‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Reveals Advice from Ken Jennings That Stuck With Him

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the June 17 episode of Jeopardy!]

It turns out that host Ken Jennings helped one of the contestants playing in the June 17 game—but not when it comes to his Jeopardy! play.

Adriana Harmeyer, an archivist from West Lafayette, Indiana, returned as a 13-day champ with winnings totaling $299,000, and faced off with Kelsey Kaunisviita Vockrodt, a stay-at-home mom from Ottawa, Ontario, and Ty Patton, a communications specialist from Des Moines, Iowa. And during the break in the Jeopardy! round, when the host talks to the contestants, one of them spoke about something that Jennings said once that impacted him.

Patton’s a new father, and it’s going “fantastic,” said the player. “Couldn’t be better. He’s an absolute dream so far. A few months old, and just the joy of our lives.” Jennings remarked that he got parenting advice from a surprising source.

“I did, and I’m glad I’m here to thank you for it, Ken, because I was listening to an interview you did where you were talking about parenting and how they’re going to have parts of you, but they’re going to be their own individual person and you can’t fight that, and you have to nurture that and let them be,” shared Patton. “And it’s something a million people have said a million times, but the way you said it just resonated and stuck with me, and I hope it continues to stick with me.”

Unfortunately for Patton, that’s the only anecdote he’ll get to share on Jeopardy! as Harmeyer won her 14th game. Patton was a worthy opponent, taking the lead early on in the first round, though Harmeyer was leading at all three breaks (both Jeopardy! and the one after Double Jeopardy!). Patton was in a close second heading into Final Jeopardy!, with $13,400 to Harmeyer’s $16,200.

In “2 Last Names, Same First Letter,” the clue read: “Born 344 years apart, they are the 2 real people mentioned by name in the titles of 1990s Best Picture Oscar winners.” Both Harmeyer and Patton were correct (Schindler and Shakespeare), with the latter wagering all but $1 and ending with $26,799. That was no match for Harmeyer, who ended the game with $27,000 and a 14-day total of $326,000.

But, as the person who puts together the game threads on Reddit noted, “Once again, we saw the player in a close second position make a huge bet and give up any chance to win if incorrect on FJ.” In response, Patton wrote, “I know. Knew it as I was doing it.”

Jeopardy!, Weekdays, check local listings

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