WASHINGTON (Gray DC) Power Players week on Jeopardy is nearly over, but one Minnesota lawmaker made the most of his time under the bright lights.
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has long been a Jeopardy! fan, but this week he was a "Power Player”, on stage, in front of 1500 fans, and against some of the best minds in media, politics, and comedy.
"I’ve been watching Jeopardy! all my life,” said Franken. "I watched it as a child and so this is a great American cultural institution.”
Franken was fixed on his competition and felt good about most categories, but not all of them.
“(I wouldn’t do well with) anything with popular culture in the last eight years,” said Franken. "I’ve been running for the Senate, and in the Senate, for that long, and I’ve paid less attention to popular culture than I did at any time in my life.”
Despite the proximity of Franken’s home state to Alex Trebek’s home country, the Jeopardy! host made it clear he doesn’t play favorites.
"I’m not biased in favor of any contestant we have, in regular games or in celebrity games,” said Trebek.
Forget bias, Franken saw Trebek as part of the competition.
"I’m not worried about Trebek,” said Franken. “I think he will (give me some trouble), but I’m not worried about it.”
The contestants weren’t playing to win cash for themselves, but for the charity of their choice. Franken chose the United Services Organization (USO).
"An institution I’ve supported and I’ve actually had the honor of being associated with by doing a lot of USO shows. Best thing I’ve ever done,” said Franken.
Despite Trebek and the rest of the competition, Franken was the big winner. He went home with $50,000 for the USO.