Home > Life > Day 2 on Jeopardy!

Day 2 on Jeopardy!

This is another in a series of posts about my experiences as a Jeopardy! contestant. Previously, I wrote about how I got there and my thoughts on the first game I played. Here, I write about the second game I played.

**SPOILER ALERT: Details of Tuesday, July 13 game appear below**

Because my victory was on the last taping of the day, the producers flew me back for the next taping date, which was a week later. The time between appearances meant that I could arrange for my parents and sister to fly to L.A. (And my sister was able to make the trip because it was her spring break!) It was cool for all of us to be able to go because (a) it would be awesome for them to be special guests at the Jeopardy! studio and (b) my sister’s friend Grace who attends USC was able to come, too, and hang out with her and show us around. (thanks, Grace!)

How the game went

– Standing at the far podium and being introduced as the Returning Champion… great moment. My challengers were Anne and Van.

– Again, I was a slow starter. I am a huge fan of Classic Rock, and I’m pretty good with English lit, but I couldn’t get a sniff of ringing in on either category.

The interview: Trebek asked me about my move to Sweden.  I think he likes the word “nanotechnology” because when I said “for a job” he followed up by asking, “in nanotechnology?”

[The interview was probably the high point of my game. Things went pear-shaped after that.]

– Wow, really fell behind after that Fail to the Chief category.

– I felt the questions in Double Jeopardy were easier this game than last. But man, I left my buzzer timing back in Nashville. Van was just the man in the zone today.

– Well, everyone got to see my Jim Halpert face when they corrected my score before the daily double. [Update: they edited it out post-production to show Trebek instead. haha.]


– I really needed to have gotten one of the daily doubles in that round. I would have buried the Alaska flower question in the back of the goal (so soon after the World Cup, you get a soccer metaphor).

Final Jeopardy: Getting Ayn Rand was a piece of cake after yesterday’s Denzel/Freeman/Poitier conundrum. Okay, 2nd place. Congrats to Van for an excellently played game.


The day of the taping: Not winning hurt. Compounding the disappointment: I would have loved to win at least one game with my family in attendance. Losing in such fashion was frustrating because I couldn’t look at a particular question and say, “If only I’d known the correct answer…” I knew plenty of answers but simply couldn’t buzz in first. Some days, the other guy just plays better than you.

At present: After seeing everyone’s positive responses from yesterday’s game, today I feel like USA soccer… got everyone excited, only to experience defeat the very next game.


After the game taped, we left the Sony studio to be tourists in Hollywood. Seeing the Hollywood sign and the Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame was really uplifting. And, it was really nice to hang out with my family spontaneously.

Now, I don’t want this series of blog posts to end on a low note, so I’ll put up a final recap post sometime in the next week.

Categories: Life Tags: ,
  1. July 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Cool, Saad. I was really pulling for you today, and I have to admit I kind of wanted Van to miss the Daily Double that put the game out of reach! I guess it doesn’t matter anyway, since you both got the Final (which I thought was really tough).
    Since you had to tape your shows over two trips to California, how did you explain to your job that you were going back, without them knowing you won your first game?

    • saad a. hasan
      July 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Hey Jeanie,
      Thanks for your support. The second trip didn’t require much explanation since I was in grad school and the only person who needed to know was my advisor.

  2. Skip Keith
    July 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Did Van lose any points when Your score was corrected after the lyre/ harp question. Based on the difference at the end You couldn’t have caught Van but that may have turned the game. He was cooking early in the game.

    • saad a. hasan
      July 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      I don’t believe he loses points since his was *the* correct answer; mine happened to be correct-enough to merit points.

  3. Neil
    July 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Sad to have missed yesterday’s show. Congrats on a win and thanks for sharing your experience!

    • saad a. hasan
      July 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      thanks, neil!

  4. July 15, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Hi saad, I was a big fan of you during the jeopardy show and I did not want to see you lose. But you had a great time and congratulations cuz you are very smart person and I would be very curious to get to know you in person and I have some questions for you would you contact me back please? All my infos and emails informations are here please feel free to contacted… I herve

  5. July 15, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Final final jeopardy: if you could have 400 million dollars or 400 billion ( tax free ) which would you choose? Why?

  6. Erin Henderson
    July 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Hey Saad–was very exciting watching this… I could tell on so many that you knew the answer and just couldn’t ring in…i’ve never known anyone on jeapordy and it’s one of my favorite shows.. Congrats on getting yourself there, your respectable winnings, and giving everyone a little bit if excitement! And, by the way, you’re a very entertaining blogger; keep it up!

    • saad a. hasan
      July 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      Erin, thanks for the words of encouragement. I hope you’ll stop by here in the future.

  7. August 3, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Fun to get the “behind the scenes” look at Jeopardy – cool stuff, great job!

    • saad a. hasan
      August 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks, Jason!

      I’m rather into personal finance myself, esp when there’s an interesting take on it, so I’ll check your site soon.

  1. July 19, 2010 at 8:24 am

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