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5.25.2005

Stormin' Mormon loses to guy from Amish Paradise 

Ken Jennings finishes second in Jeopardy's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, behind Brad Rutter of Lancaster, PA, a 5-time winner and winner of the 2001 Tournament of Champions and the Million Dollar Masters. It wasn't even close -- the final score at the end of the three-day match was something like $64,000 to $38,000. Jennings was out of the running by the time the third day's Final Jeopardy came around, so he wrote "Go Brad!" at the bottom of his Final Jeopardy response.

Rutter was demonstrably superior throughout the three-day match, although having played his way through two more rounds than Jennings did surely helped. (Jennings received a bye into the finals; Rutter received a bye into the quarters.) Then again, Rutter wouldn't have made it into the finals if Michael Rooney hadn't made a Final Jeopardy betting error in their quarterfinal match. In that math, Rutter had $5,600 after Double Jeopardy, Rooney $9,200 and Steve Chernicoff $12,400. Chernicoff went for the KO ($6,001, in case Rooney doubled up). Rutter wisely bet $800 and ended up $1 ahead after Chernicoff and Rooney lost. The only sensible bets for Rooney to make were $0 or $9,200, but for some reason he bet $3,599, ended up answering incorrectly and lost.

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