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May 4, 2016

Final Jeopardy! wagering analysis:
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 (Teachers QF #3)

2016 Teachers Tournament
QF1 QF2 QF3 QF4 QF5 SF1 SF2 SF3 F1 F2

After tonight’s match-up, our first two players will be knocked out. Who will they be?

Longtime friend of The Final Wager Jill Gilbert won’t be one of them; misses by her two opponents on the penultimate clue gave her the lock.







14,800 6,200 6,400

One thing I forgot to mention on the video is I really liked Hannah’s necklace, which was a golden triangle with a logarithmic spiral.

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy! category is:


Suggested wagers

Based on past non-winning scores in Teachers Tournament quarterfinals.

Jill Hannah Ian
14,800 6,200 6,400
20% confidence 0 0
30% confidence 5,600 6,400
40% confidence 5,600 6,400
50% confidence 5,600 6,400
60% confidence 5,600 6,400
70% confidence 5,600 6,400
80% confidence 5,600 6,400

Hannah and Ian should both go for broke.

What actually happened

Jill Hannah Ian
14,800 6,200 6,400
0 6,199 6,400
14,800 1 0

That’s what they both did; unfortunately, this clue, like last night’s, was difficult to parse (at least for me).

Quarterfinal winners:

  1. Chris Tempro
  2. Jason Sterlacci
  3. Jill Gilbert

Wild-card race:

  1. Lauren Gilmore – 11,000 (98%)
  2. Nicole Throckmorton – 5,000 (65%)
  3. Dianne Lee – 100 (2%)
  4. Hannah Krug – 1 (<1%)
  5. Greg Greenzweig – 0
  6. Ian Miller – 0

Percentage represents probability of advancing based on past Teachers Tournament data.

The Final Jeopardy! clue


Correct response: Show

The Final Wager – May 4, 2016
2016 Teachers Tournament
QF1 QF2 QF3 QF4 QF5 SF1 SF2 SF3 F1 F2

  1. Pat Russell permalink

    I agree it is not a great clue but it is also not the worst. “It’s surface features” got me to a moon or planet. Now I think I am pretty familiar with Solar System geography and I had not heard of any of these features. So I eliminated the Moon and Mars immediately. That left the obvious, Venus.

    You have correctly pointed out that the writers usually do not go for the obvious on $2000 DDs but they often do on a FW.

    Besides, I couldn’t think of anything else.

  2. I’m of the same opinion as Pat here. THE SOLAR SYSTEM is either going to ask you to name a major body in the solar system, or it will essentially be a mythology question.

    “Surface features” rules out anything gaseous, and the three namesake women mentioned have little to do with Greek/Roman mythology, so it’s unlikely one of the Galilean moons (which seem more consistently labeled with names that relate to the god Jupiter). There was a small chance that it could have been a moon of Uranus because Cleopatra is a Shakespearean character, but Mead and Baker have no relation to that. The only thing they DO have in common, actually, seems to be that they are women. So of the remaining viable options (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Titan, Pluto, and maybe a recently-in-the-news asteroid/comet) the most likely response is Venus.

    I wasn’t super confident in that response, especially given the recent exploration of Pluto and Titan, but I couldn’t convince myself to put down anything else.

  3. Kelly permalink

    I agree that the Final clue was not a well-written one – but IMO the wagers are all acceptable (if I were Ian I might have left a bit behind in case Hannah wagered like she actually did though).

  4. My first exposure to knowing this FJ was when I first purchased the paperback version of “Brainiac”, one of the sample questions on the back cover was “What planet has a crater on it named after Laura Ingalls Wilder?”

    Wikipedia provides the full list here:

    Lots of famous females in this list. The C craters alone feature craters named for Maria Callas, Rachel Carson, Agatha Christie, and Patsy Cline. So in astronomy trivia, the kneejerk of knowing Uranus’s moons are Shakespeare/Pope, and that Jupiter’s moons are Zeus’s lovers, Venus’s craters are named after women.

    • Great info, Chris! I’ll have to look at my copy when I get home tonight. (It’s been a while since I’ve read it.)

    • Jill Gilbert permalink

      And to think I read Brainiac! Sigh. I ended up going with Ganymede because I thought a planet was too obvious for FJ and I knew that Ganymede was Zeus’s male lover. Clearly a flawed thought process and overthinking it.

  5. I would never have guessed Venus simply because its atmosphere, I thought, made it impossible to map the surface.

    • That is what I was trying to say on the video, but couldn’t put the words together. Nice!

    • Kelly permalink

      The space probes that have mapped Venus used radar (which penetrates through the clouds) to “see” the surface features – they didn’t map it directly like most of the other planets.

What do you think?