Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 27, 2019


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Games) for Monday, May 27, 2019 (Season 35, Episode 186):

When this game was introduced in 1860, it had squares like Intemperance & Poverty & if you hit the Suicide square your game was over

(correct response beneath the contestants)


Today’s contestants:

Scott Swartz, a medical student from Berkeley, California
Scott Swartz on Jeopardy!
Monica Foy, a financial planner from San Francisco, California
Monica Foy on Jeopardy!
James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada (27-day total: $2,065,535)
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 900 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.

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!

I recently updated my tournament wild card models with as much tournament data that I’ve been able to find! If you’re playing in a tournament, you’ll want to check this out!

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Correct response: What is The Game of Life?


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 original 1860 version of The Game of Life is significantly different from today’s modern version; it was created by Milton Bradley, who had previously made money with a clean-shaven lithographic portrait of Abraham Lincoln; when Lincoln grew a beard, Bradley turned to board games. It was based around morality, where “good” spaces gave points and instead of dice (associated with gambling), a six-sided top known as a teetotum was used.

The modern version (the version most readers would be familiar with) was introduced in 1960.


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 $72,022
Monica $6,600
Scott $6,200


Tonight’s results:
Scott $6,200 + $6,199 = $12,399
Monica $6,600 + $6,595 = $13,195
James $72,022 + $58,000 = $130,022 (28-day total: $2,195,557)


James Holzhauer, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the May 27, 2019 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
James $21,800
Scott $3,000
Monica $600


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues


Daily Double locations:
1) SOME TIMES $800 (12th pick)
James 8200 +8200 (Scott 1000 Monica 0)
2) POETIC GEOGRAPHY $2000 (4th pick)
James 24200 +11022 (Scott 3000 Monica 2200)
3) MY CABINET JOB $2000 (14th pick)
James 41622 +20000 (Monica 4600 Scott 3000)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 194


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


Game Stats:
James $37,600 Coryat, 40 correct, 0 incorrect, 64.91% in first on buzzer
Monica $6,600 Coryat, 8 correct, 0 incorrect, 14.04% in first on buzzer
Scott $6,200 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:
1,018 correct, 31 incorrect
31/34 on rebound attempts (on 62 rebound opportunities)
58.37% in first on buzzer (921/1578)
62/66 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $584,876)
27/28 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,807


James Holzhauer, to win:
29 games: 98.031%
30: 96.101%
31: 94.209%
32: 92.355%
33: 90.537%
75: 39.278%
Avg. streak: 77.795 games.
(This is using the updated model.)


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Tournament of Champions projections:
With a projected 74 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 93.930% of the time.
Anneke Garcia qualified 78.918% of the time.
Lindsey Shultz qualified 52.842% of the time.
Dave Leffler qualified 30.610% of the time.
Jonathan Dinerstein qualified 22.963% of the time.


Andy’s Thoughts:

  • $130,022 is the 2nd-highest one-day total of all time. James now holds the top 15 and 19 of the top 21 one-day totals.
  • This was the 5th time that James had at least $20,000 after the Jeopardy! round.
  • James has been correct on his last 22 Final Jeopardy! clues.
  • The prediction model gives James a 92.354% chance of surpassing Ken Jennings’ winnings total of $2,520,700, and a 52.921% chance of James surpassing Brad Rutter’s all-time winnings total of $4,688,436. (At his current average, James would pass Ken on June 3 and Brad on July 24.)
  • James’ Coryat score of $37,600 is tied for the fourth-highest of all time. Ken Jennings still holds the record at $39,200.
  • James’ average winning total on Mondays is now $76,728.

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45 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 27, 2019"

  1. Since James is the ultimate numbers guy, I offer this:

    $2,520,700 in 2004 → $3,410,057 in 2019

    Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index

    • I also wonder about effective tax rates in CA/US now and then. What’s the actual size of the check going to be?

      • Otkon O'Flannagan | May 27, 2019 at 7:24 pm |

        His final check will be in the total amount that he wins – a figure for which he will be issued a 1099-MISC. Federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner and are not deducted from game show winnings at the time of issuance. He claims to be a resident of Nevada – which has no state income tax.

