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November 12, 2014

2014 TOC preview: Quarterfinal #4

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After Thursday’s match, we’ll know the identities of six semifinalists: the four winners and two of the wild cards, since the two highest scores can’t be eliminated on Friday. How many of tonight’s candidates – 8-timer Drew Horwood, College Champ Terry O’Shea, and 5-timer Sarah McNitt – will punch a semifinal ticket?

Drew Terry Sarah

Each of our three players had peculiar wagering tendencies.

Drew Horwood

8 wins, $138,100

Drew Horwood Alex Trebek

Had I been doing The Final Wager in Season 29, Drew’s games would have given me quite a bit of work. He had a roller-coaster ride in his streak – he didn’t have a single lock until his eighth(!) victory, which is surely a record. It’s tough to string together multiple wins when each game comes down to that crapshoot known as Final Jeopardy!.

Drew went for the win +$1 in crush situations in Games 5 and 6.

(Complete list on J! Archive)

Game 1 (March 5, 2013)

Dylan Drew Ilene
16,200 8,500 11,800
7,400 8,498 3,000
8,800 16,998 14,800

Properly going for (almost) everything… and reaping the benefit of a too-small wager out of Ilene.

Game 2 (March 6, 2013)

Drew Jon Lorraine
9,800 9,600 9,300
9,401 9,001 8,500
19,201 18,601 17,800

A tight game in which I would have been ecstatic over all three players’ wagers.

Game 3 (March 7, 2013)

Drew Lloyd Jennifer
14,800 15,400 11,800
13,000 14,201 5,000
27,800 1,199 16,800

Another good wager here out of Drew.

Given the scores and wagers, and assuming coin-flip probabilities of getting Final Jeopardy! correct, his odds of winning these three games were .25 * .5 * .25, or 3.125%.

Game 4 (March 8, 2013)

Drew Mike Yellowlees
15,200 11,800 10,200
8,401 8,601 7,000
6,799 3,199 3,200

Bad wager out of third.

Game 7 (March 13, 2013)

Drew Jillian David
16,300 5,200 15,600
2 1,000 10,399
16,298 6,200 5,201

Here’s where things get interesting. This is not quite a Brakhagesque wager – I would have preferred 699 or 700 – but Drew was anticipating David would wager to cover him by a dollar.

Game 9 (March 15, 2013)

Drew Kathleen Rob
2,400 11,200 18,000
0 6,801 4,500
2,400 4,399 22,500

Not much to do here; I suppose 2,001 would have been better, but Kathleen should have bet the farm.

Terry O’Shea

2014 College Champion, $100,000

Terry O'Shea Alex Trebek

Terry is the other College Champ to appear in this year’s Tournament of Champions, hot on the heels of Jim Coury in Wednesday’s match.

A bit of controversy surrounded her win in February, after she admitted that her smaller-than-necessary wager in the Final match was the result of “not feeling that I really deserved to win, or be in the finals at all.”

(Complete list on The Final Wager and J! Archive)

Quarterfinal (February 12, 2014)

Kenesha Terry Kevin
2,200 15,400 10,800
2,200 2,000 4,601
4,400 17,400 15,401

A conservative wager for the wild card – and the right one, in the end.

Semifinal (February 18, 2014)

Terry Ben Eric
12,000 19,800 7,200
7,900 4,201 7,200
19,900 15,599 0

The sole get on this Final gave Terry the win. No reason not to go for everything, of course…

Sarah McNitt

5 wins, $89,398

Sarah McNitt Alex Trebek

Sarah McNitt needs no introduction, at least to fans of The Final Wager: she was the subject of my favorite analysis of Season 30.

I’m thankful that she’s been quite cool about the “4,000” meme; it even got a mention in this article celebrating her return.

Sarah had only one lock, in her fifth game.

(Complete list on The Final Wager and J! Archive)

Game 1 (January 14, 2014)

Michelle Sarah Osei
8,400 11,800 2,400
5,002 4,000 2,300
13,402 15,800 4,700

I’m just going to let my brother, Cory, do all of the talking…

Cory WHAAAAAT

Game 2 (January 15, 2014)

Sarah Emily Danny
16,600 7,000 13,900
4,000 6,912 11,000
12,600 88 2,900

Weird – this one actually worked out for her!

Cory WHAAAAAT

Game 3 (January 16, 2014)

Sarah Gudrun Stacy
13,600 1,200 10,400
4,000 1,100 7,600
17,600 2,300 2,800

By game 3, Stacy had caught on to Sarah’s tendencies, and wagered accordingly.

Cory WHAAAAAT

Game 4 (January 17, 2014)

Sarah Jen Geoff
13,200 1,600 24,500
9,999 1,599 2,500
23,199 3,199 22,000

Hey now!

Game 6 (January 21, 2014)

Sarah Priscilla Emily
11,400 11,000 9,400
302 7,000 9,000
11,098 18,000 400

Sarah must have known this would be a weak category for her, so she pinned her hopes on both opponents missing (or making far-too-small wagers).

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