The Current ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Might Be The Luckiest Contestant In The Show’s History

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To call a Jeopardy! contestant “lucky” is not an insult. It doesn’t take away anything from their undeniable intelligence, because to make it onto the game show, you obviously have to be smart. But luck is an undeniable factor in advancing to a second episode, let alone a 23rd episode — in that sense, Megan Wachspress is a little luckier than most.

During last Friday’s episode of Jeopardy!, contestant Sadie Goldberger went into Final Jeopardy with a $600 lead over then three-day champ Wachspress. The category was “19th Century Contemporaries,” and the clue read, “Congratulating her on the 1869 release of her biography, Frederick Douglass wrote, ‘I have wrought in the day- you in the night.’” Wachspress correctly guessed “who is Harriet Tubman?” as did Goldberger…

…kind of. As host Mayim Bialik explained, “It looks like you were going for Harriet Tubman, but you did not finish. So, unfortunately, that is not going to be acceptable.” This is what was considered unacceptable:

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Tough break for Goldberger, but Wachspress advanced to her fifth episode on Monday — and proved that she might be the luckiest contestant in Jeopardy! history.

Wachspress entered Final Jeopardy with $10,000, ahead of fellow contestants Ketty Pan ($200) and Tory Leviton ($10,200). The category: “British History.” The clue: “From the Greek for ‘alone,’ it was nixed by Parliamant in 1649 after being deemed ‘unnecessary, burdensome, & dangerous.’” Pan wasn’t able to come up with a guess, but she didn’t wager anything, so her final total stayed at $200. Wachspress answered wrong and with a hefty $9,599 wager, she sunk to $401. Leviton had an easy lane to win, but he, too, couldn’t come up with the correct answer — “What is the monarchy?” is what Bialik was looking for — and the poor guy plummeted to $200.

Wachspress won with $401, giving her a five-day total of $52,002, which is “less than half as much as any other five-day champion this year,” according to Yahoo! Entertainment. She looked embarrassed by her achievement.

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And even tweeted about how “unbelievably lucky” she is:

One of Wachspress’ friends should go 50/50 on a lottery ticket with her. You might only win $20, but luck is clearly on her side.

(Via Yahoo! Entertainment)