It was a disappointing finish Wednesday for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, who appeared for the second time on the popular game show "Jeopardy!"
Cordray came in second with $5,200, by betting everything in the "Final Jeopardy" round during the show's special "Battle of the Decades," competing for "1980s week."
The CFPB's top cop successfully used the same risky strategy in a daily double nearly three decades ago when he first appeared on the show. (Though as a federal government official Cordray stated beforehand that if he won anything this time, he wouldn't keep any of the money.)
Overall, Cordray performed well in the first round, controlling the board for much of the period and racking up more than $5,000. He fared particularly well in the category "In the City's Newspaper," correctly asking "What is the Columbus Dispatch?" after seeing the answer "Its Dispatch: Beagle Helps Ohio Zoos Tell If Polar Bear Pregnant." (It probably helped that Cordray is from Grove City, Ohio, and was that state's former attorney general.)
But Cordray struggled to maintain his momentum in the second round amid categories like "19th Century Opera" and "Back in the USSR," losing all his money and at some point dipping into negative territory. Cordray eventually recovered, winning the final $2,000 clue. He also successfully aced his final Jeopardy query, "Of the element symbols that don't match the element's English name, this element's English name is alphabetically first." (The correct answer was silver, or Ag.) But it wasn't enough to defeat Tom Nosek of Torrance, Calif., who won the battle with $7,201.
"These are some of the very top players of all time, and 'Jeopardy' always asks tough questions, so it was a tremendous challenge that I greatly enjoyed," Cordray said in a press release.
Rob Blackwell contributed to this article.