Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 21, 2019

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Poetry & The Movies) for Tuesday, May 21, 2019 (Season 35, Episode 182):

Robert Lowell’s “For the Union Dead” honored the 54th Massachusetts, the infantry unit in this 1989 film that won 3 Oscars

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Jason Mangano, a freelance writer from Fords, New Jersey
Jason Mangano on Jeopardy!
Kate Kelly, a nonprofit finance professional from New York, New York
Kate Kelly on Jeopardy!
James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada (23-day total: $1,780,237)
James Holzhauer on Jeopardy!

James has cemented his spot in the next Tournament of Champions. Our ToC Tracker shows who else is in the field.

If you’re curious to see how James’ stats so far shape up to those of Ken Jennings, you can find them at A James Holzhauer vs. Ken Jennings Statistical Comparison.

James has reached 800 correct responses on the show and has moved to #2 all-time on that list! See who else has at least 300 on our 300 Club page!

Did you attempt any of the online tests last month? You can find last week’s questions and answers here!

The Jeopardy! Book of Answers is out now! Here’s my review.

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Correct response: What is Glory?

Did you know that you can now find game-by-game stats of everyone, including James, who has won 10 or more games on Jeopardy!, here on the site?

More information about Final Jeopardy:

The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was one of the first military units in the Union Army during the Civil War to consist entirely of African-American men (except for its officers). The unit was commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.

The 1989 film about them, Glory, starred Matthew Broderick as Shaw; Glory won its 3 Oscars for Best Sound, Best Cinematography, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Denzel Washington).

Since Alex Trebek’s diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, many community members have been raising money. The Jeopardy! Fan Online Store is as well! All proceeds from any “Keep The Faith And We’ll Win” shirt sold will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. To date, over $370 has been raised.)

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

Scores going into Final:
James $55,895
Jason $12,400
Kate $6,600

Tonight’s results:
Kate $6,600 + $6,500 = $13,100
Jason $12,400 + $2,000 = $14,400
James $55,895 + $31,010 = $86,905 (24-day total: $1,867,142)

James Holzhauer, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the May 21, 2019 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
James $15,000
Jason $3,600
Kate $3,400


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) ACRONYMS & INITIALISMS $800 (9th pick)
James 4800 +4800 (Jason 1800 Kate 1000)
2) NEW IN SCIENCE $800 (16th pick)
James 25400 +11381 (Jason 11600 Kate 3400)
3) DO YOU LOVE ME? $2000 (17th pick)
James 36781 +11914 (Jason 11600 Kate 3400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 177

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

Game Stats:
James $31,400 Coryat, 34 correct, 0 incorrect, 54.39% in first on buzzer
Jason $12,400 Coryat, 14 correct, 0 incorrect, 24.56% in first on buzzer
Kate $6,600 Coryat, 10 correct, 0 incorrect, 17.54% in first on buzzer
Combined Coryat Score: $50,400
Lach Trash: $3,600 (on 2 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $0

James Holzhauer, stats to date:
876 correct, 27 incorrect
24/26 on rebound attempts (on 52 rebound opportunities)
58.68% in first on buzzer (794/1353)
55/59 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $511,940)
23/24 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,858

James Holzhauer, to win:
25 games: 98.286%
26: 96.601%
27: 94.945%
28: 93.317%
29: 91.718%
75: 41.403%
Avg. streak: 81.336 games.
(This is using the updated model.)


Tournament of Champions projections:
With a projected 78 regular-play games to go prior to the Tournament of Champions cutoff, after 500,000 simulations, our model shows:

James Holzhauer qualified 100.000% of the time.
Eric R. Backes qualified 94.167% of the time.
Anneke Garcia qualified 79.739% of the time.
Lindsey Shultz qualified 54.679% of the time.
Dave Leffler qualified 33.312% of the time.
Jonathan Dinerstein qualified 25.963% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • $86,905 is the 11th-highest one-day total of all time. James now holds the top 14 one-day totals of all time and 16 of the top 18.
  • If you took the 24 games James has already won out of the prediction model, it would still predict a streak of 57 games for James.
  • The prediction model gives James a 87.083% chance of surpassing Ken Jennings’ winnings total of $2,520,700, and a 53.666% chance of James surpassing Brad Rutter’s all-time winnings total of $4,688,436.
  • James’ current streak of hearing clues without giving an incorrect response sits at 212 after this game. He is believed to be the first player to have three consecutive full games without giving an incorrect response.
  • $86,905 is James’ lowest win on a Tuesday thus far; he currently averages $103,908 on Tuesdays.

