Great Moments in Financial History: The Money Honey on Celebrity Jeopardy

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Notice Maria’s score (and provide a caption in the comments section). Keep in mind that this wasn’t that early in the game.
For those who missed it several years ago, the Money Honey was featured in a May 2004 episode of Celebrity Jeopardy in Washington D.C. during POWER PLAYERS week. A POWER PLAYER is presumably a celebrity with a brain. Fortunately SNL stereotypes held, and Maria outshined the competition, which consisted of fellow TV personality Anderson Cooper and former NAACP President and Maryland Congressman Kweisi Mfume. Maria was playing for the National Italian American Foundation, ensuring that pizza remains an alternative to baby carrots in school lunches nationwide (especially good old fashioned school lunch “Mexican pizza”).
Maria got off to a slow start, not buzzing in on the first 10 or so questions. Taking a breather, she put her spontaneous intellectual bandwidth on display during the meet the players segment:

Alex: What’s the fascination for you and for Americans with finance?
Maria: I think that it’s an opportunity for all of us to know that we can have the American Dream. That we can invest in America, in business and have a feeling that we have an ownership of some business and hopefully watch that investment grow. It’s a (struggling with the next word) democratization of information and investing.

The key words are investment and business. After managing to sound like Ralph Wiggum when he said “Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and then the baby looked at me,” Maria prepares to enter the fray and answer a question. Baby steps.
Maria’s first time:
Category: The Capital, for $100
A: In 1989 hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators were killed by the military at Tiananmen Square in this capital.
Q: Maria buzzes in and makes a face for five seconds. A five second face, to her dismay, is incorrect. Armed with a functioning buzzer, Maria prepares to actually verbalize a question next time.
Maria does end up getting two questions right in a flurry at the end of the round, and manages to finish ahead of (and look slightly less retarded than) Kweisi, who ingeniously answered that “Montebello” was the name of Thomas Jefferson’s estate instead of “Monticello.”
Stay tuned for Maria's revenge in Double Jeopardy after the jump, along with the coveted YouTube clip of the entire episode (believe me, you want to know what went down in Final Jeopardy).


Maria is ready to make her run at Anderson, in Double Jeopardy. Her first swing:
Category: The Mole, for $200
A: Most moles destroy gardens & lawns searching for insect larvae or these “global” worms.
Q: Maria buzzes quickly and spurts out “Computer worms! What is computer worms.” Both are incorrect, and suggest recent head trauma. The correct question, especially with the “GLOBAL” hint, is “What are EARTH worms?”
Category: N”AA”CP, for $800 (the category was a stupidly irrelevant shout out to Mfume that meant all questions have a double A in them, like the word aardvark)
A: “Blah, blah, blah…the nation’s first fashion magazine.”
Q: Maria buzzes, “What is Vogue?” Alex shoots her down. Anderson chimes in with the answer “Harper’s Bazaar,” because it is the only fashion magazine with 15,000 “A”s in its title. He is, remarkably, correct. Alex reminds the contestants that all answers must have those two As in them. Maria acts as if the mysteries of the universe have just been unveiled to her.
In the end, the N”AA”CP category proved that by buzzing in every answer and saying, “What is an aardvark?” you would have got one more question right than Maria Bartiromo.
Maria finished the game with $0, but since the game was for charity, Alex quickly interjected, “Because we wanted you to be around for Final Jeopardy, Maria, we gave you $1,000.”
The most amazing answer (and by answer I mean question…god I hate talking about fucking Jeopardy) of the night came during Final Jeopardy, and not from Maria, to everyone’s shock. Here was the exchange:
Final Jeopardy Answer: Element 79 on the periodic table, all of this metal ever mined in the world would only fill a cube 50 feet across.
Musical interlude. Now, the questions.
Maria: What is Platinum? (we can’t really begrudge her for this guess, Maria loves her bling) Wrong.
Kweisi: What is Plutonium? (being that we’re fighting wars over less than teaspoons of the stuff, it’s pretty unlikely, but it’s not as bad as…wait for it…) Wrong.
Anderson: What (conspicuous absence of the word “is”) Coltan. Ouch.
That’s right kids, Anderson Cooper in full endorsement of periodic table element Coltan. Anderson justified his answer much like an SNL parody, saying that “There’s something they mine in the Congo and put it in computers.” That is the plot of the Michael Crichton book “Congo,” at least.
The correct question was “What is gold?” which isn’t all that intuitive.
Speaking of gold, here it is:

Part I of the program can be viewed here.
This proves that all three of the contestants are in fact far less clever than this guy.

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