With his towering afro and (ahem) informal attire, teen contestant Leonard Cooper didn't look the part of a "Jeopardy!" champion. But he parlayed one big Daily Double gamble into a Teen Tournament win last night, topping it off with what has to be considered the best Final Jeopardy! answer of all time.*
Leonard came into Final Jeopardy! with a total of $37,000 -- an impressive sum, though not enough to win outright. But that didn't stop Leonard from calling his shot. Faced with the clue, "On June 6, 1944, he said, 'The eyes of the world are upon you,'" Leonard wagered $0 and responded: "Who is some guy in Normandy, but I just won $75,000!"
Keep in mind, one of Leonard's opponents had enough cash to surpass him if he answered correctly. But he didn't, and Leonard walked off with the win and the $75K awarded to the Teen Tournament champion. Even the normally stoic Alex Trebek was delighted by Leonard's confidence, giggling and exclaiming, "You did indeed! Way to go!"
How did Leonard amass his prodigious total? He made another bold play earlier in the game when faced with a Daily Double, wagering a massive $18,000 that he had the correct response. (The Jeopardy! audience gasped, and Trebek called it a "gutsy move.") Luckily, Leonard came up with the right answer -- or question, rather -- and nearly doubled his total to a staggering $36,200. (We also love an earlier moment of Leonard groping his own body to come up with the word "collarbone.")
So we basically want Leonard to be on every episode of "Jeopardy!" ever going forward. Failing that, can we at least see him take on Watson, that "Jeopardy!"-playing computer from a few years back? We're pretty sure his responses would short out Watson's circuits.
* TV geek side note: The actual best Final Jeopardy! answer of all time came from Cliff Clavin on "Cheers," when he responded to the clue "Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz, and Lucille LeSueur" with "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?" But that was fictional, so we're giving Leonard the nod here. Still, it's pretty great: