Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Salute of Champions 2006: Day 1

It's now time to start the first-annual Salute of Champions! Today, we'll countdown from #25-#21.

#25: Dante Constable ("WWTBAM")

He was the last contestant of the last regular week of shows from the show's now-defunct Play It! attraction from Walt Disney World. When he entered the hot seat, he had to follow two straight contestants who won $100,000 earlier. He got off to a good start, answering the first nine questions without using a lifeline. He had to use the 50:50 to get to $25,000. At $50,000, he asked the audience to his advantage, as they mostly knew that the number of cars that start a NASCAR race is 43. After passing the first $100,000 question, he immediately knew that the President that was not born before John F. Kennedy was Jimmy Carter. He faced this $250,000 question, with the phone lifeline left:

What element, like water, has an unusual physical property that causes it to expand when it freezes?

A: Silicon
B: Polonium
C: Bismuth
D: Flourine

He thinks its A, but calls Michael, who doesn't help him at all. Thinking he would be steamed if he walked away and having A as the right answer, he went for it and was ruled incorrect. The answer was deemed to be C. However, as it turned out, there were two correct answers to this question, and his answer of A was also correct, so he was awarded the $250,000 and brought back in early September of this season to go for $500,000. He was stumped on that question, so he walked with the $250,000.

#24- Dr. Jeff Bernstein ("World Series of Blackjack")

This doctor won the $500,000 top prize on the third season of this event. At the time, this was the second-biggest win in GSN history.

#23- Robert and Natasha Purdum ("Wheel of Fortune")

On the first day of "Sweethearts Week", which is the same week responsible for producing the show's all-time winners with over $146,000, this couple won $132,000 in cash, setting a new one-day record for the show. They got to $32,000 in the maingame after solving the final Speed-Up puzzle for $30,000. They won the $100,000 grand prize when Robert was able to solve RISKY MOVE in the bonus round. This record wouldn't last long, however.

#22- Tom Kavanaugh ("Jeopardy!")

This writer from St. Louis became only the second eight-time champion in the show's history (the other was Ken Jennings, of course), and won $144,602 during his run. He returned for the Tournament of Champions in May, but was eliminated in the first round, and added another $5,000 to his winnings, for a final total of $149,602.

#21- Michael Falk ("Jeopardy!")

Although he was only a three-day champion during his original stay on the show, he pulled off the upset by winning the Tournament of Champions over Vik Vaz and Bill McDonald to win the $250,000 and win over $300,000 total.

Tomorrow, #20-16 is revealed.
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