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August 1, 2014

Daily analysis, Friday, August 1 – Teen Tournament Finals, Day Two

2014 Teen Tournament
Overview Teens in the TOC Joe Taglic interview
Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 1 2

It’s bittersweet that such a great tournament – and season – has to come to an end.The Final Wager – August 1, 2014

And with these scores, there might be some fireworks left. Yesterday’s scores are in parentheses; remember, we’ll add those to today’s totals to determine our winner.

Cooper Lair (200): 15,600
Alan Koolik (25,000): 14,600
Jeff Xie (15,000): 19,600

The Final Jeopardy! category: AWARDS & HONORS

Let’s start by seeing where each player stands.

Maximum scores

Cooper: 200 + 15,600 + 15,600 = 31,400
Alan: 25,000 + 14,600 + 14,600 = 54,200
Jeff: 15,000 + 19,600 + 19,600 = 54,200

I was able to figure this out so fast because of a simple trick: take half the difference of yesterday’s scores and compare with today’s scores. Alan was leading Jeff by 10,000 after Day One; half of that is 5,000. As I mentioned yesterday, Jeff would need to be leading Alan by MORE THAN 5,000 to be in the lead. He had exactly that difference.

Basic strategy


What actually happened

We then had to go to a tiebreaker clue (category: THE CIVIL WAR). Here’s the video:

Jeff buzzed in first and responded correctly, so he’s the champ. Congrats, Jeff – and to all of our players on a sensational tournament!

(Now, let the argument commence over whether Jeff deserves a place in the next TOC.)

ETA: I later got to hang out with Jeff and several other champions.

The Final Jeopardy! clue for August 1, 2014 (AWARDS & HONORS):


Correct response: Show


The tiebreaker clue (THE CIVIL WAR):


Correct response: Show


Thank you so much for reading the blog and watching the videos. It’s been a fun ride – what started out as a pet project to help out a friend became bigger than I ever imagined it would. We’ll see you next season!

One Comment
  1. mydogskips2 permalink

    Hello Keith, great analysis for the Final of the 2014 Jeopardy Teen Tournament.

    I completely agree with absolutely everything you said, well, except for one. I didn’t think this was a particularly exciting tournament. But this Final did make for quite a nail biter in the end.

    As soon as the game ended I was shocked by the possible scenarios which could have played out and had to stop my tape just to double check the scores and do the math on paper, even though I knew in my head what was possible.

    The final question was just way too easy and was a real disappointment to me. Fortunately both Alan and Jeff, and Cooper for that matter were able to wager correctly.

    I was also quite unsatisfied with how it ended with Jeff winning on the tie breaker question. It was just so quick and abrupt, and Alan looked as if he didn’t even know what was going on. Not a good way to decide the tournament in my opinion.

    I agree with you, the tie breaker question would have been a much better Final Jeopardy question.
    To be honest, even I didn’t know it, I thought it was Virginia.

    I’m sure you realize that had the Final Jeopardy question been very difficult and had both Alan and Jeff gotten it incorrect(while wagering everything which they were basically forced to), Cooper could have actually won the game/tournament, if he got the final right and wagered enough of course.

    Of course this didn’t happen, but it would have been quite an ironic ending. Well, maybe not. As Alex always says, the player in a distant third place going into the second game of the final match often ends up winning it all. I’m sure like me, you’ve seen it happen many times.

    I personally liked all three contestants even though they seemed to have very different personalities.

    I kind of want to say that I had a problem with Jeff’s exuberance and celebrations after winning his semifinal match, but I can’t. I mean I don’t think he was being disrespectful of any of the other contestants, but only genuinely excited and jubilant over his win.

    I was feeling very bad for Cooper, you could see his frustration and somewhat dejected body language, but I’m very glad things picked up for him in the latter parts of the last day. I’m happy he was able to make a respectable showing, get the final correct and pick up some substantial money. He does seem like a good kid, hopefully the 31K will cheer him up a bit.

    And as for Alan, unfortunately he didn’t finish up strongly and close out the game as he could have, but he obviously played great, for the most part.

    And congratulations to Jeff for the win, he too played great.

    Enjoy your break as you said, new games will start up soon enough.


What do you think?