A Streak Of Futility: Consecutive Games With The Leader Missing Final Jeopardy!

One thing that we’ve been tracking recently is quite an unfortunate streak of futility. We are currently at 13 consecutive games where the leader has not gotten Final Jeopardy! correct (as of January 12, 2017). Which got me to wondering: Is it a record?

Thanks to user cheezguyty on JBoard, we have an answer — the current streak is not a record!

The record, as best we can tell, stretches to 16 regular-play games, from October 24 to November 28, 2002! It’s a streak that bookends a College Championship and the switch to a new set! (As it turns out, the first four games of that year’s College Championship also fits, so both the consecutive-game and regular-play records appear to be 16).

Longtime Jeopardy! fans would know that the POLITICIANS Final is the game which spawned the naming of the famous Faith Love Scenario from wagering strategy.

The Final Jeopardy that ended the streak (a correct response from Raj Dhuwalia ended the streak on November 29, 2002):
AFRICA: 1 of the 2 current African nations that were independent at the start of the 20th century

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Correct response: What is (1 of) Liberia or Ethiopia?

Here are the 16 clues, from most to least recent:
THE CALENDAR: Rendered numerically, it was the last complete date where every digit was an odd number

U.S. PRESIDENTS: 1 of the 3 U.S. Presidents to run on a third-party ticket after having already served as president

POLITICIANS: Name of the man who would serve as chief executive if President Bush & Vice President Cheney were incapacitated

POTENT POTABLES: This brand won a top prize at the 1893 Chicago Expo & has carried the award in its name ever since

STATE CAPITALS: In the continental United States, this city is the southernmost state capital

HISTORIC BOOKS: Published in 1611, the Pilgrims in 1620 refused to bring it to America; they brought the Geneva version

AUTHORS: In September 1941 this author christened the warship Atlanta, also known as “The Mighty A”

FAMOUS PHRASES: Phrase associated with very dissimilar events of April 19, 1775 & October 3, 1951

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: It is an official language of about 30 countries, second only to English

BUSINESS GEOGRAPHY: The U.S. company that now has the greatest revenues is HQ’d in this state that’s near the bottom in household income

HISTORIC CONGRESSMEN: Armed Services Committee head Carl Vinson was the first living American for whom the government named 1 of these

CABLE TELEVISION: 2002’s “A Season on the Brink” was this cable network’s first original movie

NOTABLE NAMES: His last direct descendant was a granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall, born to John & Susanna Hall in 1608

DOUBLE MEANINGS: Used one way, this word is one of the official titles of the Pope; used another, it’s an order of mammals

NATURAL WONDERS: Given its current name by John Wesley Powell, it was called Kaibab, or “mountain lying down” by the Paiutes

HISTORIC PHRASES: Sidney Sherman, who died in Texas in 1873, is credited with coining this 3-word phrase

Correct responses:
THE CALENDAR: What is 11-19-1999?
U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who are (1 of) Teddy Roosevelt, Martin Van Buren, and Millard Fillmore?
POLITICIANS: Who is Dennis Hastert?
POTENT POTABLES: What is Pabst Blue Ribbon?
STATE CAPITALS: What is Austin, Texas?
HISTORIC BOOKS: What is the King James Bible?
AUTHORS: Who is Margaret Mitchell?
FAMOUS PHRASES: What is “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World”?
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: What is French?
BUSINESS GEOGRAPHY: What is Arkansas?
HISTORIC CONGRESSMEN: What is an aircraft carrier?
CABLE TELEVISION: What is ESPN?
NOTABLE NAMES: Who is William Shakespeare?
DOUBLE MEANINGS: What is primate?
NATURAL WONDERS: What is the Grand Canyon?
HISTORIC PHRASES: What is “Remember The Alamo”?

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