Rep. Holt defeats IBM computer at Jeopardy!

March 2, 2011 at 4:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., has beaten IBM's Watson computer at Jeopardy!

Holt, a physicist at Princeton University's Plasma Physics Lab before he entered Congress, was a five-time Jeopardy! winner 35 years ago, back in the days when the game show was strictly for humans. Many of his constituents sport bumper stickers that read "My congressman IS a rocket scientist."

Holt and U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., took on Watson in an exhibition match Monday in Washington, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported. Holt walked away with $8,600 and Watson with $6,200, while Cassidy came in third.

Before the match, Holt downplayed his chances, The Times of Trenton reported.

"Tonight I get to play 'Jeopardy!' against the colossus Watson," his Facebook page said. "Fortunately it's just for fun, and my humiliation will not be televised."

Afterward, he sent out a triumphant Tweet: "I played a full round against @IBMWatson tonight and was proud to hold my own."

In a later match, two more congressmen lost.

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