Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 28, 2019

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Animated Characters) for Tuesday, May 28, 2019 (Season 35, Episode 187):

This cartoon character was based on a character in the educational comic “The Intertidal Zone”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Sara Feeney, a stay-at-home mom from Livonia, Michigan
Sara Feeney on Jeopardy!
Jim-Bob Williams, a therapeutic humorist from St. Albans, West Virginia
Jim-Bob Williams on Jeopardy!
James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada (28-day total: $2,195,557)
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 1,000 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!


(Content continues below)

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Correct response: Who is SpongeBob SquarePants?

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:

Aye, aye, Captain! SpongeBob SquarePants was originally a character named Bob the Sponge in creator Stephen Hillenburg’s comic book The Intertidal Zone. Developed in 1989, he had evolved into SpongeBoy in 1994 and SpongeBob Squarepants by the 1999 television series that bore his name.

In an interesting coincidence, the only other time SpongeBob SquarePants was the correct response to Final Jeopardy was Ken Jennings’ 7th game, where he set a record with a Coryat score of $39,200 that, as of May 27, 2019, still stands.

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 $41,381
Sara $11,600
Jim-Bob $8,400

Tonight’s results:
Jim-Bob $8,400 – $8,390 = $10 (Who is Aquaman?)
Sara $11,600 + $5,201 = $16,801
James $41,381 + $18,000 = $59,381 (29-day total: $2,254,938)

James Holzhauer, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the May 28, 2019 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
James $12,000
Jim-Bob $5,200
Sara $1,000


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) THE EASTERN SEABOARD $800 (3rd pick)
Jim-Bob 1000 +1000 (James 1000 Sara 0)
2) “B” SPOKE SHAKESPEARE $1600 (2nd pick)
Sara 3000 +3000 (James 12000 Jim-Bob 5200)
3) 1950s PEOPLE $2000 (7th pick)
James 16400 +11381 (Sara 8000 Jim-Bob 5200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 269

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

Game Stats:
James $32,000 Coryat, 34 correct, 0 incorrect, 57.89% in first on buzzer
Sara $10,200 Coryat, 11 correct, 0 incorrect, 17.54% in first on buzzer
Jim-Bob $8,200 Coryat, 13 correct, 0 incorrect, 21.05% 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:
1,053 correct, 31 incorrect
31/34 on rebound attempts (on 62 rebound opportunities)
58.35% in first on buzzer (954/1635)
63/67 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $596,257)
28/29 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,848

James Holzhauer, to win:
30 games: 98.056%
31: 96.151%
32: 94.282%
33: 92.450%
34: 90.653%
75: 40.542%
Avg. streak: 79.453 games.
(This is using the updated model.)


Tournament of Champions projections:
With a projected 73 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 94.001% of the time.
Anneke Garcia qualified 79.163% of the time.
Lindsey Shultz qualified 53.390% of the time.
Dave Leffler qualified 31.415% of the time.
Jonathan Dinerstein qualified 23.857% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • $59,381 is the 24th-highest regular play total of all time. James currently holds 20 of the top 25 single-game regular-play totals of all time.
  • James’ previous low total on a Tuesday was $86,905, set last Tuesday (May 21).
  • James has been correct on his last 23 Final Jeopardy! clues.
  • The prediction model gives James a 94.281% chance of surpassing Ken Jennings’ winnings total of $2,520,700, and a 54.413% 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 25.)
  • James’ average winning total on Tuesdays is now $96,487.
  • This is the fourth time in the last 10 regular-play games that there were $0 in incorrect responses given by the contestants. Prior to April 30, there were only 2 confirmed regular-play games in the entirety of J! Archive in which no contestants gave an incorrect response.

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49 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 28, 2019"

  1. Matt Rose | May 28, 2019 at 10:38 am |

    Rank your Favorite players ever on Jeopardy? The ones you most enjoyed watching…
    List as many as you want, in order if possible……

  2. James Holzhauer
    Brad Rutter
    Ken Jennings
    Roger Craig
    Austin Rogers
    Julia Collins
    Buzzy Cohen
    Larissa Kelley
    Dave Madden

  3. James Holzhauer
    Alex Jacob
    Buzzy Cohen
    Ken Jennings
    Austin Rogers

  4. Christina O. | May 28, 2019 at 11:08 am |

    James Holzhauer
    Austin Rogers
    Regis Philbin (1992 appearance with Donna Mills and Carol Burnett)
    Alex Jacob
    Larissa Kelly
    Jackie Fuchs

  5. I’m not a super-fan so I don’t know too many players. James can have my top 3 positions 🙂


  6. In no particular order:

    Pam Mueller (fascinating educational background)
    Alan Lin (overcame his shyness to talk trash with Buzzy Cohen and Austin Rogers)
    Lisa Schlitt (a fellow microbiologist, and a volunteer firefighter)
    Colby Burnett (exuberant personality)
    Julia Collins (again, an interesting educational background, and the epitome of nice)

    I tend to root for women contestants, people with interesting backgrounds, and those who show a joy in playing Jeopardy!

