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New Jersey Congressman Tops Watson, The 'Jeopardy' Computer

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Turns out all it took to best the Jeopardy-winning computer was a real-life Garden State rocket scientist.

WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reports


Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey is just such a scientist. The congressman topped the IBM computer named Watson on Monday night in a "Jeopardy" exhibition match held in a Washington hotel.

Holt said it was fun to beat the heralded computer. He also pointed out the importance of math and science education to the America's future.

RELATED: IBM's Watson Heads From 'Jeopardy!' To Columbia University Medical Center

"I had no strategy last night because I had no idea how they were going to do it," Holt told CBS News.  The Congressman said he didn't study or plan for the competition, he just "figured it would be fun."

"You know I'm interested as a scientist.  I'm interested in how they designed this thing and it's fun to look at how it thinks," Holt said.

The Democrat from the Princeton area built a lead in categories including "Presidential Rhyme Time," in which the correct response to "Herbert's military strategy" was "Hoover's maneuvers." The congressman also correctly identified hippophobia as the fear of horses.

Watson beat him to the buzzer with the answer "love" when prompted on what Ambrose Bierce described as "a temporary insanity curable by marriage."

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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