Today’s Final Jeopardy – September 14, 2017

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Businessmen) for Thursday, September 14, 2017:

The corporation of this British man got its name from his early inexperience in business

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Larry Coben, an archaeologist & foundation executive director from New York, New York
Larry Coben on Jeopardy!
Ellen Wernecke, a social media analyst from Chicago, Illinois
Ellen Wernecke on Jeopardy!
Jen Sosnowski, a high school science teacher from Roanoke, Virginia (1-day total: $28,801)
Jen Sosnowski on Jeopardy!



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Who is Richard Branson?


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Richard Branson set up a mail-order record business in 1970, selling records for much less than could be found on “High Street” at that point. The name Virgin was suggested because of the inexperience at business of the employees. 1972 saw the record label Virgin Records founded. As luck would have it, the label’s first release, Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells”, went to #1. He started Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984, a venture which he started because his flight to Puerto Rico was cancelled, and so he chartered a plane to get himself (and the other passengers) the rest of the way there (for a nominal fee in order to cover the cost of the charter).

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23 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – September 14, 2017"

  1. Scores going into Final:
    Ellen $12,800
    Larry $6,400
    Jen $5,100

    Final results:
    Jen $5,100 + $0 = $5,100
    Larry $6,400 – $6,400 = $0 (Who is ~~Murdoch~~ Murdoch?)
    Ellen $12,800 – $6,300 = $6,500 (Who Makintosh?) (1-day total: $6,500)

    Per the rules as set forth by the show, which have been in effect in this case since November 2014, a tie game results in a tie-breaker question, and no longer results in both players returning. That explains why Ellen elected to make a bet in this scenario.

    Ellen Wernecke, winner of the September 14, 2017 Jeopardy! game

    Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
    Ellen $4,800
    Larry $3,600
    Jen $3,500

    Opening break taken after: 15 clues

    Daily Double locations:
    1) SYMBOLS $1000 (27th pick)
    Jen 5200 -3500 (Ellen 3800 Larry 3600)
    2) LANGUAGES OF AFRICA $1600 (23rd pick)
    Larry 8400 -2000 (Ellen 10000 Jen 7500)
    3) THE ORIENT EXPRESS $1600 (29th pick, $2,000 left on board)
    Jen 9100 -4000 (Ellen 12800 Larry 6400)
    Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -135

    Unplayed clues:
    J! round: None!
    DJ! Round: None!
    Total $ Left On Board: $0

    Game Stats:
    Ellen $12,800 Coryat, 17 correct, 2 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer
    Jen $12,600 Coryat, 19 correct, 4 incorrect, 31.58% in first on buzzer
    Larry $8,400 Coryat, 15 correct, 3 incorrect, 28.07% in first on buzzer
    Lach Trash: $9,800 (on 7 Triple Stumpers)
    Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $10,400

    Jen Sosnowski, final stats:
    36 correct
    5 incorrect
    2/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$3,500)
    2/2 in Final Jeopardy
    27.68% in first on buzzer (31/112)
    Average Coryat: $13,100

    Ellen Wernecke, stats to date:
    17 correct
    3 incorrect
    0/0 on Daily Doubles
    0/1 in Final Jeopardy
    29.82% in first on buzzer (17/57)
    Average Coryat: $12,800

    Ellen Wernecke, to win:
    2 games: 42.36%
    3: 17.94%
    4: 7.60%
    5: 3.22%
    6: 1.36%
    Avg. streak: 1.735 games.

  2. 1 buck would have done it. With her 6.300 bet she could have lost to Jen who had 5.100, x 2 = 10.200. So Ellen with her 12.800 should have bet a maximum of 2.599 imo,that way she would have covered against Jen. But since for the second time in 4 days all 3 got it wrong, it worked out for Ellen.
    Kind of funny: 4 days, 2 times all 3 got it, 2 times a complete strikeout …

  3. If you are not in first, then you must wager everything. No other wagers make sense. I used to think you could wager different numbers, but that is based off the assumption that the person in first makes a reasonable bet. Too many times, I’ve seen the person in first make dumb bets, which Ellen did today. How do obviously intelligent people screw up betting?

    • “Obviously intelligent people” “screw up betting” by doing things like betting everything from a trailing position in Final Jeopardy! unless they absolutely have to. For Larry, that was the obvious choice today. For Jen, it’s, at worst, a $1,000 difference for her to not bet everything. Meaning, she really shouldn’t. Of course hindsight is 20/20, and we wouldn’t be talking about her bet normally.

  4. I understand Ellen’s bet but I wouldn’t have done that.

  5. Jen Sosnowski, school teacher from Roanoke, Virginia. She stated her school started a new sport. I probably have the incorrect spelling but it sounded like “Acquitech Sport”. Please advise what that is!

