Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 31, 2019

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Oscar-Nominated Families) for Friday, May 31, 2019 (Season 35, Episode 190):

It’s the last name of Alfred, Lionel, David, Emil, Thomas & Randy, who with 90 nominations, are the most Oscar-nominated family

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Wyatt Feeler, an attorney from College Park, Maryland
Wyatt Feeler on Jeopardy!
William Tran, an attorney from Monterey Park, California
William Tran on Jeopardy!
James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada (31-day total: $2,382,583)
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 1,100 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 Newman?

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 Newman family has been scoring films in Hollywood since the 1930s. Alfred, Emil, and Lionel were brothers; Randy is the son of their brother Michael, and Thomas and David are Alfred’s sons. Alfred had 43 Oscar nominations, Randy 20, Thomas 14, Lionel 11, and Emil and David 1 apiece. (Emil’s was for his musical direction on Sun Valley Serenade.)

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 $52,633
Wyatt $12,600
William $800

Tonight’s results:
William $800 + $700 = $1,500
Wyatt $12,600 – $5,000 = $7,600 (Who is Hitchcock?)
James $52,633 + $27,000 = $79,633 (32-day total: $2,462,216)

James Holzhauer, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the May 31, 2019 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
James $14,400
Wyatt $5,000
William -$1,200


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
James 3800 +3800 (Wyatt 1000 William -2000)
2) RELIGION FOUNDERS $2000 (8th pick)
James 18800 +10021 (Wyatt 6200 William -1200)
3) EPISTOLARY NOVELS $2000 (13th pick)
James 32821 +9812 (Wyatt 7800 William -1200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 183

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

Game Stats:
James $33,600 Coryat, 37 correct, 3 incorrect, 61.40% in first on buzzer, 2/2 on rebound attempts
Wyatt $12,600 Coryat, 16 correct, 0 incorrect, 24.56% in first on buzzer, 2/2 on rebound attempts
William $800 Coryat, 6 correct, 2 incorrect, 14.04% in first on buzzer
Combined Coryat Score: $47,000
Lach Trash: $1,600 (on 1 Triple Stumper)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $5,400

James Holzhauer, stats to date:
1,160 correct, 36 incorrect
33/36 on rebound attempts (on 67 rebound opportunities)
58.31% in first on buzzer (1053/1806)
71/75 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $653,416)
31/32 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,800

James Holzhauer, to win:
33 games: 96.832%
34: 96.586%
35: 94.521%
36: 92.523%
37: 89.865%
75: 40.201%
Avg. streak: 78.855 games.
(This is using the updated model and now takes into account performance on specific days of the week).


Tournament of Champions projections:
With a projected 70 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 93.886% of the time.
Anneke Garcia qualified 78.764% of the time.
Lindsey Shultz qualified 52.498% of the time.
Dave Leffler qualified 30.103% of the time.
Jonathan Dinerstein qualified 22.400% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • One of the more interesting subplots from today’s game was “will William get out of the red” after giving $1,000 incorrect responses on the first two clues. He did, on the antepenultimate clue of Double Jeopardy.
  • That’s another interesting advantage for a player like James to go across the $1,000 row to start; your opponents, who are still probably very nervous, are liable to dig a very big hole if they’re wrong on one of those opening clues.
  • James is $58,484 from Ken Jennings’ all-time regular-season total of $2,520,700.
  • $79,633 is the 16th-highest regular play total of all time. James currently holds 23 of the top 27 single-game regular-play totals of all time.
  • James’ Coryat score of $33,600 is tied for the 23rd-highest regular play Coryat score of all time.
  • James has been correct on his last 26 Final Jeopardy! clues.
  • The prediction model now gives James a 97.127% chance to win on Fridays, up from 96.826%.
  • The prediction model currently gives James a 96.764% chance of surpassing Ken Jennings’ total of $2,520,700, and a 54.224% chance of surpassing Brad Rutter’s all-time winnings total of $4,688,436. (At his current average win total, James would pass Ken on June 3 and Brad on July 26.)

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67 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – May 31, 2019"

  1. @Andy
    According to Wikipedia Alfred had 45 nominations.
    Tough FJ. If its not a runaway then James might be tempted not to wager anything, anticipating a complete whiff, including him. Oscar FJs are usually very tough and they only get the category before the wager. So, how confident will James be in this category? Once the clue is revealed the high number certainly makes it clear that it’s not for acting, so…we will see.
    If James knows this one as well then I have to ask myself : “what does he NOT know?”

    • My sources gave 43; if he had 45, the rest of the math for the rest of the family would not check out to get to 90.

