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November 21, 2014

The Final Wager – 2014 TOC Finals #2

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I ranked yesterday’s opener to this TOC Finals as the third most competitive game since the clue values doubled in 2001. Will today’s game follow suit?The Final Wager – November 21, 2014

Not so much; it feels like some fatigue set in, likely induced by sickness for Julia (at least). Here are our scores heading into Final on the second day:

Ben Ingram: 6,600
Arthur Chu: 10,400
Julia Collins: 7,600

The Final Jeopardy! category: SHAKESPEAREAN GEOGRAPHY

Remember, the scores from yesterday will be added to today’s to determine our champion.

As I explain in my guide to two-day final matches, we start by deducing each player’s position.

Final Jeopardy wagering November 21, 2014 maximum

Ben has the lead, which will not surprise you if you recall that Arthur needed to be ahead by at least 5,000 to have control of his own destiny. Arthur has an advantage of just 3,800 today, 1,201 short of where he needs to be.

Julia, with a maximum score of 21,600, cannot win, since Ben had 25,600 yesterday.

Basic strategy – first vs. second

Ben should wager 4,201 to cover Arthur.

In response, Arthur will need to get it right and wager at least 2,000 to cover Ben should Ben miss.

Final Jeopardy wagering November 21, 2014 Rule 1AB Final Jeopardy wagering November 21, 2014 Rule 2AB

In a normal game, I’d advise Arthur to wager everything, but since there’s a significant difference between second and third place in terms of prize money – $50,000 – he could consider hedging on the downside.

Basic strategy – second vs. third

If Julia doubles up, she’ll have a two-day total of 21,600. Arthur will want to remain at or above that total to guarantee second place, resulting in a maximum wager of 4,400.

If Arthur goes for broke and misses, however, Julia can overtake him with a correct response and a wager of at least 1,601. (Since she has to get it right, she might as well wager everything.)

Final Jeopardy wagering November 21, 2014 Rule 1BC Final Jeopardy wagering November 21, 2014 Rule 2BC

Mind games

If Arthur goes for that 4,400 maximum, Ben can stay above him with a wager of at most 1,799. This one gets two question marks, though, as an extremely sketchy wager.

Final Jeopardy wagering November 21, 2014 Rule 5AB

I think it’s a shame the producers reveal from low to high on the Day Two scores, rather than who is in the “lead” over both days. This is a rare case where it provided some extra drama.

What actually happened

Congratulations to Ben Ingram, as well as to Arthur (who wins $100,000) and Julia ($50,000), not to mention the rest of this field. What a fantastic tournament – it’ll be a bit of a letdown to go back to regular play, even if we do have a rule change coming up that will alter the face of The Final Wager.

And if you think Arthur is upset about this outcome… maybe?

The Final Jeopardy! clue



Correct response: Show


  1. Can you tell us about the rule change, or is it embargoed until the show where it kicks in?

    • I know nothing officially, but I gather it starts Monday and will be the same tiebreaker format as tournament play

      • Blake permalink

        Keith interesting fact, I saw the three games in California after this and at the start of the first game Alex said, We have a great champion in Ben Ingram, now Alex spoiled the ToC which i have been waiting for all year :( LOL

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