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November 12, 2014

The Final Wager – 2014 TOC QF #3

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With Arthur Chu’s quarterfinal in the can, we now turn our attention to Julia Collins. Will Joshua Brakhage and Jim Coury come out swinging?The Final Wager – November 12, 2014

Be sure to check out my preview of this game.

Julia’s taking this lead into Final, with Joshua still with a shot to take the automatic berth. Here are the scores:

Julia Collins: 16,200
Joshua Brakhage: 11,600
Jim Coury: 2,800

The Final Jeopardy! category: THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

Before we begin, I want to show the detail of the shirt I wear in the video. Julia had mentioned she’d be making shirts for family and friends who made the trip to the TOC taping, and there were over a dozen of these in the audience.

Julia Collins CHAMP T-Shirt

All right – let’s look at wagers.

First off, Jim should wager everything.

Basic strategy – first vs. second

Julia should wager 7,001 to cover Joshua.

Joshua can wager up to 2,400 to stay above Julia if they’re both wrong and she goes big.

Basic strategy – second vs. third

Joshua can wager up to 6,000 to remain at or above Jim’s final total.

Basic strategy – Rule #3

Joshua should wager at least 4,601 to cover a zero wager by Julia.

Mind games – first vs. second

If Joshua wagers 2,400, his total will be 14,000. In response, Julia might cap her wager at 2,199.

Or, if she thinks Joshua might wager 6,000, she could wager 1,401.

What actually happened

So Julia goes big, and in doing so, falls to a vulnerable second position on our wild-card leaderboard.

Apparently, she didn’t think 16,200 was good enough for a wild card. She has evidence: there have been several times when the wild-card cutoff was above this score. Overall, however, the trend has been down ever since dollar values were doubled in 2001.

2014 TOC wild cards QF3

Tomorrow’s match pits 8-timer Drew Horwood against College Champ Terry O’Shea and 5-timer Sarah McNitt. Here’s a preview.

The Final Jeopardy! clue



Correct response: Show


  1. Kelly permalink

    In the chart you made an error by putting Jim Coury’s score as 5,800 instead of 5.600

  2. Jon permalink

    Still think that any wager at all for Julia was a mistake. $16,200 is practically a lock into the semis. She is in a very dangerous position at $9100.

  3. TracyB permalink

    She lucked out. She shouldn’t have wagered anything. Maybe $1000, tops.

What do you think?