The Fresno man who previously won on “Jeopardy!” will keep on playing.
Peter Guekguezian, 30, risked nearly all of his money going into final Jeopardy from Monday’s episode and it paid off big: $7,198 in additional winnings.
“That was such a roller coaster,” Guekguezian said Monday night. “I went back to the green room, cursing in shock and joy. Was just so excited to win and move on.”
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The showing was actually recorded in February, but Guekguezian was instructed not to talk about the results until after the broadcast.
Guekguezian also won Friday’s broadcast, which brings his two-day total winnings to $25,599. He advances to Tuesday’s show.
Guekguezian joins John Gaines among those from Fresno who’ve achieved success on a national television game show.
Guekguezian, who earned his master’s degree from Fresno State and has a Ph.D. in linguistics, seemed in control for most of Monday’s show, playing against Jeremy Fassler, a writer from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Barbara Fox, a history instructor from Tucson, Ariz.
But Guekguezian missed all three “Daily Doubles,” including two in which he bet all of his money, thus hindering his ability to pull away.
The game is so thrilling and such an intense game. If you get rocked off your boat even just a little bit, it throws you off balance.
Fresno’s Peter Guekguezian
On one of the “Daily Doubles,” Guekguezian had the correct response but forgot to present it question form.
On the last Daily Double that went wrong, Guekguezian wagered $4,800 of his $7,200, which got reduced to $2,400 with only a few clues remaining before final Jeopardy.
“I was freaking out,” Guekguezian said about going into final Jeopardy. “The game is so thrilling and such an intense game. If you get rocked off your boat even just a little bit, it throws you off balance.
“I felt I should’ve been way ahead. I’m making deals with God.”
Going into final Jeopardy!, Guekguezian trailed Fassler $3,600 to $6,400, with Fox a distance third at $1,800.
The Fresno man decided to bet all but $2 to try to catch up to Fassler and edge him if his opponent bet too conservatively.
$25,599Peter Guekguezian’s winnings after two days on Jeopardy!
During the taping of the show, Guekguezian revealed, contestants are informed of each others’ totals and given scratch paper to figure out how much they want to wager.
They’re also given an unlimited amount of time to decide how much they want to bet but are encouraged to figure it out within a couple of minutes.
Once their bids were submitted, host Alex Trebek read the final clue: On June 17, 1929 this airline’s first passenger flight left Dallas, making stops at Shreveport, Monroe & Jackson
Trebek first turned to Fox, whose response, “What is American Airlines?” was incorrect.
Fox, by the way, awkwardly revealed earlier in the show that she was kissed by actor Anthony Hopkins.
Back on the final Jeopardy! responses, Trebek then turned to Guekguezian.
Guekguezian actually scratched off his initial response of “Southwest” and changed it to “What is Delta?”
The response was right, bringing Guekguezian’s total to $7,198 compared to Fassler’s $6,400.
Then, it was revealed that Fassler had the incorrect response, which allowed Guekguezian to complete the come-from-behind victory.
“I was not feeling confident,” Guekguezian said. “But I had to bet it all to make sure that I would have a chance.
“I figured out halfway through that my first answer wasn’t right. So I changed it based on the clues. But I really thought I was going to lose.
“Then you see Jeremy’s response,” Guekguezian added. “When he got it wrong, and I’m thinking ‘Wow. Somehow, I did it!”
- Tuesday at 7 p.m.: On KFSN (ABC-30)
- Fresno connection: Fresno’s Peter Guekguezian will try to defend his title after winning $25,599 from Friday’s and Monday’s episodes.