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February 4, 2014

Daily analysis, Tuesday, February 4 – Battle of the Decades game 2

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Earlier today, I predicted this would be a tight match. Was I right?The Final Wager - February 4, 2014

Well, yes and no. Leszek put a full 10,000 on the line on a late Daily Double, giving himself a commanding – but not insurmountable – lead heading into the ultimate clue. More on that below. (Jump to it!)

Leslie Frates: 13,800
Leszek Pawlowicz: 25,600
Andrew Westney: 13,600

The Final Jeopardy! category: 20th CENTURY WOMEN AUTHORS

Leszek needs to wager 2,001 to cover second-place Leslie.

Leslie and Andrew should wager everything, since they both need to respond correctly to have a chance. Leslie needs to wager 13,401 at a minimum to cover third-place Andrew.

I’m really confused by Leslie’s wager. It’s like she completely forgot about the other player. (Not the first time she’s given us a head-scratcher, of course.)

Oh, well – it’s a moot point. Far more interesting is Leszek’s huge Daily Double wager. Let’s look at that instead.

Leszek found the final Daily Double with three clues to play under the 1,600 level. The other two were worth 1,200 and 800. The scores:

Leslie Frates: 13,800
Leszek Pawlowicz: 16,000
Andrew Westney: 12,400

Leszek’s 10,000 put him in control with 26,000 against 13,800. However, the only way he can lock up the game before Final is by getting the last two clues correct (or get a miss out of Leslie).

If he wanted to take control of his own destiny, here are some suggested alternatives, since he was going to be in a distant third anyway:

1. Wager 15,601, and after you get it right, put the buzzer down. Leslie can’t get back in contention, even if she gets the last two (as assumed below).

2. Wager 11,601, and hope Leslie doesn’t get another clue (or that Andrew doesn’t get both of the last two clues).

3. Wager 13,201, and Leslie will need to get the 1,200 clue to have a shot. Even if she does, you can still lock her out by getting the 800 clue. I like this wager the best, actually. (The below assumes Leslie picks up only the 800.)

The Final Jeopardy! clue for February 4, 2014 (20th CENTURY WOMEN AUTHORS):


Correct response: Who was Shirley Jackson? (referring to The Lottery)

  1. Leszek Pawlowicz permalink

    Reasonable analysis. Now do it in 5 seconds without a calculator while Alex is staring at you and waiting for your wager ;-).

    As a physics major / materials science Ph.D., it was the best category for me that night, so making a large wager wasn’t as big a gamble as you might think.

    • Ha! What I haven’t admitted here is that I messed up a Daily Double wager once, too. To adapt the old adage, when you’re in your living room, Alex gives you as much time as you need :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Leszek – looking forward to seeing you in the rest of the tournament!

  2. Leszek Pawlowicz permalink

    The larger-than-needed Final Jeopardy wager was done to simplify the math for me. Betting a bit more than needed wasn’t going to make a huge difference … and it saved me from a potentially fatal mistake. When making my Final J! wager, I misread Leslie’s total as 12,800, and made my wager based on Andy’s total. Locked it in, and only then noticed that I had misread Leslie’s amount. If I had made the “correct” wager based on Andy’s total, and Leslie had wagered the correct amount and gotten it right, I would have gone down in history as having made one of the worst wagers in J! history. I will not repeat this error :).

  3. Blake permalink

    Leslie wagered 9801 because if Leszek missed with 2001 he will have 23599 so Leslie wagered to get to23601 if she answers correctly and Andrew and Leszek miss.

What do you think?