Obama Focus Trips Up Jeopardy Contestant

UrbanDaddy DC boss falls just short of winning.

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Jeopardy isn't often kind to Washington contestants, especially those in the political and news business. But this week, Jeff Dufour, a D.C. journalist and boss of the lifestyle site UrbanDaddy D.C., stood on top of the heap going into Final Jeopardy.

When the final topic was announced as "2011 Events," it gave his fans in Washington something to cheer about. After all, the country's news hub is all about current events.

After the break, Alex Trebek unveiled the question: "To mark an historic visit, on May 17 an Irish army band played this song followed by Ireland's anthem?" All three candidates seized on the key clue, "Irish army band." [Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

The third place and second place contestant got it, writing "God save the queen," a reference to Queen Elizabeth II's unprecedented trip last May to the shamrock colony.

Dufour, though, took a thoroughly Washington route, recalling instead that other big event—President Obama's trip to Ireland just a week later. His song of choice: "Hail to the Chief."

Says Dufour, "The queen didn't dawn on me until about 10 seconds after time expired." See all the episode's questions here.

As a result, he ended up with $10,799 to the winner's $16,001.

Catching up with him today, Dufour shrugs, "No matter how much you study, nothing you do can prepare you to face a question worth 18 grand. Also, nothing you do can prepare you for the moment you get that question wrong."[See a slide show of 10 reasons Obama should be re-elected.]

Not that he didn't practice, of course. Dufour tells us that he studied two years of questions and answers, read all-time champ Ken Jennings' book, and reached out to a local three-time Jeopardy champ, the Weekly Standard's Nick Swezey .

"I've always been a trivia buff and a Jeopardy junkie, basically," says Dufour. "I took the online test for the hell of it in February, and by late August I was in L.A."

  • See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.
  • See editorial cartoons about President Obama.
  • See who's been visiting the White House.