There have been so many “mindless” TV game shows and/or contest participation shows of late, I sometimes, excuse the expression, feel like I want to vomit. At the present, “Jeopardy” is still my favorite even after watching this wonderful, provocative game show for more years than I can remember. Alex Trebek has been the host since the early 1980s.

The game is organized as such:

There are two rounds on each program. There are three contestants. The first round has six different categories and/or subjects to choose from, such as “Yo-Yo Man” and “The 50 States.” The amounts that can be won in the first round are $200, $400, $600, $800 and $1,000.

The contestant chooses the amount of money desired and the category; then a question is asked. If the contestant answers the question correctly, say in the $800 category, then he has $800 to his favor.

In the Double Jeopardy round, the pattern is familiar but the amounts are higher — $400, $800, $1,200, $1,600 and $2,000. The questions are again in six different categories, such as “Game Shows” and  “Science B,” and become more difficult.

I find “Jeopardy” a great brain-twisting game that makes one really think. It is amazing how intelligent some contestants are, and others not so. The people who spend time reading seem to be those who come across with the right answers, and also those who are in contact with people in their professional status, such as lawyers and teachers and even bartenders, seem to do well. You may smile when I mention bartenders, but believe me, bartenders on the “Jeopardy” show were really high winners.

During the many years I have watched “Jeopardy,” 18 is the most questions I have been able to answer. However, what makes me proud is when I am able to answer the bonus question. This is asked at the end of the show and it determines the champion.

Sometimes, the contestant who was No. 3, the “loser,” becomes the champion because he/she has answered the bonus question correctly and wagered high.

There were two bonus questions that were asked many years ago and I was able to answer them. I asked my friends who are “Jeopardy” fans question No. 1 and only one person, my nephew, was able to answer it correctly.

The first question was: What two things have the same five letters? One is a construction and the other a material.

Answer: ABODE is the construction; ADOBE is the material.

The second bonus question was: Where in the Old and New Testament are the only two chapters that begin with “In the beginning”?

Answer: In the Old Testament, Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the Heaven and Earth.” In the New Testament, John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word with was God, and the Word was God.”

I pray that “Jeopardy” will continue as long as possible. It is a wonderful game show that stimulates the mind and many things are learned by watching this unique show. It is a half-hour well spent. In West Los Angeles, it comes on Channel 7 at 7 p.m.

NOTE: JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT, I will “meow” any comments, problems or questions you may have. Please mail letters to me at C/O The Rafu Shimpo, 701 E. 3rd St., Suite 130, Los Angeles, CA. 90013. I will answer SELECT  letters in my column.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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