You can learn a lot watching “Jeopardy.” I’ve learned I’m pretty dumb and I should have paid more attention in school. Sometimes you get pleasantly surprised when you discover one of the brainiacs playing is from your hometown and your city gets namechecked.

Such was the case on Monday (2/8/21) when John Focht was one of the contestants. John, known to acquaintances, friends and family as TK, is a Coronado High School alumn introduced as “from El Paso, Texas” but according to his social media he’s now living in Los Angeles.

Focht is also a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is one of those schools only true academically talented students, a.k.a. geniuses, can get into despite what your parents deluded you into thinking you could accomplish if you just studied harder.

In introducing John to the viewing audience, Ken Jennings, who has been filling in as host for now, described him as “a software team lead” in “sports” but my research determined it’s a little more complicated than that.

TK Focht
TK Focht

Focht is the Director of Baseball Systems Platforms for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As such he in charge of the software development team, and is responsible for things like the design, development, and support of all baseball systems. At least, that's what I think his job description consists of. I got lost after "the candidate must possess skills in".

So, yeah, he’s smart. And from what I’ve been able to deduce from comments of those who know him best, has always been a whiz. So, how did he do on Jeopardy?

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Well, for starters he destroyed his competitors and unseated the current champ. Going into the last round of the episode, which was taped this past December, John had accumulated $32,400, but ended up with less after an unsuccessful round of Final Jeopardy.

The question that tripped them all up was, ‘In a classic novel from 1866, the murders of 2 women take place in this city.’ Focht incorrectly answered Paris, settling for $24,800 and the win.

The correct answer, by the way, was ‘What is St. Petersburg?’ as the classic novel referenced was “Crime and Punishment.” I mean, duh, right? Why do I always get the answers right when I’m watching it all by myself?!

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