Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 3, 2019

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Words of the 2000s) for Friday, May 3, 2019 (Season 35, Episode 170):

In 2008, TIME Magazine described this new practice as “one part social networking and one part capital accumulation”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Carol Hansen, a retired database administrator from San Francisco, California
Carol Hansen on Jeopardy!
Pete Vanderhyden, an airline pilot from Murrieta, California
Pete Vanderhyden on Jeopardy!
James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada (21-day total: $1,608,627)
James Holzhauer on Jeopardy!

Whoever wins this game won’t return until May 20; the show’s annual Teachers Tournament is taking place from May 6-17.

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 700 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 write 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)

If you appreciate the work I do here on The Jeopardy! Fan and would like to make a one-time contribution to the site, you may do so here!

Correct response: What is crowdfunding?

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:

According to the same September 4, 2008 article (full article behind a paywall), crowdfunding website “seek to harness the enthusiasm–and pocket money–of virtual strangers, promising them a cut of the returns”. Famous crowdfunding websites include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and even Patreon!

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 $300 has been raised.)

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

Scores going into Final:
James $47,381
Carol $5,800
Peter $4,600

Tonight’s results:
Peter $4,600 – $4,600 = $0 (What is online banking)
Carol $5,800 – $3,401 = $2,399 (What is cyber)
James $47,381 + $35,000 = $82,381 (22-day total: $1,691,008)

James Holzhauer, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the May 3, 2019 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
James $13,200
Carol $1,800
Peter $1,400


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) CLASSIC LITERATURE $1000 (1st pick)
James 0 +1000 (Peter 0 Carol 0)
2) GETTING ALL SCIENCE “E” $1200 (12th pick)
James 24400 +11381 (Peter 1400 Carol 1400)
3) GOVERNMENT & POLITICS $1200 (19th pick, $10,800 left on board)
Carol 4200 +2000 (James 42181 Peter 1400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 194

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

Game Stats:
James $37,200 Coryat, 43 correct, 0 incorrect, 70.18% in first on buzzer, 1/1 on rebound attempts
Carol $5,000 Coryat, 6 correct, 2 incorrect, 10.53% in first on buzzer, 0/1 on rebound attempts
Peter $4,600 Coryat, 7 correct, 2 incorrect, 16.36% in first on buzzer
Combined Coryat Score: $46,800
Lach Trash: $4,400 (on 4 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $2,800

James Holzhauer, stats to date:
803 correct, 27 incorrect
22/24 on rebound attempts (on 48 rebound opportunities)
59.00% in first on buzzer (731/1239)
49/53 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $462,416)
21/22 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,782

James Holzhauer, to win:
23 games: 97.877%
24: 95.799%
25: 93.765%
26: 91.775%
27: 89.826%
75: 32.068%
Avg. streak: 68.103 games.
(This is using the updated model.)


Tournament of Champions projections:
With a projected 80 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 93.537% of the time.
Anneke Garcia qualified 77.551% of the time.
Lindsey Shultz qualified 49.784% of the time.
Dave Leffler qualified 26.109% of the time.
Jonathan Dinerstein qualified 17.966% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • James’ 23rd game will be May 20.
  • $82,381 is the 10th-highest one-day total of all time. James now holds the top 12 one-day totals of all time.
  • On the final Daily Double, had Carol gone all-in and then ran the final 11 clues, her score still only would have been $19,200. James already had a runaway game sewn up at that point and Carol was absolutely correct to play for second place.
  • If you took the 22 games James has already won out of the prediction model, it would still predict a streak of 46 games for James.
  • The prediction model gives James a 78.975% chance of surpassing Ken Jennings’ winnings total of $2,520,700.
  • James’ current per-game average winnings, $76,864, is only $136 less than Roger Craig’s previous one-day record of $77,000.
  • James has now had seven games where he did not give an incorrect response. Ken Jennings only had two throughout his entire run.
  • After winning by only $18 on Monday, James’ margins of victory the rest of the week: $91,326, $93,070, $70,415, and $79,972. His average final margin of victory over 22 games has been $64,913. For comparison, Ken Jennings’ average margin of victory in his first 22 games was $24,116.

