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July 25, 2014

WHAAAAAAT was your favorite Final Wager of Season 30?

The Final Wager cover medley

By the time Jeopardy! Season 30 ends on August 1, I will have analyzed the wagering of all 230 episodes. Of those, 201 will have complementary videos. Most have been uneventful, but a few became instant classics.

Here are my favorites. Which is yours? Let me know in the comments!

Damian Henri and his leftover dollar

After a few weeks of making videos the classic way, I decided to watch an episode at the gym. I nearly flipped out on the treadmill after seeing the leader’s wager.

Gym problems, vol. 2

I went back soon thereafter, and was treated with some karmic retribution.

He went for the tie!

I had just published Part Four of my tutorial, which discussed three-player wager-to-tie situations. Lo and behold, Bill Tolany led in such a scenario. Would he withhold that extra dollar?

A bold flavor

My brother joined me for a few episodes around Christmas – and coined one of the classic phrases in Final Wager history, one that has entered my family’s vocabulary.


Sarah McNitt will return for the Tournament of Champions this fall. Her wager in her debut, however, left my brother and me at a loss for words. (I swear that wasn’t the alcohol talking.)

Arthur Chu’s tie game

Easily my most popular video, with over 70,000 views, screenshots from which appeared on news sites around the world.

Dan Pawson sneaks into my apartment

Dan Pawson, who lives in Brooklyn, stopped by my apartment after hearing I might have some harsh words to say about his wager.

You Had One Wager!

You’re in second place. The leader has exactly twice your score. What do you do? Not what this player did, I hope.

  1. Chuck C permalink

    July 8th … it’s not even a contest. :)

  2. Greg permalink

    Hands down, July 8. Completely captures the “what the WHAT?!?”-ness of that wager.

  3. I have to go along with the others for best bad wager – but I like the Arthur Chu tie, both as a very good wager and for the good lecture that goes with it. Process is more important than outcome because in the long run, process gets you outcome.

What do you think?