by Ethan Simmons, The News-Gazette
For University of Illinois geographer Charles Fogelman, the most stressful part of his appearance on “Jeopardy” came while he was watching it from home with his family. Despite knowing the outcome of Wednesday night’s show, the pace of the clues — and how many he’d forgotten about since filming the session two months prior — kept the viewing fresh for Fogelman.
“Watching it transpire on TV, it was new to me. The only clues I remembered were the ones I was kicking myself for missing,” he said, 15 minutes after the show aired on Wednesday, February 16th.
In the end, the inertia of the game took over. Fogelman consistently plucked the names of countries, Greek letters and obscure adverbs from his memory banks and came out on top in his first appearance, earning $10,500.
“I didn’t regret anything, that I’d bet too low on a ‘Daily Double’ or hadn’t rung in something that I thought I knew but wasn’t 100 percent sure of,” he said. “I really succeeded in having fun and playing to win.
He landed and nailed the first two “Daily Doubles” of the game: a phrase that appeared four times in a famous 1963 speech (“I have a dream”), and the body of water where North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on the U.S.S. Maddox (“The Gulf of Tonkin”). Those earned him $2,500 and $1,200, respectively. And Fogelman predictably tore up a category called “The Equator,” naming four territories in succession and earning $5,600.
“The geographer did very well with that category,” host Ken Jennings quipped.