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71 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 3, 2019"

  1. How did James have a rebound attempt when he didn’t miss any questions?

  2. Jay Rosenberg | May 3, 2019 at 11:13 am |

    Carol’s path to victory on the 2nd DD – (unrealistic but theoretically possible)
    Carol goes all in, James, buzzes in first on all the remaining questions, misses all of them, Carol rebounds all of them correctly – she would still be in 2nd place but it is no longer a runaway.
    Then FJ is preempted by the networks deciding to air the movie Heidi.

  3. Did they already tape his next episode on May 20?

  4. Alex said on GMA that the ratings have boosted b/c of James, so I guess there will be a ratings decline or return to average during the tournament. I’m a fairly casual viewer so I wonder how this interruption will affect viewers – will we all come back to see James hit 2 million/more games or will people leave and forget to tune in again. Have they interrupted a streak before – it seems risky to lose viewers when your show is making the national news daily.

    • I think it might even help build up the hype. The network (and social media) gets more time to promote James’ anticipated return.

    • I’m sure the entire season is scheduled in advance and if James goes into season 6 there will be more interrupted time.

    • Vader47000 | May 3, 2019 at 10:41 pm |

      Streaks are interrupted all the time. Ken Jennings’ run stretched across two seasons, and when he came back after the break the second half of his run was broken up by 3 tournaments, including a ToC he didn’t qualify for because he hadn’t lost yet. (per J-Archive, he came back after a college tournament and had his second-highest single-day total of his run in game 71)

    • Hmm, not that you are wrong, but I think this will be good for the non-regular viewers. They’d get burnt out. Or perhaps I should say, I will be very excited for the return. Hopefully he’s fresh! Lol…and omg, if he makes it to the off season, I bet he learns so much more. He doesn’t have job and is a research savant I think. He’s already way better at the actual trivia than Ken. And his buzzer skills are getting better and better. At some point, he could become literally unbeatable. So, then what? They might have to randomize the buzzer or something. That actually would be fair. Buzz in before the time you can now and it’s randomized. Why not? It’s a trivia game, not the most boring video game of all time.

  5. Christina O. | May 3, 2019 at 11:42 am |

    Would James have had an interruption in his taping schedule due to taping of the Teacher’s Tournament?

    • Christina O. | May 4, 2019 at 8:37 am |

      Does anyone know what date was James’show #23 (to be televised on May 20) taped and what date was #1 Teacher’s Tournament taped (to be seen on May 6)?

      • It’s all taped to the end of the season before, afaik. They do 1 week in 1 day so 230eps/5, so 46 days or 9ish weeks. It’s already happened!

  6. Ken Jennings streak took place over 2 seasons. So, yes a streak has been interrupted before.

  7. Do you think James is the best Jeopardy player of all
    time already?

    • Noumon Munir | May 3, 2019 at 3:51 pm |

      if you look at the numbers , it says yes . in my opinion

    • James has joined Ken and Brad in the discussion. No one has done it better; only longer.

  8. Once again, James his “worst” game (four incorrect responses) with a perfect game.

    He now has SEVEN perfect games out of his 22.

    Ken Jennings had 2 out of his 80 games played.


    • Yeah he is the best Jeopardy player ever already I think. I think the way he has dominated puts him above Ken and Brad.

      • I think we need to see him play Brad before we can really rank him.

      • I don’t know who is better or not, but don’t you think both James and Brad would have an advantage over Ken? Lots of world history, world leaders, movies, awards, and so on have taken place since Ken’s winning streak and how do we know Ken is current on the ‘newer’ knowledge needed to compete with these two men across the categories. Maybe Ken just hasn’t kept up? I hope that makes sense.

        • We may never know! Eventually, it’s going to be the James! Show. You win 10 million if you beat him, or something.

  9. Tom Huppmann | May 3, 2019 at 3:17 pm |

    At his current game-win average, James will surpass Ken Jennings’ regular J! total money winnings on May 27. (Would have been May 20 if not for the upcoming Teachers Tournament)

  10. I am fairly certain there will be a Ken v. Brad v. James battle before too long. I only hope that Alex will still be the host when that inevitably occurs.

