‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Explains Small Daily Double Wager — Did It Cost Him the Game?

Josh Fry on 'Jeopardy!'
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the June 10 episode of Jeopardy!]

Could a Daily Double bet have changed the entire outcome of Adriana Harmeyer’s ninth game?

Harmeyer, an archivist from West Lafayette, Indiana, came into Monday’s (June 10) episode of Jeopardy! as an eight-day champion with a total winning of $183,100. She faced off with software developer Josh Fry, originally from Peachtree Corners, Georgia, and high school video production teacher Aaron Lemos, from Northridge, California.

Harmeyer got off to a strong start in the first Jeopardy! round, running the Bunny Lit category, but Fry was close, with $2,800 to her $3,800 (and Lemos had $2000) when he chose the Daily Double, in Capitals & Their Airports. “King Khalid International is its gateway,” read the clue. He lost all on a true Daily Double. (The correct answer was Riyadh.) Harmeyer led after the first round with $3,000 to her opponents’ $1,600 each.

Harmeyer then found the second Daily Double in the Double Jeopardy! round under Monuments & Memorials and correctly answered “The Washington D.C. area memorial to this service branch depicts a flag-raising on Mount Suribachi” (Marines) and added $1,500, bringing her total to $11,300. Fry found the third Daily Double in “The Animal Kingdom” and was trailing Harmeyer at the time ($7,200 to $10,500).

“Chance for you. What will you wager?” host Ken Jennings asked Fry. After he bet $1,500, the host noted, “just $1,500.” Fry did correctly answer, in The Animal Kingdom, the clue reading, “Rats must gnaw constantly because these teeth whose name means “cutter” grow their whole lives, around 4-5 inches per year” (incisors).

The viewer who put together the Reddit thread for the episode noted that Fry “had a golden opportunity to take first place” from Harmeyer when he “inexplicably made a tiny bet.”

Another commenter then suggested that Fry “definitely seems to have a very strong argument for 2nd chance,” the contestant wrote in response, “I would like that very much.” A fan then asked him about his wager on the Daily Double, wondering, “Did you hate the category?”

Fry explained, “I wasn’t super confident, no (especially after whiffing the first one), and I was more concerned with not letting the game turn into a runaway rather than taking the lead.”

Heading into Final Jeopardy!, Harmeyer led with $12,100 to Fry’s $10,700 and Lemos’ $1,600. Only Harmeyer answered correctly, in New York Times Book Reviews, “In 1958 a review of this book now considered a classic called it repulsive, disgusting & ‘highbrow pornography,’” with Lolita. She became a nine-day champ with a total of $204,700.

One fan commented on Reddit, “Even Ken acknowledged that Adriana hasn’t faced too much challenge until Josh. I agreed with his risk on the first DD, but even had he known it, he didn’t know FJ. Still, good performance from him and hope for a few more like him.”

What did you think of Fry’s Daily Double wager? Let us know in the comments section, below.

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