string of correct answers on fashion.

Going into Final Jeopardy, Kovnot was in second place with $4,000, while Genevieve was in the lead with $6,400 and Jim, who received the most support from the Seattle audience in third place with $2,500 awaiting the final question on "Presidential Pets."

Kovnot told The Dartmouth that one of the most frustrating aspects of being on the show was not having the chance to answer even when he knew the response, which meant he did not get the money.

Kovnot wagered $3,000 in hope that his opponents would not know the final answer, or that he would advance to the next round based on his final score, he told The Dartmouth.

The final question -- by far the hardest for Kovnot of the evening -- asked, "As a warning to Congress, President Garfield named his dog this."

With the famous Jeopardy! theme music playing and Genevieve moving her head in time to the music, the answers were locked in. Kovnot fell into last place his answer: "What is Union?" while Genevieve and Jim managed to come up with the correct answer "What is Veto?"

After the show was filmed, Kovnot said he was significantly disappointed. The experience had been very emotional, which made the brief 12 minutes of actual game time come and go quickly.

Being on the show was different and harder than playing at home because of all of the emotions involved, Kovnot said.