    E. coli

  7. Alex Jacob
    Austin Rogers
    James Holzhauser
    Colby Burnett

  8. Interestingly, James has still never finished with a total in the $60k range.
    He has 20, 30, 40, 50, —, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, —, 130 decile scores.
    But he was close today.

  9. Stuart Malkin | May 28, 2019 at 11:56 am |

    What is a Coryat score?

  10. Another statistic: 11 straight shows without a Daily Double miss. That has to be a record?

  11. Jules Flemming | May 28, 2019 at 12:30 pm |

    Frank Spangenberg

  12. I have three #1s:

    For sheer brilliance and mastery of the game: James.
    For sheer comedy: No one comes close to Austin.
    For inspiring faith in humanity and in the human spirit: Eddie Timanus, from a while ago. (Newbies, look him up.)

  13. James Holzhauer
    Ken Jennings
    John Presloid
    Buzzy Cohen
    Larissa Kelly

  14. I believe James is up to 38 correct responses on “must-answer” (DD and FJ) clues in row, which is a record by a wide margin. The last time he missed on a must-answer question was in Jeopardy round on April 29th.
    I don’t have all the archive data in a queryable form, but the longest such streak by any of the 10+ game winners was David Madden with 18 correct from FJ in his 4th game to missing FJ in his 9th.
    If that Madden streak was the previous record, it would now be 3rd-longest, as Holzhauer also had a streak of 19 that ended just before this one (giving him 57 correct out of his last 58).

  15. I can’t wait for the projected 73 regular-play Animated Characters to go prior to the Tournament of Champions cutoff!

    (I assume this was a search/replace error for the final jeopardy category.)

  16. Steve Levy | May 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm |

    “This is the fourth time in the last 10 regular-play games that there were $0 in incorrect responses given by the contestants. Prior to April 30, there were only 2 confirmed regular-play games in the entirety of J! Archive in which no contestants gave an incorrect response.”

    Do you think that this is a “James” thing, or is perhaps that the producers are by now selecting better-qualified contestants to make the games more competitive? (Not that this strategy has been successful…)

  17. Surprised no one else mentioned my favorite contestant…for her strength and charity.

    Cindy Stowell

  18. James
    Cliff Claven

  19. Alan Lin
    James Holzhauer
    Rachel Lindgren

  20. Kirstin Cutts
    Ken Jennings
    James Holzhauer

  21. Mary A Rose | May 28, 2019 at 7:45 pm |

    Buzzy Cohen.
    Austin Rogers.
    Arthur Chu (What’s wrong with jumping from category to category? Keeps the contestants on their toes and makes things much more exciting than going down the line, left to right, category to category. Also more exciting: Starting with the $1,000 or $2,000 clues. Know anyone else like that?)
    Honorable Mention to the computer (Watson?). With a bit more personality, he could have scored higher.

  22. Kevin Mastaw | May 28, 2019 at 8:07 pm |

    The most aggressive players ever:

    James Holzhauer
    Alex Jacobs
    Arthur Chu
    Matt Jackson
    Brad Rutter

  23. Mark Warner | May 28, 2019 at 8:50 pm |

    “This is the fourth time in the last 10 regular-play games that there were $0 in incorrect responses given by the contestants.” Any idea what could be causing this?

    • Probably because James is questioning the majority of the answers. It would be interesting to look at those games to see how many he questioned/answered.

  24. Prithvi Sudhakar | May 28, 2019 at 8:54 pm |

    Also, if James can’t do all those shout-outs, then why is he still making those “remembrance” wagers (i.e. $8,615, $9,812, $11,914, $11,381)?

