Skip to content
May 15, 2014

Battle of the Decades: finals, game one

Battle of the Decades – knockout rounds
Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 1 2
preliminary round

We’re set to begin our preview of the finals, but first, let’s have a moment of silence for those who fell before us.

Praying to the buzzer gods

Thank you.

Now, let’s meet each of our finalists. I assume you’ve heard of them.

Battle of the Decades finalists

The final match is what Alex will certainly refer to as a “two-day total-point affair”.

Our trio will play two individual games. At the conclusion of the second match, the scores from each will be summed; whoever has the highest combined total will claim $1 million.

You can find all of this information in my tutorial on multi-day matches. As I point out there, the prevailing wisdom is to treat Final on the first day as a Daily Double that all three contestants get to play.

Let’s look at how each of our players have handled this limbo situation in the past. As we work from left to right on the lecterns, we see the histories get smaller.

Speaking of which: in the grand scheme of things, our players have tended toward smaller wagers. I highly doubt that will be the case in Thursday’s opener, given their aggression on Daily Doubles in previous rounds.

If I’m right, and our players go big on Day One, it will demonstrate a marked shift in strategy of how the game is played, just over the past decade or so.

(Note that the Ultimate Tournament of Champions had a three-day final match, the only time that format has been used.)

Brad Rutter

Tournament of Champions (11/01/01) [pre-doubled values]

CATEGORY: AMERICAN LITERATURE

Brad Rick Tad
6,000 6,500 3,300
3,500 3,500 2,000

Million Dollar Masters (05/13/02)

CATEGORY: WORD HISTORIES

Brad Bob V* Eric
15,800 10,400 7,600
4,000 3,600 7,600

I originally had this as a triple-get; thanks to Clint in the comments for pointing out my error.

UTOC semifinals (05/19/05)

CATEGORY: NUCLEAR POWER

Brad John Chris
14,200 8,000 7,200
4,200 5,500 2,800

UTOC finals, game 1/3 (05/23/05)

CATEGORY: IMAGES OF AMERICA

Brad Ken* Jerome*
14,200 13,000 12,400
4,200 3,000 4,000

UTOC finals, game 2/3 (05/24/05)

CATEGORY: LAW & SOCIETY

Brad Ken* Jerome*
15,000 11,000 8,200
5,000 1,000 5,000

IBM Challenge (02/15/11)

CATEGORY: U.S. CITIES

Brad Watson Ken*
5,400 36,681 2,400
5,000 947 2,400

Ken Jennings

UTOC finals, game 1/3 (05/23/05)

CATEGORY: IMAGES OF AMERICA

Ken Brad* Jerome*
13,000 14,200 12,400
3,000 4,200 4,000

UTOC finals, game 2/3 (05/24/05)

CATEGORY: LAW & SOCIETY

Ken Brad* Jerome*
11,000 15,000 8,200
1,000 5,000 5,000

IBM Challenge (02/15/11)

CATEGORY: U.S. CITIES

Ken Watson Brad*
2,400 36,681 5,400
2,400 947 5,000

Roger Craig

Tournament of Champions (11/14/01)

CATEGORY: THE PRESIDENTIAL CABINET

Roger Buddy Tom N*
43,200 11,000 9,400
6,800 5,000 9,400

If you made it this far, you deserve to know that my money’s on Brad.

One Comment
  1. clint permalink

    The three players got the FJ wrong in the M$M final game 1. Those numbers should be in pink, not green.

Leave a Reply to clint Cancel reply