What a difference a dollar makes. That’s the amount that former child star Macauley Culkin (Home Alone) was beaten by Rachel Dratch, comedian/actress and creator of the annoyingly pessimistic Saturday Night Live character Debbie Downer, on tonight’s nail-biter finish of Celebrity Jeopardy!
The contestant trio was rounded out by WWE superstar pro wrestler Becky Lynch, but she battled slow clicker reaction times all night and several close-but-no-cigar responses, all of which kept her in negative territory almost the entire show. So the real battle was between Dratch and Culkin, who accumulated very respectable earnings of $16,800 for Culkin and $23,000 for Dratch as they went into Final Jeopardy.
Macauley Culkin, Rachel Dratch and Becky Lynch compete on Celebrity Jeopardy! (ABC)
The category was “artists” and the clue was, “Exhumed in 2017 to settle a paternity suit, his mustache had “preserved its classic 10-past-10 position,” according to the Spanish press.
The answer was painter Salvador Dali, he of the famous gravity-defying handlebar mustache. Lynch got the correct response, but since she could only wager $500, it put her at $1,000 and her shot at winning only if Culkin and Dratch both pretty much zeroed out.
Culkin was up next, and he also had the correct response. His wager: the full $16,800, for a total of $33,600.
It all came down to Dratch’s response and wager. She had the correct response, but from her anxiety-ridden body language, hand-wringing, hair-pulling and muttering under her breath (“I think I messed up my math”), it seemed she might not prevail. It wasn’t until host Ken Jennings did the math—”You wagered $10,601, which will give you … $33,601!” that the audience cheered and a gasping Dratch looked more stunned than relieved.
“Debbie Downer has been a response on Jeopardy! many times,” said Jennings, “but this is not a downer: You are now a Jeopardy! champ.”
Speaking of celebs as topics on the game show, Jennings had pointed out earlier during the conversation portion of the program that Culkin had previously been part of Jeopardy! clues some 42 times, to which he jokingly responded, “Look, mom! I’m famous. I’m a factoid. I’m trivial.”
And now he can add one more factoid to that list: That he missed out on earning Jeopardy! champion bragging rights … by one measly buck.
Celebrity Jeopardy! airs Wednesdays on ABC.
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