  25. Bob Chang | May 29, 2019 at 12:32 am |

    A fascinating “What If?” scenario” with an object lesson: had James missed his one and only DD today, losing $11,381 instead of gaining it, he’d have entered FJ with just $18, 619 to Sara’s $11,600. If so, without a runaway, he’d probably have wagered just enough to win ($4,600) to end with a record low for him of $23,219. And since she would surely have wagered much more it would have been very close as against Mr. Levin.

    Only because James is so brilliant with DDs and FJ and has no weaknesses is he able to be as successful as he is because his margin of victory in this game would have been lost with just 1 wrong DD and 1 wrong FJ answer. When Ken lost to Julie Zerg he missed both multiple DDs and his FJ.

    • There has been multiple games where a missed DD AND FJ would have cost him the game, yes? I don’t think this was an oddity.

  26. Marvin Moskowitz | May 29, 2019 at 12:34 am |

    You have a 100% chance of James qualifying for the ToC, but what if he is still in competition at the cutoFf date? Is that included in the prediction model?

    • If he’s still in competition at the cutoff date, he’ll still get invited to a Tournament of Champions — just not this one.

      If you’re curious as to the model’s prediction of that happening, look at the chances for Jonathan Dinerstein; he is only in if James is still champion at the cutoff.

  27. Bill Weil | May 29, 2019 at 1:08 am |

    Larissa Kelly – The nicest person in the world
    Dave Madden – solid and seems friendly
    James Holzhauer – For shear brilliance in knowledge and strategy

  28. Bob Chang | May 29, 2019 at 2:12 am |

    Ken Jennings – nice person, besides being a living Jeopardy legend.
    Austin Rogers – quirky, entertaining personality, loved watching him.
    James Holzhauer – regular, decent person, but with unmatched and unbelievable skills compared to anyone previous, present, and perhaps future not named Deep Blue.

  29. Matt Rose | May 29, 2019 at 8:29 am |

    Rank your Favorite players ever on Jeopardy? The ones you most enjoyed watching…
    List as many as you want, in order if possible……

    16 – James Holzhauer
    10 – Austin Rogers
    8 – Ken Jennings
    5 – Buzzy Cohen
    5 – Larissa Kelly

    3 – Julia Collins
    3 – Dave Madden
    3 – Alex Jacobs
    3 – Cindy Stowell
    3 – Arthur Chu

    2 – Matt Jackson
    2 – Brad Rutter
    2 – Alan Lin
    2 – Cliff Calvin

    1 – Lavar Burton
    1 – Leonard Cooper
    1 – Roger Craig
    1 – Jackie Fuchs
    1 – Regis Philbin
    1 – Rachel Lindgren
    1 – Kristen Cutts
    1 – Lisa Schlitt
    1 – Colby Burnett
    1 – Frank Spangenberg
    1 – Eddie Timanus
    1 – John Presloid

  30. This may be a naive question, but is Final Jeopardy designed to be more difficult than any of the regular-play questions (answers)? And DD’s harder than non-DD’s? It’s hard to tell, but I would guess it would be true.

    The reason I’m curious is that looking at the Holzhauer vs. Jennings daily comparison, the correct response rate patterns by type are very different, even though the rest of their (non-wagering-related) stats are fairly close:

    Correct when buzzing in: H 97.37%, J 92.69%
    Correct Daily Doubles: H 94.03%, J 88.14%
    Correct Final Jeopardy: H 96.55%, J 65.52%

    Holzhauer is clustered fairly tightly around 96%, regardless of the type.
    Jennings falls off pretty steeply though.

    Any ideas why that would be? Is it just that James is so good, the difference in difficulty is smaller than his error rate? Or thought of another way, to decrease his correct FJ rate, they would have to make it so difficult that it would be unfair to other players?

    • Final Jeopardy is designed to be harder than others. Daily Doubles are generally of similar difficulty to regular clues. Sometimes, though, the fact that a player is forced to respond on a Daily Double reduces the correct response rate on those clues (whereas on normal clues, the player needs to actively attempt the clue by signalling).

      • Thanks. That makes me wonder if there are cumulative stats available for all players combined, showing the average rate curve from regular play, to DD, to FJ. It would give some insight into just how much more difficult FJ is, and how much the forced-answer nature affects DD success. And how unusual is James’ pattern with those? Is it another “record”?

        Is there a database of all prior show data somewhere? There’s probably endless stats one could look at, but it would be fun to play with to see what patterns could be eked out of it.

  31. Patrick Macaraeg | May 29, 2019 at 2:48 pm |

    Turd Ferguson
    Patrick Macaraeg

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