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Wednesday
Feb162011

Watson the Computer Has Comfortable Lead on 'Jeopardy!'

Photo Courtesy - IBM(LOS ANGELES) -- On the second day of the "man vs. machine" competition on Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter proved to be no match for the IBM supercomputer known as Watson.

Watson crushed his human opponents on Tuesday night's edition of Jeopardy!, raising its overall total to $35,734.  Rutter has $10,400 entering the final day of competition on Wednesday, while Jennings has $4,800.

Watson provided an unusual but amusing moment when it wagered $6,435 on a "Daily Double" question.  The audience laughed at the apparently random wager, and host Alex Trebek quipped, "I won't ask."

Watson entered another odd wager during "Final Jeopardy" -- $947 -- which it lost after giving an incorrect response to the following "answer": "Its largest airport is named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle."  Jennings and Rutter, the two most successful contestants in Jeopardy! history, both correctly responded Chicago, but Watson guessed, "What is Toronto?????," with five question marks -- a sign the computer wasn't sure of its answer.

Tuesday's match-up was a continuation of the game that aired Monday night.  The third and final battle between Jennings, Rutter and Watson will air Wednesday.  The winner receives $1 million, with the runner-up getting $300,000 and the third-place finisher receiving $200,000.  IBM will donate all of its winnings to charity, and Jennings and Rutter will donate 50 percent of their take to charity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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