    Thank You,

    • She said her high school was the first to have a (Muggle) Quidditch team in the United States (Quidditch, like from Harry Potter.)

      • Andy thanks for your answer.I’m in my seventies so I still
        do understand what Quidditch is. Kindly explain.

        • I’ve taken this from the Wikipedia article:

          Quidditch is a sport of two teams of seven players each mounted on broomsticks played on a hockey rink-sized pitch. It is based on a fictional game of the same name invented by author J. K. Rowling, which is featured in the Harry Potter series of novels and related media. The game is also sometimes referred to as “muggle quidditch” to distinguish it from the fictional game which involves magical elements such as flying broomsticks and enchanted balls. (In the Harry Potter universe, a “muggle” is a person without magic blood.)

          The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing.The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation’s governing body.

          To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points. To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers—dodgeballs—to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play. The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.

          • Hi Andy, Thanks so much for the detailed information you sent. I now have a much better understanding about the sport.

  6. Someone’s been drinking fermented pineapple juice again…

  7. Maurine Gutowski | September 14, 2017 at 11:37 pm |

    I didn’t get home in time to watch the show but am totally confused by the contradictions in the comments. Did Jen, who bet nothing, actually get the right answer? It said +, which means the answer is correct, and a wrong answer is shown. But someone said no one got the correct answer. What was that about ties not being allowed and that was why Ellen bet as she did? I wish my VCR still worked!

    • Donald Spencer | September 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm |

      I didn’t see the episode either, so I can’t answer your question about whether Jen got the answer right or wrong. If she got it wrong, I agree that putting a “+0” is confusing; it should really be “-0”.

      For your other question, it isn’t that Ellen bet as she did, but that she placed a bet at all.

      Under the old rules, a tie at the end of Final Jeopardy resulted in all the contestants who tied for the lead coming back the next day. However, under the current rules, if two or more players tie, they have to play a tie-breaker question to determine the winner. Because Larry had exactly half of Ellen’s total heading into Final Jeopardy, he could’ve tied her at $12,800 if (a) he’d bet everything and gotten the correct answer and (b) Ellen had bet nothing. So Ellen betting $0 could’ve resulted in a tie, forcing a tie-breaker question. To avoid that possibility, Ellen had to bet something other than $0, which is what she did.

    • Jen got the question correct. +0 is correct. I think that also explains Grumpy’s “fermented pineapple juice” comment and Mark’s “READING for $200” comment.

  8. Wasn’t Ellen technically correct with her Scrooge McDuck answer early in the game? I kept expecting her to get the money back.

  9. Jeff Goldstein | September 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm |

    Jen bet nothing presumptively because she felt it didn’t matter what she bet. Unfortunately for her, her decision was incorrect. She should have thought that the only reasonable bet for Larry was all, and to hope Ellen bet anything and got it wrong.

    So Jen probably regrets that she didn’t bet some significant amount just to try to increase her total and hope that Ellen made a betting error. In either event, she would need to get it right and the other two get it wrong for it to make a difference. But betting something was the only way she could ensure that her score would increase relative to the others. That is not hindsight.

  10. Hi! This is Jen’s husband Sean. As some of you have already discussed, the rules about ties have changed. Jen forgot that when she placed her bet, and she also wasn’t very confident about the category. As Jeff Goldstein says above, she didn’t think her bet would matter much, since she didn’t think she could do better than second place. She was pretty surprised that Ellen bet so much. Here’s what she said about it on Facebook:

    “All right, so here’s why I bet the way I did on Final Jeopardy. My thought was that Ellen would bet $0, since she had exactly twice the amount that Larry did, and her worst-case scenario would be a tie with Larry. Larry would have to wager it all. I would have no chance of winning no matter what, and I wasn’t particularly confident in the category, so I figured I would stay right where I was and hopefully get second place if Larry bet it all and lost.

    “Larry did just what I expected. However, I had forgotten one important thing. Jeopardy changed the rules recently – ties are no longer allowed. So if Ellen wanted to avoid having to go to a tiebreaker question, she had to bet something. Now, it still would have been smarter for her to only bet like $1 so that I would have no chance of catching her even if I got it right and she didn’t. But she made a gutsy move and went for a big payday if she got it right and was willing to risk losing if she got it wrong. And it paid off for her!

    “As you might imagine, I replayed that final bet a lot in the following few days. I feel a little bad that I lost, but I don’t feel bad that Ellen Wernecke won – she played a hell of a game and deserved it! Larry Coben was a formidable competitor as well (and has a really cool job to boot). And GO CHS QUIDDITCH!”

    No matter what, she had a tremendous amount of fun playing, and we’re all proud of how well she did.

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