Well, let’s start with the obvious. I’m thankful that I won $400,000 for about four days of work.
Even if you count the time I spent prepping for my original Jeopardy! run and for the Tournament of Champions as “work,” that’s still $400,000 for a couple months’ worth of work, which is a better hourly rate than I’ve ever had before in my life or will probably ever have in the future.
I’m thankful—how could I not be?—for the existence of things like TV game shows that give out huge cash prizes for knowing your Beyoncé lyrics, your U.S. state nicknames and your opera characters. I’m thankful for the ways I personally benefit from how capitalism does not make sense.
I’m thankful for other stuff, too. I’m thankful that the year I happened to be on Jeopardy! happened to be the year Jeopardy! was celebrating their 30th anniversary. Which not only meant that Sony Pictures Entertainment was spending more on marketing than in a normal year, but also meant that they were having the Battle of the Decades reunion matchup.