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December 30, 2014

The Final Wager – Tue 30 Dec 2014

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My mom asked me to recreate her favorite moment of my Jeopardy! career – with unfortunate consequences.The Final Wager – December 30, 2014

Once again, we’re on the precipice of breaking our 3xer drought. Will Vaughn Winchell be the one to snap it?

After a defensive Antepenultimate Wager, he’s got a sizable lead – but could still lose by default with an incorrect Final response.

Vaughn Winchell Marcia Kuipers Dan Eling
18,200 13,200 11,800

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy! category is:


As for the issue, my window came off its track (probably due to the 10-degree temperature) and wouldn’t go back up. Alas. It will sit in the garage.

First-order calculations

Second doubles up

If Marcia doubles her score, she’ll have 26,400. To cover this all-in wager, Vaughn will need to wager 8,200.

An incorrect response with that wager will leave Vaughn with 10,000. Marcia can wager up to 3,200, and Dan can wager up to 1,800.

Third doubles up

A successful doubling will put Dan at 23,600. To cover this, Marcia needs to wager far too much to stay above a miss by Vaughn, so she should just go all-in.

Second-order calculations

Second’s max vs. first

If Marcia makes the rational maximum wager of 3,200, Vaughn will need to wager 1,800 to stay above her. It’s a lot, however, to expect both opponents will wager small.

Third’s max vs. first

If she’s thinking defensively, Marcia should put up at least 400 to cover Dan.

Zero wagers

The 1,400 difference between Marcia and Dan should play into the calculations of both.

What actually happened

Vaughn would have also won had all three responses gone the wrong way, which is why Dan gets the pink here.

And with that, Ryan Alley’s curse is no more. Vaughn looks to break the 4xer curse on the final day of the year!

The Final Jeopardy! clue



Correct response: Show


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One Comment
  1. Pat Russell permalink

    See my 12/23 comment for details. In the last 10 games (counting tonight) we have the following result: In 3 cases all three got it right = easy. 4 cases of 1 right + 2 cases of 2 right = 6 ok and 1 case of 0 right = hard. So that’s a “final jeopardy degree of difficulty = just right” score of 60%.

    This is the first time the score has dropped below 70% since I started performing this calculation.

What do you think?