  11. Not that I don’t enjoy watching James and his success but I do miss the more competitive shows and watching the contestants battle it out for the win. Kind of like in sports where blowouts can be boring.

  12. Lisa Brasch | May 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm |

    Local news in Chicago has gone James crazy. He’s originally from one of our suburbs. Today they’re showing a watch party with his family. Jeopardy leads into the early evening news and now always includes a James teaser.

    Though I of course hope Alex is with us for years to come, whenever he retires I think James is the natural choice for next host. Though he’d probably end up with a pay cut since he’s now making about half a million per week!

    I fear the Teacher’s Tournament will be like watching Jeopardy in slo-mo.

    • Ed Collins | May 3, 2019 at 10:41 pm |

      Completely disagree. I love watching James, but I don’t think he has the right personality to be a good host of a game show.

      • Leona Schell | May 4, 2019 at 7:48 am |

        I agree with Ed – James would not make a good host – Ken Jennings would be better but I sure hope Alex stays around for many more years.

    • We haven’t seen James really show himself. It is possible. I really feel like I am watching a poker player. There’s a lot more. He’s good, that’s all I know! Haha.

  13. Add up the Regular Play money list winnings of #3, #4, #5, #6 combined and they will not equal James Holzhauer.

  14. James now has answered the 2nd-most correct Final Jeopardy clues: 21 (of 22).

    • Umm, does this include tourneys or something? Cause he played the second most games alone yesterday.

      • Others have played more games. Only Ken has answered more Final Jeopardy clues correctly.

  15. Bob Chang | May 3, 2019 at 6:35 pm |

    Andy, your prediction model has James with an average steak of about 68 games (46 more wins), but the 50% probability is at around 54 games. I suppose that’s because though “only” 32 more wins is needed to make 54, the combined possibilities of a longer win streak that has no limit raises the average to 68. Is that correct?

    A suggested addition to your statistics is the top 50 or 100 game $ winnings of all-time (adjusted to double scores when $ amounts were half of today) or perhaps better all scores over $40,000, which would include 2nd place finishes like Adam Levin’s. The top 10 Hall of Fame list has been completely re-written by James. So this bigger list would document and continue to recognize the best Jeopardy games of all-time. I suggested games > $40,000 rather than just top 100 or top 50 because if James’s streak got really long he could soon dominate the top 50 and even top 100 and we wouldn’t see other historically top performances.

    An example is Austin Rodgers, who before James was advertised as having 2 of the top 5 all-time games. Now, those 2 are barely top 20 and could drop much lower depending on James’ streak.

    • Bob Chang | May 3, 2019 at 8:26 pm |

      A more selective and probably meaningful list than games > $40,000 might be games > $50,000; after James, that list would likely only rarely need to be updated.

      My two cents to the question of whether Brad or Ken or James is better. I start by deferring to a baseball analogy. Ken’s 74 game streak is most impressive and may be unbeatable, just as Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hitting streak is thought unbreakable in baseball circles. Though a great Hall of fame player, Joe’s not on the short list of best all-time players or even best hitters. He did win two batting titles, but Ty Cobb (12), Honus Wagner and Tony Gwynn (8 each) won many more. Twenty five players have won three or more batting titles.

      Ken, however, is on everyone’s shortlist of top 3 Jeopardy players, along with Brad and now James. But until James beats his $2.52 M and approaches or beats his streak Ken will remain #1 I’m sure to many fans. Before James can beat Ken’s streak, he will have beaten Brad’s all-time winnings total that includes tournament winnings.

      Because of the 5 game limit we will never know how many consecutive regular games Brad could have won, but he certainly has the most impressive tournament record.

      Because of these dynamics, a big 3 tournament with Ken, Brad, and James would generate great interest! Until then James has my vote as #1 even if he doesn’t top $2.52M for whatever reason.

  16. I am pretty sure I am in the minority, but I find these games boring and uninteresting. They are uncompetitive and you know the winner by the break. The only game I enjoyed this week was the lone non-runaway.

    I understand and appreciate the significance and uniqueness of James’ run, but I find myself not watching the show and coming here for the results

    • I agree with your statement and also find myself not watching the show and coming here for the results.

      • I agree with both statements. I hope someone steps up soon. I have no interest in watching a show that’s over after the first commercial break!

