Alex Trebek on 'Jeopardy!' 2

Alex Trebek hosts the popular game show, "Jeopardy!"

Like many other families in the area, I am sure, my son and I watch “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” almost every night, with varying results from our oh-not-so-comprehensive pools of knowledge.

Some nights we know a lot, and other nights we (or at least I) know almost nothing, particularly of contemporary entertainment trivia.

Sometimes, though, the generation gap provides me with the answers to things that much younger contestants may have never heard of.

That helps me make up somewhat for my miserable contemporary answers.

More than once I have prevailed on Final Jeopardy! by knowing something a little too far back in history for them.

That is always a thrill!

Two episodes from the past, one from each of those shows, stick in my memory — although the generation gap was not involved in either case. Try dumb luck?

The first one was on “Jeopardy!” where the returning champion had not done very well in comparison with his two opponents. The two of them had ended up tied with each other and had a tidy sum in the thousands whereas the champion was down to a small amount. It seemed hopeless for him.

Came the moment for Final Jeopardy! and the question was, (what is) the only country that touches the Caspian Sea in the Persian Gulf?

Thinking about it, and knowing that Iran was once known as Persia, I decided that Iran was the correct answer — which proved to be the case.

But the “experts” were not so lucky. They all gave weird guesses — the worst of which was, of all places, the landlocked Tibet, which touches nothing in the way of large bodies of water.

The returning champion with his, of course, wrong answer had bet all but $1 on it, and that is what he ended up with.

Then, the two tied ones had to give their answers, and both were wrong. Of course, for self-protection, both of them had bet their entire amount and both ended up with zero.

What a laugh! With a mere $1, the returning champion had retained his title! Alex Trebek seemed to think that was the first time that ever happened.

The story about “Wheel” had a special turn to it. I have no idea what the final, bonus-round quotation — or whatever it was — had been, but the contestant missed it.

I, however, had it right, as occasionally happens.

Then, Pat Sajak went on to see what the contestant had missed getting after spinning for the bonus award.

Wow! She had, earlier, landed on the million-dollar space, and, thus, a $1 million wedge had been inserted in for the final spin.

For once, that is where the spin landed her.

Guess who “won a million dollars”?

I wish.

It sure wasn’t the contestant!

The author lives in East Hempfield Township.

"I Know a Story" is a weekly column that's written by our readers. If you know an interesting story, please write it in 600 words or less and send it to Mary Ellen Wright, LNP editorial department, P.O. Box 1328, Lancaster, PA, 17608-1328, or email it to Please include your phone number and the name of the town you live in.

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