I haven't seen yesterday's Jeopardy yet. But I've read about it, and I've glanced at the J-Archive page for it. And I must say one thing:
In 2002, I set the single day record on Jeopardy, in the process becoming the first player to score $50,000. Since then, if I'm not mistaken, 3 other regular season players have broken the 50G mark, in each case setting a new one day record:
Brian Weikle (2003): $52,000
Ken Jennings (2004): $75,000
Roger Craig (2010): $77,000
(Last season also saw 2 celebrities break the 50G barrier: Andy Richter and Pat Sajak. I think there have also been teen or college players to do it. I'd like to know for sure.)
My record-setting performance relied heavily on gutsy wagering. About half of my score was obtained through Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy. Going into FJ, I led a single opponent 39,000 to 2,000. I wagered for a nice, round number. I don't think I ever seriously considered a much higher wager, although it did cross my mind. Setting the single-day record had been my goal since I started seriously considering getting on the show, and had I known that visualization was so powerful, I'd have focused on being a 5-time champ too!
The key to getting the single-day record is a willingness to bet big. The other three guys to have done it had Coryat scores of around 35,000, which for Ken and Roger was less than half of their ultimate winnings. A good FJ wager will put you over the top, but to get within striking range you'll have to master a Daily Double or 2 also. Roger demonstrated that he knew how to get it done on his first episode. He was running away with the game in the middle of Double Jeopardy when he hit the chemical elements Daily Double. I have to imagine he figured out that the clue would be a symbol and a hint to the name of the element. If you know all the element/symbol pairs, or even most of them, a large wager is the right thing to do. You can put the game away, and guarantee yourself a big payday. Which he did.
He also made it a True Daily Double in the Jeopardy round. Here's another point. If you hit the DD in the first round, you should always bet everything, unless it's a category you feel very weak in. The material is easier, and if you have the knowledge base to get on the show, you will probably know the correct response. And even if you do miss, there's plenty of money in Double Jeopardy to catch up.
Roger, I hope you go far. You're already playing like a champion.
In honor of the occasion, I have put my first game of Jeopardy up on YouTube. It's in four parts:
I'd put up the second game, but the disk it's on won't read. (Spoiler: I lose.)