Final Jeopardy: Speechwriters

The Final Jeopardy question (2/27/2013) in the category “Speechwriters” was:

To the question “Did you write the best-known line in JFK’s inaugural” Ted Sorenson would smile & say these 2 words.

As exciting as the  Teen Tournament and Tournament of Champions were, isn’t it wonderful to get back to the regular game today and see some new faces… well, not all new.

5-day champ Joshua Brakhage returns after that long break. We last saw Joshua on 1/29/2013 when his winnings rose to $103,205. Today he will try to continue that winning streak against these two new players: Hans Reodica, from Navarre, FL and Sara Garnett, originally from Okemos, MI.

Joshua found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “P’s on Earth.” He was in third place lead with $2,000, $1,800 behind Hans in the lead. He made it a true Daily Double and he was RIGHT.

This U.S. city is the seat of Allegheny County.

Hans finished in the lead with $6,400. Joshua was second with $4,800 and Sara was last with $4,200.

Sara found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “Literary Characters.” She was in second place with $5,000, $1,800 behind Hans in the lead. She bet $2,000 and she was RIGHT.

This character who debuted in 1926 is also called Edward Bear.

Joshua found the last Daily Double in “Med. Abbrev.” He was now in second place with $13,600, $1,400 less than Sara’s lead. He bet $6,400, and took a guess with 2x a day. That was WRONG.

On a prescription q.i.d. is a Latin abbreviation indicating the medication should be taken this often.

Sara finished in the lead with $15,000. Hans was next with $12,800 and Joshua was in third place with $7,200.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


Just as people will never agree upon whether Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin on 11/22/1963, there will probably never be a consensus on who wrote what in JFK’s inaugural speech. As recently as 2005, two scholars examined as much evidence as they could connected to the speech and came to very dissimilar conclusions. However, they did not dispute prior research claiming that the “Ask not what your country can do for you…” portion was inspired by one of Kennedy’s prep school teachers. Some sources do dispute that and credit Ted Sorenson who died on 10/31/2010. See Ted Sorenson talk about writing speeches for JFK on (You Tube)

Joshua wrote down “God did.” That cost him $7,194 so he finished with $6.

Hans wrote down “You,” apparently overlooking the mention of 2 words in the clue. He lost $2,201, finishing with $10,599.

Sara got it right. She bet $10,601 so she ended up with $25,601 and became the new Jeopardy! champ.

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