Contestant photo credit:

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18 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 21, 2019"

  1. Matt Rose | May 21, 2019 at 11:57 am |

    WOW. If James next wins $132,858, he would have winnings of exactly $2,000,000 in 25 games for an $80,000 average win total

    • John Douglas | May 21, 2019 at 12:10 pm |

      I think you hit the nail on the head. I expect this exact thing to happen.

      • Bob Chang | May 21, 2019 at 4:10 pm |

        I’m guessing it’s well > 90% James tops $2M within two games and <5% he tops it in his next game, while beating his $131,127 record set April 17. But I won’t be surprised if it happens tomorrow!

  2. Maurine Gutowski | May 21, 2019 at 12:01 pm |

    Typo — without giving an incorrect response, not withing an incorrect response

  3. Has there ever been a show with no incorrect responses?

  4. Patrick Byrnes | May 21, 2019 at 1:06 pm |

    Is this the highest ever Combined Coryat score? They combined for 58 of 60 with zero incorrect responses given (and topped it off with all 3 getting FJ correct). Unbelievable game. I think both Kate and Jason would be multi-day champions had they not run in to the human buzzsaw.

  5. @Andy
    In the same paragraph (4) it says later on: …without giving giving an

  6. Just another perfect game…
    Compare Holzhauer vs Jennings in this department and you get a huuuuuuuge disparity.

    Congrats to all three players in making it an errorless game. The difference is who gets in first, of course.

  7. Bob Chang | May 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm |

    A perfect game is rare. I highly suspect the 58 combined correct answers without an incorrect answer is an all-time record!

  8. $50,400 is not the record for highest Combined Coryat score; that still belongs at least to the game aired January 8, 2013, with $51,000:

    • Bob Chang | May 22, 2019 at 12:13 am |

      That is true, however my comment was not about combined Coryat score, but only about potentially the most combined total correct answers without a single incorrect answer. In all the instances I’ve seen with a higher Coryat score there was at least one or more incorrect answers. However, the Coryat in this game is somewhat lower presumably because the overall correct answers were on lower value clues. A perfect game by all three players, meaning no incorrect answers by anybody, is rare, and 58 total correct answers is also excellent.

      Of course a truly perfect Coryat is getting every single clue correct, including DDs, both in Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy.

      • Bob Chang | May 22, 2019 at 12:46 am |

        So a perfect combined game would have 60 correct, 0 incorrect, and a Coryat of $54,000!

  9. Prithvi Sudhakar | May 21, 2019 at 8:58 pm |

    Has there been any former Jeopardy! contestants who have done the same gaming strategy that James has?

    Also, does anyone think that his winning streak will extend to Season 36?

  10. Prithvi Sudhakar | May 21, 2019 at 9:08 pm |

    I just had a weird idea pop up in my head:
    should Jeopardy! get more people with sports-related occupations?

    I had this idea because I have seen that some people with sports-related occupations who appear on Jeopardy! usually do well.

    There was James, for example, but also Steven Grade.

    As you recall, he was the first 5x champion since Alan Dunn of October 2018. However, he had lost to Alex Koral, who had lost to James.

    There was that game where James Holzhauer faced off against Adam Levin. They were neck-and-neck in that game, especially when Adam risked a huge Daily Double wager that had prevented James from getting a runaway (James’s second non-runaway since his second game). Both Adam and James got the Final Jeopardy! question right, but James won by $18 (James-$54,017, Adam-$53,999). Also note that Adam’s $53,999 was the highest 2nd place total in Jeopardy! history for regular play.

    I feel like I am able to describe Jeopardy! scenarios in greater detail, like on March 16, 2007, the first Jeopardy! nonzero three-way tie game. Scott Weiss, Jamey Kirby, and Anders Martinson all had $16,000 at the end of Final Jeopardy!.

    Who knows what is in store for James? I guess right now, you could say that Jeopardy is now in “James Holzhauer-palooza”.

  11. To me, Kate Kelly looked as distressed as I’ve seen a Jeopardy! competitor, but there’s no shame in losing to Holzhauer.

  12. I hear some people say that that was a perfect game. It was not. If I remember correctly, nobody came up with “The Bald Soprano”.

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