Today’s Final Jeopardy – January 3, 2019


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category 1940s History) for Thursday, January 3, 2019 (Season 35, Episode 84):

Air Force pilot Gail Halvorsen earned the nickname “Candy Bomber” for his actions during this 1948-49 event

(correct response beneath the contestants)


Today’s contestants:

Cade Varnado, an English instructor from Richmond, Virginia
Cade Varnado on Jeopardy!
Chrissy Bellizzi, a librarian from St. Louis, Missouri
Chrissy Bellizzi on Jeopardy!
Jonathan Dinerstein, a composer from Los Angeles, California (2-day total: $40,501)
Jonathan Dinerstein on Jeopardy!

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Are you going on the show and looking for information about how to bet in Final Jeopardy? Check out my new Betting Strategy 101 page!

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Correct response: What is the Berlin Airlift?


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More information about Final Jeopardy:

In 1948 and 1949, near the beginning of the British/French/American/Soviet occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviets decided to block Western access to the city of Berlin (in spite of the British, French, and Americans ostensibly having access to West Berlin). It originally took place because the Soviets had effectively debased the Reichsmark through excessive printing in order to weaken Germany, and the Western allies decided that it was more important to have a strong West German currency. Stalin was upset by this, especially when the Deutsche Mark was going to flood into Berlin. When the new currency was introduced, Stalin responded by blocking access, in the hope that the Allies would either abandon Berlin or withdraw the currency.

As the only access to Berlin that was codified in writing was by air, it was determined that airlifting supplies to Berlin was the only option. It took a couple of months for the Allies to get the hang of it, but by August 1948 it was largely successful. Not wanting to enter a war with the United States, the Soviets did not disrupt the airlift, and it continued into 1949.

Gail Halvorsen earned his own nickname because he pioneered the idea of dropping candy bars and bubble gum to Berlin’s children (with handmade miniature parachutes).


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Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Tonight’s results are below!

Scores going into Final:
Jonathan $21,600
Chrissy $11,200
Cade $10,200


Tonight’s results:
Cade $10,200 + 10,000 = $20,200 (What is the Berlin air drop?)
Chrissy $11,200 – $5,000 = $6,200 (What is the blitzkrieg?)
Jonathan $21,600 + $801 = $22,401 (3-day total: $62,902)


Jonathan Dinerstein, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 3, 2019 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Jonathan $8,200
Chrissy $3,600
Cade $1,800


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues


Daily Double locations:
1) AMERICAN HISTORY $600 (9th pick)
Cade 400 +1000 (Jonathan 1800 Chrissy 1400)
2) CITY FLAGS $1200 (4th pick)
Cade 5000 +2000 (Jonathan 8200 Chrissy 5200)
3) ACRONYMS $1600 (14th pick)
Jonathan 12600 +3000 (Cade 9800 Chrissy 7600)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 164


Unplayed clues:
J! round: None!
DJ! Round: ARCHITECTURE $400 & $800
Total $ Left On Board: $1,200


Game Stats:
Jonathan $20,200 Coryat, 20 correct, 1 incorrect, 30.91% in first on buzzer, 3/3 on rebound attempts
Cade $9,000 Coryat, 14 correct, 4 incorrect, 25.45% in first on buzzer, 0/2 on rebound attempts
Chrissy $11,200 Coryat, 19 correct, 2 incorrect, 38.18% in first on buzzer
Combined Coryat Score: $40,400
Lach Trash: $5,600 (on 5 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $6,800


Jonathan Dinerstein, stats to date:
70 correct, 8 incorrect
4/4 on rebound attempts
41.82% in first on buzzer (69/165)
2/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $6,500)
2/3 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,067


Jonathan Dinerstein, to win:
4 games: 65.48%
5: 42.87%
6: 28.07%
7: 18.38%
8: 12.03%
Avg. streak: 4.897 games.


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Tournament of Champions projections:
With a projected 156 regular-play games to go prior to the Tournament of Champions cutoff, after 500,000 simulations, our model shows:
An average of 4.6487 5+-time champions (standard deviation 1.7886).
An average of 8.4105 4+-time champions (standard deviation 2.1859).

An early cutoff took place 30.621% of the time (or a 5-game winner will be left out).

