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February 15, 2016

Final Jeopardy! wagering analysis:
Monday, February 15, 2016

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We’re back to regular play… and, I’m happy to say, to the Aleve ad before Final Jeopardy!.

One dollar to anyone who can name our returning champion. Apparently I can’t even get his name right on the video. So sorry, Chris!

He lost the lead on the 21st and final clue(!!!!) of Double Jeopardy!. Hey, remember when people got mad at Niki for being “rude” to Alex?

Chris

Becker (1x)

Ramona

Riddles

Sarah

Wright

10,000 5,000 10,600

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy! category is:

FAMOUS PHRASES

When one player has exactly half another player’s total, things are going to get messy.

First-order calculations

Sarah can go either really big, or really small. Chris could sit tight.

Chris
Ramona
Sarah
10,000 5,000 10,600
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
8,800 3,800 9,400
0 5,000 600

Second-order calculations

Now we start to fill in the “tie” wagers…

Chris
Ramona
Sarah
10,000 5,000 10,600
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
8,800 3,800 3,800 9,400
0 5,000 600 600
1,200 1,200

Zero wagers

Score differences:
Sarah and Chris: 600
Sarah and Ramona: 5,600
Chris and Ramona: 5,000

Chris
Ramona
Sarah
10,000 5,000 10,600
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
0 3,800 3,800 9,400
1,200 1,200 5,000 600 600
5,000

…and now everyone has the opportunity to wager for a tie. Or not.

What actually happened

Chris Ramona Sarah
10,000 5,000 10,600
601 5,000 5,000
9,399 0 5,600
min max min max min max
1,200 ! 5,000 ! 9,400 9,401
0 1 3,800 3,801 599 600
4,999

Well, only Ramona took that opportunity – and she’s the only one who made a good wager. Chris might as well wager 1,200 to cover that small range out of Sarah.

In any event, Chris has now won 2 games and $27,798 – and he’ll be back tomorrow.

The Final Jeopardy! clue

FAMOUS PHRASES
IN ONE VERSION OF A 19th C. QUOTE, “THERE IS ROOM AND HEALTH…AWAY FROM THE CROWDS” SO YOU’RE URGED TO DO THESE 2 WORDS

Correct response: Show

The Final Wager – February 15, 2016
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4 Comments
  1. Why didn’t you like Sam / Chris’s wager?

    • I’d rate Sarah’s / Sarah’s incentive to wager $598 or $599 as much higher than normal. The $601 bet doesn’t cover that possibility with similar downside risk.

      • Okay, I can see that. But how many contestants in Sarah’s position would make such a wager? (Granted, more than would have before the advent of your site).

      • No idea how many players would wager small. I think you’re going about it backwards, though: you have to calculate the feasible ranges first, then decide which option is most likely to net you a victory.

What do you think?