  2. Only $1,105 shy of the one-day record ($131,127). Very close!

  3. If Scott’s score at the end of the Jeopardy Round was $6,000 and he got 0 wrong; then how could his score be $3,000 when James got the DJ daily doubles?

  4. I read a couple of articles over the weekend regarding Friday’s show, and they both said James “almost” got final wrong, but he crossed out his answer and wrote the correct one. Really? Do people really think that James does NOT know that the Las Vegas strip is NOT in Idaho? He has a quirky sense of humor, and I love that he had enough time to write the “wrong” answer as a joke, cross it out, and then write the correct one (or vice-versa).

    • Well you could tell just by looking at it that he wrote the correct question first then wrote the Vegas strip question underneath it and lined it out… it was obviously never intended to be his real question just by it’s placement.

      • Good point-that’s very true.
        I just found it so ludicrous that more than one article writer would think that was his “real” question and that he “almost” lost.

    • He’s exhibiting Oppositional Disorder in response to Jeopardy outlawing messages.

  5. Bob Chang | May 27, 2019 at 12:38 pm |

    Another milestone, just the 2nd >1000 correct responses but still way behind Ken. Also his 9th game with 40 or more correct responses and his 10th game with no incorrect responses!

  6. I heard James wager $22000 on DD3. But Alex only gave him 20k.

    • I clearly heard $20,000. Moreover, Alex confirmed $20,000. With what Alex said, if you don’t think James would have corrected Alex had Alex given the wrong number, you don’t know James Holzhauer.

  7. It’s interesting (albeit understandable) that these kind of games don’t affect the model positively very much despite noticibly raising the averages. For instance his chance to win the next game went down, despite the dominance. I’m guessing this is because they are so off of the scale, even for James, that they really mess with the sample variance as well.

    • This is precisely why this happens. The model sees the increased variance, thinks that a low outlier performance is now more probable, and it’s those lower values that causes his win chances to drop.

  8. Bob Chang | May 27, 2019 at 1:55 pm |

    How James getting Daily Doubles correctly directly affects his $ winnings:

    In 28 games, James’s had 3 correct DDs 13 times, 2 correct 9 times, 1 correct 5 times and none 1 time.

    With 3 correct DDs he’s won $1,266,008, averaging $97,385.
    With 2 correct DDs he’s won $606,179, averaging $67,353.22.
    With 1 correct DD he’s won $273,773, averaging $54,754.60.
    When he had no DD he won $49,600.

  9. Bob Chang | May 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm |

    Scott & Monica today combined with James to set two new records, first for most combined wagered and won in Final Jeopardy (Scott 6,199 + Monica 6,595 + James 58,000 = 70,794) and second for highest combined final score (Scott 12,399 + Monica 13,195 + James 130,022 = 155,616).

    This beats the records James set with Kevin and Claudia on 4/23 of 64,994 wagered and won in Final Jeopardy (Kevin 7,793 + Claudia 7,201 + James 50,000) and their combined final score of 150,010 (Kevin 15,593 + Claudia 15,601 + James 118,816).

    This had beat the record James set with Hannah and Lorelle on 4/17 of 61.3 won in FJ on 4/17 (Hannah -4K + Lorelle 5.3K + James 60K; NOTE: 69.3 was wagered) and their combined final score of 142,814 (Hannah 1K + Lorelle 10,700 + James 131,114).

    James combining with others on these records goes further back, but I’ll stop here!

  10. Noumon Munir | May 27, 2019 at 3:28 pm |

    All I will say is that …James cannot be beat.

    • Matt Rose | May 27, 2019 at 4:41 pm |

      For starters, if anyone can challenge James, then have to be better than him on the buzzer, and answer before James. Then of course, answer correctly. And also getting the DDs instead of James would help.

    • The guy last week would have beat him had he doubled up on his double Jeopardy clue but he only bid 6,000.

  11. Matt Rose | May 27, 2019 at 4:44 pm |

    Speaking of James ability to buzz in first, figure he either has great sense or timing …or figured out a tell as in gambling, which he uses to know something about when to ring in.

    • Elizabeth Harris | May 28, 2019 at 12:01 am |

      But Nate showed last week that someone else can also be just as quick on the buzzer.