Jonathan Dinerstein qualified 45.552% of the time.
Dave Leffler qualified 39.635% of the time.
Alex Schmidt qualified 15.580% of the time.
Jackie Fuchs qualified 3.628% of the time.
Mary Ann Borer qualified 0.680% of the time.
Kyle Becker qualified 0.053% of the time.


Andy’s Thoughts:

  • While it’s a moot point because of how the responses turned out, Chrissy essentially turned Jonathan’s game into a runaway by not betting enough in Final Jeopardy. I created “Betting Strategy 101” because I didn’t want to see people do this anymore, please use it!
  • I got the distinct sense that Jonathan was pointing out Chrissy’s underwager during the closing credits chat.
  • The HOW TO PLAY QUIDDITCH category was all about Muggle Quidditch. I suspect that the $1,000 clue in particular is going to receive a great deal of viewer feedback, because there is a significant difference in rules between Muggle Quidditch and the quidditch as played in the Harry Potter books themselves. In the books, the golden snitch is worth 150. However, according to the rulebook of US Quidditch, “Each team also has a seeker who tries to catch the snitch. The snitch is a ball attached to the waistband of the snitch runner, a neutral athlete in a yellow uniform who uses any means to avoid capture. The snitch is worth 30 points and its capture ends the game.”
  • I wish that players would strive to bet more on Daily Doubles, especially at the $800 and $1200 boxes in Double Jeopardy. So far this season in Double Jeopardy!, players are 88% in the second row and 74% in the third row on Daily Doubles. The odds are in your favor. Take advantage! (And, for what it’s worth, had Cade bet more on his second Daily Double, he would have had a faint hope of winning this game going into Final Jeopardy. As it turns out, he did not have a chance.)

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12 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – January 3, 2019"

  1. Apparently Mr Halverson is still alive and well at age 98.

    ABC News had a story last summer about him and the airlift:
    https://abcnews.go.com/US/berlin-airlift-candy-bomber-dropping-sweets-sky-70/story?id=56823227

    • On second thought, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the J! writers saw the story on ABC which led to this FJ! clue.

  2. The clue is worded poorly. The event that caused GV to become the “Candy Bomber”
    was the “Berlin Blockade”. The reaction / relief was codenamed “Berlin Airlift” or in German “Berliner Luftbruecke” (verbatim Berlin Airbridge”. Will J accept both answers???

    • Well, Doris, while Wikipedia’s article does title the event “Berlin Blockade”, I, for one, learned of the event in my history classes as “the Berlin airlift”.

      I presume that had a contestant written “What is the Berlin blockade”, I would venture that the show’s judges would have allowed it.

      I would also posit that a clue isn’t poorly worded just because it doesn’t pin to a specific singular wording, as long as the show is prepared to accept synonymic terms given by players (Note that Cade said “air drop” and it was also accepted.)

  3. Turns out J! accepted even “Airdrop”. Another belated Christmas gift.
    It was never officially called “airdrop”. Fortunately it did not matter in the end and congratulations to Jonathan for his third win! Unfortunately it does not say how his answer was exactly worded, so I assume that the answer corresponded with the above mentioned “What is the Berlin airlift”.
    Again, not all clues were played. Had Jonathan gotten the clue that was left on the board first and correctly it would have made the game a runaway.
    Again it did fortunately not change the outcome in the end. But more often than not clues are left on the board and when they COULD make a difference in the outcome it is unfair to the players imo. If it’s a close game and enough money is left then this must be frustrating for both: the player who could have made the game a runaway game and to the player who could have prevented it if given the chance.

    • Yes, my convention when posting the results is if the response matches the correct response above, it is not repeated.

    • A bit of a surprise that “airdrop” was accepted, since the only airdrop that took place was Halvorsen’s — nothing else was dropped; all other supplies were simply unloaded from the airplanes after landing.

      As someone who spent a good portion of his career in MAC (Military Airlift Command), I was hoping that someone would respond with “Operation Vittles” but no such luck.

  4. @VJ
    The official German name for the operation was “Berlin Luftbruecke”=Berlin air bridge i f translated verbatim.

  5. Pizza Face Fred | January 3, 2019 at 10:47 pm |

    It always bothers me that Alex will say something about the contestants not being old enough to recall certain things, given the number of questions that require a knowledge of history in many different categories. Grrrrrrr,,,

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