The Final Wager – Mon 01 Dec 2014
It’s Kids Week, so that means we can expect groan-inducing strategy from our contestants. Right?
Wrong. Our scores heading into Final are moot…
Victoria Agrinya: 11,000
Will Harter: 11,800
Cerulean Ozarow: 25,200
The Final Jeopardy! category: TV CHARACTERS
…because of the wager that allowed Cerulean to lock things up before Final: an $11,000 True Daily Double.
I usually avoid discussion of Daily Doubles, because they are fickle beings. You play by yourself, and there’s often the unknowable future of how the rest of the board will shake out.
Others have been more bold. Devin Shelley, for example, crunched the numbers to suggest that bigger Daily Double wagers yield better probabilities of winning (to a certain point). You can find even deeper analysis here.
These stats come from Daily Doubles as a whole; the numbers surely increase the more confident you are with a category. Cerulean, having answered the first 8(!) clues in Double Jeopardy! correctly, must have liked his chances on the $1,600 clue in VOCABULARY.
Some contestants have become well-known for their aggressive play with Daily Doubles. There was Roger Craig, whose back-to-back True Daily Doubles in the Tournament of Champions Final gave him an insurmountable lead. Arthur Chu, too, used the concept (and its inverse, the $5 wager) to powerful effect. Of course, this came back to hurt them in later events, but everything needs to regress toward the mean at some point.
But that’s beside the point, which is: Leave it to a kid to show the adults how the game is played.
The Final Wagering
The Final Jeopardy! clue
THIS 8’2″ CHARACTER WHO MADE HIS DEBUT IN 1969 IS STILL GOING STRONG