  12. Matt Rose | May 27, 2019 at 4:54 pm |

    James has played 28 games, which equals 84 DDs.
    James has gotten 66 of the DDs. Or 78.57 % of the DDs offered.

    If you include in FJ, where you can double your score also, then
    James has had 94 chances to double his score out of 112 chances offered.

    Or an amazing 84 % of the time to double his score with the 4 possible chances offered in each game.

    • He is answering about 35 questions correctly or 58% of the board. There are only a few, maybe 4, triple stumpers per game, and we shouldn’t expect James to have control of the board for all of them but perhaps let’s say he has control for 2, plus he gets first pick in round 1 but I don’t think he’s ever been in 3rd going into round 2.

      So we’re up to about 63% of the board where James has control, and he is picking 78% of the daily doubles. That seems statistically significant but not incredibly so. I wonder if you blocked out selections of the top 2 rows (there have only been a couple DDs up there) and/or stopped counting once all the DDs are gone if we got James’ correct response % and his DD selection % closer.

      • Matt Rose | May 27, 2019 at 5:50 pm |

        Also James has gotten right of the DD/FJ IN his 28 games… 95%

        Or 62 of 66 DDs correct = 94 %
        And 27 of 28 correct = 96.5%
        And 89 of 94 chances to double his score in both DD/FJ = 95%

  13. Matt Rose | May 27, 2019 at 7:33 pm |

    How would feel, if both of the 2nd & 3rd contestants had $13,000 +.. Which wins them, $2,000 and $1,000 as compared to James $130,000 today and a 28 day total of $2,200,000 +.

  14. As of Friday, his average daily winnings dropped below the before-him record of 77K. Was this enough to bring him back up over?

    • Ed Collins | May 27, 2019 at 8:04 pm |

      Yes. His daily average is now $78,413. ($2,195,577 / 28)

      • Ed Collins | May 27, 2019 at 8:05 pm |

        Typo: $2,195,557 / 28 (not $2,195,577)

        • Matt Rose | May 27, 2019 at 10:40 pm |

          As James has the top 15 scores of all time and 19 of the top 21 scores ever, I am hoping James gets like the top 25 or higher, top daily scores on Jeopardy ever, as that would definitely cement James as the greatest of the great Jeopardy players.

          • I think at this point the number of 77k+ games is immaterial to the GOAT conversation. 15 of them vs 25 of them does not make any difference. Even if he lost tomorrow, it wouldn’t significantly affect his place, despite not hitting $2.52M or 74 games. What really matters is how he does in tournaments.

      • Back over and then some! (Thanks for the calculation. I should have been able to figure that out myself. Duh.)

  15. Since the show airs earlier in the day in some parts of the country, if James ever loses, won’t there be spoilers all over the internet before most people get to watch the show in the evening? You couldn’t count on the media to keep it quiet until everyone had a chance to watch it.

    Also, the currently airing shows which are being shown after the Teacher’s Tournament appear to have been taped prior to the tournament. You can tell from Alex’s inadvertent “spoiler” in one of his interviews (which I won’t mention). Any idea why the tournament was shown first?

    • Someone may know for certain, but I will speculate that they might try to tape the TT during the week that the most schools are on break, but they want to air the programs before any schools recess for the summer so the contestants’ students can watch and ask them about the experience.

    • Elizabeth Harris | May 28, 2019 at 12:04 am |

      The TT is always during this particular time of the month of May.

    • You are right. In HI we have it at 4:30, so that’s already 10:30 in the evening in NYC….

      • So when I check this site I know the results about 9 to 10 hours before J airs in HI anyway. I would have to curb my curiosity but I want to know asap. The shows are about 8 weeks old anyway. It’s not that it’s live and just time delayed by a few hours…..so if James should lose in 4 weeks on TV, he lost already about 4 weeks ago in real time.

  16. @Andy
    Re: Andy’s Thoughts
    Is James now holding the top 15 or 19 of the top 21 one- day totals? If he holds the top 19 then he of course also holds the top 15…? What am I missing here??

  17. Elizabeth Harris | May 28, 2019 at 12:04 am |

    The TT is always during this particular time of the month of May.

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