‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Explains Why His ‘Heart Sank’ Upon Learning Final Jeopardy Category

by Josh Lanier

Hari Parameswaran said it was a dream come true to be on Jeopardy!. The 19-year-old college Georgia college student grew up watching the show, and he thought he might have a chance to win the game. That was until the Final Jeopardy! category was announced.

Anderson Cooper, who was guest-hosting the episode, read it and Parameswaran’s “heart sank,” he later told his local newspaper the Xenia Gazette. “Hollywood Legends” was the category, something the George Institute of Technology student knows little about. But he needed to go big if he wanted to win. So, he wagered nearly all of his winnings so far and hoped for the best.

The question was, “This director was quoted as saying ‘I believe I can take any 60 pages of the Bible and make a great picture.’”

Parameswaran answered Mel Gibson. The correct answer, however, was Cecil B. DeMille. The wrong answer knocked him down to only $1,000 in the bank. Had he got it correct, he would have won.

“I don’t really regret losing because the experience is a once-in-a-lifetime one, but re-watching the episode made me mull over whether there was a universe where I didn’t miss some of the questions I did,” Parameswaran said.

Regardless of losing, he said he still had a lot of fun.

“Even though I ended up losing in a very close game, I had a blast, and I would trade anything (well, not anything) to be able to go back a second time,” Parameswaran said. “Jeopardy was a family staple at dinner time ever since I was young, and it was a joy to finally be able to experience the show first-hand, including getting to meet the behind-the-scenes people and the Clue Crew.”

Bill Whitaker Takes Over ‘Jeopardy!’ on Monday

Jeopardy! will have a new host on Monday as 60 Minutes journalist Bill Whitaker begins his turn running the big board. As Jeopardy! showed in its teaser trailer on Instagram, current guest host Anderson Cooper is turning over the reins to Bill Whitaker.

Whitaker has been a long time host on 60 Minutes but will now test his trivia hosting skills.

“He’s brought you the news. Now, he’s bringing you the clues. Acclaimed journalist Bill Whitaker is our next guest host! @mediafellowshiphouse @60minutes,” the show posted

Whitaker is doing it for a good cause, donating proceeds to the Media Fellowship House. Whitaker will be guest host for two weeks. Jeopardy! is giving to charity, matching contestants’ winnings to the charity of the guest host’s choice.

For the past two weeks, Anderson Cooper has been giving it all to Jeopardy! and raised an impressive sum. For instance, the CNN personality raised a total of $118,000 for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer during his first week. During his second week as host, he followed that up for an additional $138,197 for the African judicial aid charity Justice Defenders.