  17. Tom Huppmann | May 3, 2019 at 8:58 pm |

    It would be very cool to have Ken Jennings show up on Jeopardy! as a prank contestant wearing an oversized mustache against James Holzhauer for the game James would probably beat Ken’s money record.

    • Ha! That would be very, very cool! I can hear Johnny Gilbert announcing: “…And from Seattle, Washington; please welcome Jen Kennings!”

  18. center ice | May 4, 2019 at 4:01 am |

    To me, the boring and uninteresting games are the non-James shows in which winners finish with coryats in the teens, with 7 or 8 triple-stumpers and 3 or 4 leftover clues. James is the rarest of Jeopardy! champions, since he is not only winning by such huge margins but he is also doing it in a way no other player has — by changing the way the game is played. It’s captivating and exciting! To each their own, but I’d rather watch a brilliant player with a daring betting style than the non-James style. Watching the weekend re-run is like seeing a basketball games without a shot clock.

    • To me, the amazing thing is to have SO MUCH talent, savvy, and composure contained in an apparently normal, well-rounded, 35 year-old man. But to be fair, I feel that Ken and Brad also exhibited the same.
      James is now starting to enjoy his time on the set too. When he mimicked being a streaker, he demonstrated his comfort level and enjoyment.

  19. It would be interesting to find out if the Jeopardy staff saw this coming when they allowed James to be a contestant. I’m wondering if they were aware of what he had done on GSN’s “The Chase”. Allowing James to be a contestant is equivalent to a casino allowing a known professional Black Jack player in the door!

    • There have been many very well-known players from Quiz Bowl circuits who have made appearances. James fits the mold of a ringer, but hardly unprecedented.

  20. Mr. Andy: Playing the “normal” way, running the table, and betting all on all doubles and the final J, what is the max a player can win? Assume the value of the average position of Doubles in your calculation. Have Doubles EVER been in a final row position?
    Virtually, if not factually, never I am betting.
    Also, what is keeping an audience member from cleaning up in Vegas or online sites legally since they sign no NDA? It is not insider info when something is a known fact, which it will be after he loses. Thanks

  21. I’m a huge fan of James and do not think he’s broken the game. I think he is an exceptional player. This morning on CNN, Smerconish did a segment on Jeopardy. He began the segment talking about an opinion piece from the Washington Post titled: “James Holzhauer is a menace to ‘Jeopardy!” This piece by Charles Lane says, among other things, “In short, this professional gambler from Las Vegas does not so much play the game as beat the system. What’s entertaining about that? And beyond a certain point, what’s admirable?”
    Smerconish then discussed this with a prior 5-time winner, whose name I do not remember. However, this prior winner played in the 90’s when there was a 5-game limit. He was in full agreement with Lane and Smerconish that Holzhauer was ruining the game.

    While I found their thoughts interesting, I just could not agree with them.

  22. Umm, does this include tourneys or something? Cause he played the second most games alone yesterday.

  23. I don’t understand all the ” haters “. In ALL three we are experiencing a real-time Albert Einstein !!! with different styles and personalities but ALL are BRILLIANT !!! So why not just watch and enjoy the ride. Understandably I can see how James’ style has contributed to what some consider Jeopardy, the games as somewhat boring, but I see it as just the opposite by watching his BRILLIANCE and EXCITING manner of play. Probably because of his profession as a professional gambler, but as stated there have been professional trivia players who have not done NEARLY as well as James. So NOT only is he a gambler which has AIDED him to victory he has shown ( to use my term I continue to call him ) his BRILLIANCE !!! So again. Please stop the ” hating ” and continue to watch the ride until we get to view head-to-head match up(s). In summary, I think James will continue his streak, continue his per-game leads, surpass the TOTAL winnings, but fall short on the total of 74 straight. Oh yeah, I can see his totals being greater than the unbelievable 3mil. Plus and averaging over $70,000 per. Which to me is more impressive than the 74 in a row since 2nd place is like $20 000 per. ~ Peace out !!!

    • Brilliance is to be appreciated as an exceedingly rare commodity! James has it. Ours is to behold and enjoy it!

