Now this is something that doesn’t happen every day, or evening, for that matter. The writers of Jeopardy! chose Bainbridge Island as a question on the long-running trivia show. Jeopardy!, as some of you undoubtedly know, is one of television’s most popular shows, game show, drama, sitcom or otherwise, and you can understand why. Every night, there’s competition, intrigue, and tension. Those are some of the reasons why my wife and I are such big fans. We typically record the show and watch it later.
If you’re a regular like us, or a casual watcher, you’re bound to be drawn in by the game’s somewhat erudite nature. There are questions, or should we say, “answers” on subjects ranging from arts and culture to science, sports, history, mathematics and more. Movies, books and TV shows are prominent, but there are also categories like geography, politics, double meanings of words, familiar phrases, animals and so forth that get your brain cranked up and your memory swirling.
If you are totally in the dark about what Jeopardy! is all about. It’s basically a classic game show — with a bit of a twist. The answers are given first, and the contestants supply the questions. Three contestants, including the previous show’s champion, compete in six categories and in three rounds (with each round’s “answers” being worth more prize money).
There’s five answers in each category, with the easier answers on top and the harder ones dropping down the board in descending order. The initial “Jeopardy” round, with winnings ranging from $200 to $1,000 for correct responses, includes one Daily Double, where a contestant can potentially double their money. The Double Jeopardy Round has more money at stake – $400 to $2,000 and two Daily Doubles, while Final Jeopardy – also in the form of answer – is where contestants can double down on their earnings and possibly come from behind and win!
All this build-up is leading up to something that happened the other night on the show, now hosted by Mayim Bialik, who starred for many years on the “Big Bang Theory” as Sheldon’s brainy girl friend (and later wife). She replaced iconic host Alex Trebek, who died last year following a bout with cancer, and after hosting the show for more than three decades.
During the Jeopardy Round, an answer was read aloud by Ms. Bialik under the category Isle “B” in the $800 slot. It read simply: “About 4.6 million people a year take the 35-minute Ferry ride from Seattle to this island in the Puget Sound.” The answer, of course, was Bainbridge Island, but none of the contestants on the Feb. 9th show even attempted an answer. They all drew a blank.
Now, some of you might be saying, ‘Ok big deal, Bainbridge Island was mentioned on a national TV show.’ That’s a natural reaction, but what’s a bit out of the ordinary is having our home mentioned at all. We’re small, and out of way, and perhaps best known for the place where Pickleball was founded. And even that distinction is really only known among the game’s most ardent supporters.
Anyways, all this blather adds up to one or two factoids: some Jeopardy! writer was looking for a good clue and we were it. As we know, the island is a special place and continues to be recognized for the great writers and artists who live here and for our wonderful shops, parks and unique features.
So if you can pull yourselves away from the Winter Olympics, or your favorite shows on HBO, Netflix and Prime, take the time to watch an episode or two of Jeopardy! It’s broadcast locally at 7:30 p.m. on KOMO 4 TV. Check it out, you may learn something about your hometown and the wider world. For more info, visit https://www.jeopardy.com/