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January 9, 2014

Daily analysis, Thursday, January 9

Round and round the carousel goes …The Final Wager - January 9, 2014

… and it won’t be stopping tonight, with our champion’s low total heading into Final.

Dinu Nesan: 2,800
Marika Kuspa: 13,200
Seth Tribble: 17,600

The Final Jeopardy! category: MAGAZINES

Dinu’s out of contention – he has less than the difference between first and second – so let’s look at our other two players.

Seth, to cover Marika, will need to wager at least 8,800.

Marika, to stay above Seth if they’re both wrong, can wager at most 4,400. However, notice that to cover a zero wager by Seth, she’ll have to wager at least 4,400. At most but no more than 4,400? She MUST wager 4,400!

So we return to Seth. Seth must wager 8,800 exactly. A dollar at more puts him at grave risk losing by the slightest of margins.

The reason is that Marika has exactly 3/4 of Seth’s total – a wager-to-tie scenario I covered in Part Two of my Tutorial.

Both Seth and Marika have alternative wagers, but it’s a stretch to assume an opponent will recognize the 3/4 situation. (Recognizing the 2/3 scenario is much more likely, I feel.)

In the end, they both screwed up – Marika much worse than Seth.

The Final Jeopardy! clue for January 9, 2014 (MAGAZINES):

THIS TITLE, LAUNCHED IN EARLY 1930, SEEMED AT ODDS WITH THE GREAT DEPRESSION IN SUBJECT & $1 COVER PRICE

Correct response: What is Fortune?

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