  24. Hope my comments made sense to you as they have to me !!!

  25. Given that 1) Trebek said on his GMA interview that he used to think Ken’s record was unbeatable and now he doesn’t think that anymore 2) no news of Jame’s loss or final steal number has leaked and the shows were taped months ago and news of Ken’s loss leaked with hours of the taping and 3) the season finale airs July 26th, which would have already been taped, and the new season airs in September which would NOT have been taped, I think it’s fair to assume that James has not yet lost and is waiting for the new season to start taping and is currently sitting at (62?) – So the question is when would they start taping the new season? Also is my assumption fair?

    • Your assumption sounds good, Sergio. There’s a big part of me that’s dying to know James’ future,on Jeopardy; but finding out all-at-once, rather than letting the drama build day-by-day, is definitely a spoiler. Hopefully, your assumption proves to be reality.

    • Excluding the teacher’s tournament, there’s still 50 episodes left this season. If James is unbeaten, he’d be sitting at 72 wins.

      • No, there are 40 regular play episodes left this season. There is another teen tournament from June 17-28.

      • Bob Chang | May 6, 2019 at 9:23 am |

        Sergio, since your assumption seems logical I see the question increasingly being “ Can James break 100?” as we approach or reach the July 26 season end.Then “Could James top $10 million?” “Might James double Ken’s streak?” Seems like crazy talk but if the assumption is true, not too crazy! One other person has written he sees a 110 game streak which would yield ~$8.5 million at current pace. However, next season he wouldn’t be able to surprise anybody and the possibility of another Adam Levin or two or more increases who follows James strategy successfully.Who will execute it best and have better luck in finding DDs becomes the question?

  26. Would “crowdsourcing” have been equally acceptable as “crowdfunding” for the FJ question?

  27. Jay Rosenberg | May 9, 2019 at 6:52 pm |

    Does anyone know when Jeopardy! distributes its winnings? Does James have to wait until he eventually loses to get a check or do they do it after each show that airs (either per show or per week)? If James never loses would he never see any of his money or would they do it for each season or calendar year? Did Ken Jennings get 1 lump sum after his streak ended?

    • Ken got them every couple weeks. James has been paid.

      • Incorrect.

        In most cases, contestants get paid about 90-120 days after airing.

        • Jay Rosenberg | May 9, 2019 at 9:02 pm |

          Thanks, is that per game, i.e. 90-120 days after each air date?

          • For a winner, it would be 90-120 after a final game.

          • Jay Rosenberg | May 10, 2019 at 11:40 am |

            So James won’t see any money until 90-120 days after he loses? Would that provide an incentive for him to ‘cash out’ i.e. lose a game if he goes lets say a couple of years without losing? Would there be a risk that the show wouldn’t have the money or ends it’s run?

          • I remember reading that Ken got a payment after the end of the first season (in which he still hadn’t lost) and one after he lost. Don’t know how many days after in regards to the airing or filming dates though. In any case, if that’s true, James will get paid whatever he is owed at the end of this season, in however many days they wait to pay him, but it’s definitely an intelligent accounting move to “pay out” at the break of a season with a remarkable player this way, to assure they aren’t “jeopardizing” their balance books and risking bankruptcy or just the temptation to somehow not pay out with the debt continuously accumulating.

  28. Jay. James is a competitor. The last thing on his mind is whether or not the money will be there. He wants to win as much and as often as he can. He is also a gambler; so he doesn’t think about cash like the average person does. Also, legally, except for perhaps bankruptcy, Jeopardy! is required to make payments to all of its contestants. Remember the reason for delaying payments to the contestants is to help ensure that results of pre-taped shows don’t leak out before the episodes air.

    Here’s an interesting scenario that could happen with James. The T.O.C. stats indicate that James is 100% qualified for the tourney. But, if he crosses seasons, like Ken Jennings did, then he doesn’t qualify for this year’s T.O.C. Instead, he will qualify for next year’s T.O.C. And, furthermore, some agreement could take place, as it did with Ken Jennings, where he never takes part in a T.O.C. Ken Jennings waived his right to take part in the T.O.C. when he agreed to be an automatic finalist in the Ultimate Champions Tournament. Just some food for thought.

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