Jeopardy! player Nick Cascone admits to ‘bad miscalculation’ that nearly cost Champions Wildcard title

JEOPARDY! contestant Nick Cascone has won the Champions Wildcard tournament on Tuesday but made a mistake that nearly jeopardized it all.

Nick acknowledged on Reddit that he bet too much on the two-day match’s deciding Final Jeopardy! and if incorrect, he would have lost.

The Jeopardy! tournament's deciding clue was looking for 'Iowa' - also attended by Lena Dunham

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The Jeopardy! tournament’s deciding clue was looking for ‘Iowa’ – also attended by Lena DunhamCredit: Jeopardy
Nick and Jen were correct, and Nick went all in, winning two huge prizes

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Nick and Jen were correct, and Nick went all in, winning two huge prizes
However, he 'wagered too high,' so if he had been incorrect, Jen would have won: 'It all worked out in the end, though!'

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However, he ‘wagered too high,’ so if he had been incorrect, Jen would have won: ‘It all worked out in the end, though!’Credit: Jeopardy

Jeopardy!‘s two-game Champions Wildcard finals came to a fiery finish on Tuesday.

Nick, an orthopedic physician assistant originally from Queens, New York, had $9,300 from match one.

Dennis Chase, a biotech project manager from Palm Springs, California, had $3,000 from match one.

Jen Jazwinski, a youth services librarian from Algonquin, Illinois, had $5,600- so it was anyone’s game since the first match had a triple-stumper final clue.

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The scores were wiped clean, and the totals from both nights would be combined.

By Double Jeopardy!, Jen had $1,600, Dennis $7,200, and Nick $5,800. Jen got to the two Daily Doubles very early, correct on the first one.

However, she bet a hefty $5000 on the remaining Daily Double, missing it and effectively knocking her out of the competition – or so it seemed.

‘GOOD SIGN FOR HIM…’

By Final Jeopardy, Dennis had $16,400, Nick had $14,600, and Jen had $3,800.

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The clue under: “LITERARY GEOGRAPHY” read: “This state univ.’s Writers Workshop has had famous alumni who wrote about the state, like Jane Smiley & W.P. Kinsella.”

Nick and Jen were correct with “Iowa” while Dennis was definitely incorrect with “Suny.”

Nick went all in to have $29,200 and a combined $38,500 making him the clear winner.

When Ken Jennings, 49, revealed his wager (which the host knows already) he remarked: “Did he know it was Iowa?

He did; that’s a good sign for him…”

Nick nabbed the $100,000 grand prize and a Tournament of Champions invite.

Jen also bet it all to secure second place with a combined $13,200, winning the $50,000 consolation prize.

Dennis lost $11,500, ending up in third with $7,900, and he took home $25,000.

As Nick was declared the winner, he nearly buckled over in astonishment, and his rivals sweetly clapped.

‘ALL WORKED OUT!’

Eagle-eyed fans on Reddit spotted that if Nick had gotten Final Jeopardy wrong, his all-in bet would have cost him dearly.

Having $0 would have left him with his previous $9,300, or less than Jen’s combined two-day total of $13,200.

One user wrote: “I was rooting for Jen, who was also correct in her response, but she didn’t have enough money from yesterday! Congrats, Nick!”

Another wrote: “Had Nick got it wrong, she would have won this tournament.”

Nick got ahead of the bad buzz on the fan forum and posted: “I made a pretty bad miscalculation in my Final Jeopardy wagering.”

“I added Dennis’ 3000 from the first day into his score before doubling for a correct Final Jeopardy instead of adding it after.

“As a result, my final wager was too high. It all worked out it the end, though.”

Nick also wrote that he’s proud to have come a long way from when he first competed and dropped a pretty impressive stat: He didn’t get a single clue incorrect in either of the two finals games.

He wrote: “I’m most proud of reducing my number of wrong responses. I went from 5 on each of my 2021 games to 2 each in the quarterfinals and semifinals, to 0 in the final games. Don’t give money back.”

SEASON OF TOURNAMENTS…

Champions Wildcard consists of past players from Season 37 or Season 38 getting a second shot at glory.

There will be four winners by the time it ends on December 18.

The lengthy new-to-Season 40 tournament saw math whiz Matt Saak win the first group.

The upbeat Emily Sands clinched the second crown soon after.

Now that Nick has also nabbed the third prize, the slate will be wiped clean for one more round.

Each victor gets $100,000 and goes on to the next Tournament of Champions.

Jeopardy! has relied on placeholder programming given Hollywood’s since-resolved strikes, dividing fans and contestants who want new contestants back.

Once Champions Wildcard ends, Jeopardy! will finally get into the tournaments they wanted the big season 40 to start with.

There will be a Second Chance Tournament for last year’s most snubbed nonwinners, a Champions Wildcard for the best brief winners of last year, and finally the actual Tournament of Champions.

Then there will be the Jeopardy Invitational Tournament which will be a precursor to Jeopardy! Masters.

All of these tournaments have left fans a bit overwhelmed, as regular episodes with new contestants won’t be back until April 2024.

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At that point, returning champion Lucas Partridge, who won the last non-tournament game in July 2023 will return.

Theoretically, so will a still-missing Mayim Bialik after nearly a year off.

Even Ken Jennings hinted Nick over-wagered: 'Did he know it was Iowa? He did; that's a good sign for him...'

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Even Ken Jennings hinted Nick over-wagered: ‘Did he know it was Iowa? He did; that’s a good sign for him…’Credit: Jeopardy

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