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February 21, 2015

All told, we’ve had worse weeks

This was a rather saddening week for Jeopardy! fans.

We started out with a two-day champion losing on an over-wager and ended with another two-day champion losing on an even worse over-wager.

Out of 15 tries, our contestants mustered just three correct Final Jeopardy! responses.

And we had two of the lowest winning amounts ever recorded: $1,599 on Monday, and $1,500 on Friday. Only once have the producers gotten away with smaller checks in the same week: back-to-back $1,300 paydays on February 2223, 2001, before the clue values doubled.

Jeopardy! final scores February 20, 2015

For the week, however, we didn’t do all that badly: our champions combined for $61,098 in winnings, better than at least 29 other weeks (adjusted for doubling) and far more than the $47,198 the second week of Season 24.

(The average weekly haul since Ken Jennings lost is just over $100,000.)

The total of 3 correct Final responses, too, pales in comparison to one very bad week in 1999: the closing week of Season 15. Thanks to the J! Archive, I’ve replicated that below.

In putting this together, I was able to get two right, so maybe they were particularly tough.

Monday, July 19, 1999

Vic Chandhok (1x) vs. Shane Richman vs. Mary Campbell (full game)

Vic Shane Mary
9,700 6,000 7,000
4,301 0 6,900
5,399 6,000 100
PLACE NAMES
ITS ORIGINAL NAME, WAI MOMI, & ITS CURRENT NAME BOTH COME FROM THE VALUABLE MOLLUSKS ONCE FOUND THERE
Correct response: Show

Tuesday, July 20, 1999

Shane Richman vs. Martha Raphelson vs. Paul Graff (full game)

Shane Martha Paul
5,700 9,800 5,600
5,700 1,700 2,700
0 8,100 2,900
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
THE FAMILY MONODONTIDAE IS COMPOSED OF 2 MEMBERS: THE BELUGA WHALE & THIS OTHER MARINE MAMMAL
Correct response: Show

Wednesday, July 21, 1999

Martha Raphelson vs. Diana Bush vs. Ed Case (full game)

Martha Diana Ed
7,500 1,700 6,900
6,400 1,000 6,900
13,900 700 0
THE NOBEL PRIZE
IT’S THE ONLY NOBEL CATEGORY IN WHICH THE PRIZE HAS NOT BEEN AWARDED TO A WOMAN
Correct response: Show

Thursday, July 22, 1999

Martha Raphelson vs. Jackie Wollner vs. Jason Scupine (full game)

Martha Jackie Jason
6,900 7,100 5,700
6,900 300 3,300
0 6,800 2,400
WORLD LEADERS
THIS COUNTRY’S LEADERS HAVE INCLUDED YUSOF BIN ISHAK, BENJAMIN SHEARES & LEE KUAN YEW
Correct response: Show

Friday, July 23, 1999

Jackie Wollner vs. Geoff Morley vs. Peter Senkbeil (full game)

Jackie would lose her third match – the first regular game of Season 16 – on, appropriately, a triple-stumper (one that was more or less reused recently).

Jackie Geoff Peter
7,400 1,900 2,900
1,100 1,900 901
6,300 0 1,999
PUBLICATIONS
HENRY NICHOLS’ “FOUR SEASONS” ENGRAVING HAS APPEARED ON THE COVER OF THIS PUBLICATION EACH YEAR SINCE 1851
Correct response: Show
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