Dumb Answer of the Week
What Happens When You Speak Before You Think.

February 2nd - February 9th, 2013

Text by: Jim Williams

Sometimes you don't need to give a dumb answer to get some DAotW ink on Game Show Garbage. Sometimes you just need to make a dumb decision. A trio of dumb decisions were made during the "Jeopardy! Teen Tournament" semi-final that aired last Thursday. Before we get to our case of "Triple Dumberdy", allow me to set the scene.

Let's start by taking a look at the scores heading into "Final Jeopardy!".



Kelton is in the lead with $16,400. Joe is not far behind at $12,000, while Tori with $1,600 is hoping for a correct "Final Jeopardy!" question and some bad wagering by the gentlemen ahead of her.

Bear in mind that the winner of this semi-final is assured a spot in the tournament final.

The "Final Jeopardy!" category is "Capital Cities", and here is the clue.



Let's start with Tori at $1,600 and let's see her response.



She was thinking Ireland, and she thought wrong. Did she wager it all?



Yes. Admittedly, when you're in a distant third, it is almost always a given that you go for broke, so I can understand the logic.

Over to Joe with $12,000...



And the wrong question. Surely, he didn't bet the farm.





Point taken and apologies, Dr. Rumack.

Interesting to see Joe go all in with $12,000.

Let's see about Kelton. He came into "Final" with $16,000 and wrote...



Oh boy.



Thanks, Alex. Hey, wait. Shouldn't that be in the form of a question?

Back to the "Final" at hand...surely, Kelton wouldn't wager...





I'm terribly sorry, Doc. It won't happen again (at least this week).



Well, these scores would be winners if the name of the game was "Debt". But in Trebekistan, no one wins with $0 in tournament play.



Alex takes a moment (presumably in post-production) to inform us that this is the first time in tournament history that a semi-final has ended in a three way scoreless tie. By rule, when this happens, the third finalist is the highest scoring non-winner in semi-final play. Simply put, Kelton, Joe and Tori essentially wagered themselves out of the tournament final. And as such, their wagering was just plain...



And ultimately, yes, I consider all 3 contestants' wagers to be dumb. In theory, had Tori bet $1,599 or less, she'd be in the tournament final. Had any of these three teens held back even a single dollar from their all-in wagers, they'd be playing for $75,000 in the following week's tournament final. But, alas, they all go down in tournament history and as such collectively share this week's "Dumb Answer of the Week" not for a wrong answer, but for poor wagering.