Anyway, first to answer the major question that must be on everyone's mind:
Oh, you want to know about the Final Jeopardy! wager? It was an intentional bet. I counted on Anders and Jamey betting rationally and wagering everything. I thought it would be really cool to be a part of Jeopardy history. I knew that meant I'd be playing seasoned opponents, but it didn't matter to me. I had already won a couple of games myself, and I thought it would be neat to share the money. (See my post about Jennifer from a couple of days; that's what the literary people call foreshadowing. :-)). Now there'll be a notation next to one of my games in the J! Archive. How cool is that?
But there have been other unexpected benefits. A schoolteacher present at the game came up to me and said I taught the kids a great lesson in sportsmanship and generosity. Cecil and I have become good friends with Anders and his wife Juneko, and Jamey and his wife Beth. Juneko made Beth and Cecil gorgeous glass pendants commemorating the tie, and she made a teddy bear for Ragnar out of felt. I just got a note from Anders asking what charity I'd like him to donate some of his money to.
Some people, maybe even many people, seem to think the wager was a mistake. But I don't think so. I can't say I was 100% altruistic in my decision. I liked Anders and Jamey; Anders and I had talked at lunch about cryptics a little, and Jamey seemed like a fun person. (Maggie commented to us before the game as to what a good time I seemed to be having, and Jamey half-joked that he hoped I'd have a little less of a good time then.) But I really wasn't thinking about them. I thought more of the show. I've been watching Jeopardy! for all of its 23 years. Yesterday I got to give something back. How many players or even champions get the opportunity to do that?
One other story. That Jeopardy round was terrible for me. Normally I like theme boards, but these categories were outside my area. Between the J and DJ rounds, Maggie Speak, contestant coordinator and goddess, came up to me and whispered something to the effect of "You just had a bad round, but you can take these guys. Go out there and play like a champion". I said "Yes, ma'am". And the rest, as they say, is history.