Grumpy Bulldog has finally started pulling his weight in this Blogathon, via his excellent suggestions that I incorporate something like "Final Jeopardy!" where you can wager points, and also by his suggestion that I incorporate a Whammy. I didn't know what that latter was, but he suggested I look it up, and I did, and here it is:
The Whammy! on Press Your Luck turns out to be something I already knew about and that clip confirmed it; a little under 2 years ago I...
... I need to take a moment here to point out to mention to Rusty Webb that I just used a semicolon and it was awesome. Rusty's a rabid antisemicolonite, probably because Wookies don't have semicolons in their language...
... anyway, a little under 2 years ago I listened to this podcast of This American Life, in which they investigated (in part) Michael Larson's run on Press Your Luck. What Larson is said to have done (and he did this in the era of VCRs and crummy TSR-80 computers, making it more remarkable) is to have memorized the six patterns of lights on Press Your Luck -- (some sites say there were only 5 patterns)-- and having done that, he was able to time his button-pressing or whatever to avoid Whammys. The details of the show are on Wikipedia; Larson won $110,000 or so in prizes.
This raises the prospect, of course, that Grumpy is pulling a Michael Larson, in his zeal to take down reigning leader Andrew Leon. But I'm willing to chance that, since I'm making this up as I go along, and therefore am announcing that
EVERY SUNDAY'S QUESTION WILL BE A WHAMMY QUESTION, which will work as follows:
On Saturday, I will remind you that the next day is a Whammy question, and in your comments, you will have to wager points. If you have at least 100 points, you can wager up to the total points you have.
If you have under 100 points, you can wager 100 points.
You make that bet, as on Final Jeopardy!, without knowing what Sunday's question will be.
THEN, on Sunday, I will post the question, but you don't comment to answer: Instead, you will email me your answer, and everybody who gets it correct gets the points they wagered -- while if you get it wrong, you lose points.
One proviso: You will not be allowed to go below zero points; if losing your wager would put you below zero, you'll stop at zero -- so people with less than 100 points have nothing to lose and everything to gain by wagering 100.
TWO provisos: If you are currently in the lead, your wager cannot be more than the highest amount of points wagered by other contestants. You can wager less, but if you wager more than the highest amount someone else wagers, your wager will be automatically reduced to the highest amount wagered.
THREE provisos: I have put a Whammy! after all. My email uses a time-stamp that I can use to determine the order of the emails. You will have until the Monday question is posted to email your WHAMMY! answer to me (and I may post the question early or late, as you know.) Answers received after the Monday question is posted will lose the points as though they had gotten the answer wrong (assuming you wagered). That's not the Whammy!, though.
This is the WHAMMY!: When I post Saturday's question, I will also post a random number between 1-5. If your email is that number, you Whammy! and lose the points, even if you got it right.
Got it? Have I made this complicated enough? Seems so. But you have a few days to mull it over.
Here's today's question, worth 20 points.
In The Empire Strikes Back, what did C-3PO announce he had isolated on the Millennium Falcon?
A. The Higgs Boson
B. The fuel drive stabilizer.
C. The reverse powerflux coupling.
D. HAL 9000.
E. The restraining bolt.
Everyone loves a good C-3PO question, don't they? Commenter number 4 gets 10 extra points, if he or she isn't commenter 3, also.
UPDATE: Andrew Leon got the points yesterday; I'm assuming he's right about Kaminoans. He's right about everything Star Warsian. That's why he's leading, people. Also: If you think you deserve points that haven't been awarded, let me know. I'm trying to keep up with things, but I've only got two nonrobotic hands, and I don't trust the robotic hands to do anything these days.
The official standings are here.