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December 19, 2014

The Final Wager – Fri 19 Dec 2014

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It’s Friday, and I’m happy with our Final Wagers – yet, I’m still moderately displeased.The Final Wager – December 19, 2014

There’s a pretty boneheaded math error in the video. Ten points if you can find it.

Here are our scores heading into Final:

Kevin Hozey Allison Fraser Chris Trumpy
8,400 20,000 5,000

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy! category is:


Now let’s see what each player should do. Remember, we save the dollar changes until the end.

First-order calculations

Second doubles up

To keep Kevin locked out, Allison can wager up to 3,200.

Third doubles up

A successful doubling will put Chris at 10,000. To cover this, Kevin should wager 1,600.

Chris needs to wager at least 3,401 to force Kevin to respond correctly.

Easy enough.

The Final Wager

Now let’s switch over to The Penultimate Wager. Allison had a commanding lead and one clue remaining on the board.

I’m have no idea why no one went hunting once we were down to the last category; go for the gusto, people!

Kevin Allison Chris
8,400 16,000 5,000

The Penultimate Wager

I highly doubted we’d get to that last $2,000 clue, and if there had been any room for error, Allison could have eliminated it by stalling with the wager and the response (she did a good job on both).

Assuming this is the last clue, she needs to wager 801 to lock up the game. She does have some upside potential, but she needs to take two requirements into account:

1) Keep third place locked out
2) Maintain the “crush” against second

Let’s look at each in turn.

Keep third place locked out

Third place is only in contention if his score is greater than first minus second. Another way to say this is first must have more than second plus third to keep third out of it.

8,400 + 5,000 = 13,400, so Allison should cap her wager at 2,599.

Maintain the “crush” against second

A “crush” is when second place has more than 1/2 but less than 2/3 of first’s total. In this situation, with proper wagering, the only way first can lose is if he misses and second gets it right.

The cut-off point for a crush is also the 2/3 break point. To calculate what amount Allison can have to keep the crush in place, multiply Kevin’s score by 3/2 – to do this, you can add half of his score to his present total.

8,400 + 4,200 = 12,600

That’s less than the total Allison needs against Chris, so 2,599 remains the cap.

What actually happened

Penultimate wagering December 19, 2014

Allison wagered too much. Even if she thinks we will get to that final clue, tack on the extra 801 to make it a lock no matter what happens with that $2,000 answer.

But she has the cash! And good for her.

The Final Jeopardy! clue



Correct response: Show


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  1. Blake permalink

    Christ had to bet at least 3401 but you put 3601

What do you think?