      • Again, I have no idea if they are right, W. gives him 43 for Best Original Score and 2 for Best Song and adds everything for the Newmans up to 92.
        Would not be the first time that J (or W. for that matter) is/are slightly wrong.IF it is indeed the higher #, they might mention it on Monday. I am sure a lot of people will research this…..

    • I agree. I know that the difficulty of all J questions, especially final J, is subjective, based on whether you know it or not, but I think this was one of the more difficult finals in recent memory. James is a movie buff, but I thought this one was really obscure.

      • Jay Rosenberg | May 31, 2019 at 11:23 am |

        I found this was one was not to hard to tease out if you are a movie fan. Clearly it is not acting and music scores and costuming among other similar Oscar categories tend to rack up multiple nominations/wins well outside the more popular categories. Seeing the names Alfred and Randy led me to Newman as those are well known composers (Randy in general and Alfred always stuck out because of it’s similarity to a certain Mad Magazine mascot – much like I remembered Nelson Riddle at a young age because of him doing the Batman TV show music and the Riddler being such a coincidence).

    • The category actually limits down the number of correct responses quite dramatically.
      James with FJ solve #26 in a row!! Jane Fonda, we are still looking at you.

      • Jay Rosenberg | May 31, 2019 at 1:52 pm |

        Speaking of Jane Fonda – that family isn’t too shabby regarding movie awards – it would have been funny if they were the response to todays clue.

        • Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 2:17 pm |

          Then it would have had to be for acting rather than film scores.

          But also I think Henry Jane and Peter, would have been an easy giveaway

          • Jay Rosenberg | May 31, 2019 at 3:50 pm |

            It was a joke – having his only FJ miss being connected with Jane Fonda. Fonda wouldn’t be the correct response to this specific clue, but given the nature of the clue, it is conceivable to have another similarly styled clue about a family with multiple Oscar wins being about the Fonda’s and James responding “Who is Huston?” and then him occasionally running into Jane in real life and flipping out – ala the classic Niagara Falls/Susquehanna Hat Company routine (slowly I turned step by step, inch by inch).

  2. The 3 wrong answers for James has to be the 1st time in his run he’s had that many wrong in one game even so a roll to another victory. He’s amazing. to say the least.

  3. It must be cool for the “regular” people in the audience. When they got their tickets for these tapings, they had no idea about someone called James, and now they get to see history being made live–especially the audience who gets to see him break Ken’s record.

    • Next week’s audience will get the honor of seeing James break Ken’s record (or lose when he’s on the precipice) and also be the first group to see Alex after his cancer diagnosis went public (today’s contestants were told of the announcement but the audience was left in the dark).

  4. I disagree and thought it pretty easy— Randy Newman rather predictably gets a nomination almost every year in recent years, so the inclusion of a “Randy” in the list nailed it. If the reference was exclusively to Alfred Newman, it would have been much much harder. But they gave us a lot of info, which is Jeopardy’s way of lowering the difficulty.

  5. Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 11:25 am |

    Who is BEN INGRAM? And shouldn’t he be in the 10 + game champions.

    Per your, Andy’s comments listed below, on the Jeopardy game of 4/11/19. (I went back to look at the 4/11/19 Jeopardy game, which was the one game James didn’t get the FJ question correct.

    FYI, It was an interesting game to check out) Also I would have beaten James in FJ. ) Also as the question was for 1982, I think James guessed incorrectly…but I don’t think he was Born in 1982. And the question was, not something he probably would have read in his research book. Unless, maybe if he also studied the Guinness Book of World Records.

    With James missing Final Jeopardy, today, Ben Ingram’s record of 12 consecutive correct Final Jeopardy! clues stays intact.

  6. Liam Ryan | May 31, 2019 at 11:27 am |

    Wow, I never thought I would see somebody halfway to Ken’s 74 days or $38k away from his winnings! He just amazes me how smart he is. I’m starting to think he has to be one of the smartest people in the entire world!

    • Not half; 32/74, which doesn’t reduce to a simple fraction but is < 1/2. (I think it’s ~ 43%.)

  7. Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 11:39 am |

    It’s going to be a long weekend waiting for this maybe record setting Jeopardy game on Monday >>> James is $58,484 from Ken Jennings’ all-time regular-season total of $2,520,700.

    Also imagine how the other 2 contestants will feel playing against him…or if 1 actually beats him….

    Also it should be interesting to see if James shows any nerves, as this is probably 1 of 2 records he really wants. 1 beating Ken Jennings and then one beating Brad All time record.

    • There are 3 big records:
      1. Monday he gets Ken’s regular play $ winnings
      2. On pace for July 25 to get Rutter’s all-Jeopardy $ winnings
      3. Season 36 could give the immortal 75th win

      • Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 2:23 pm |

        That true 75, but right now, I can even think about James going that high.

        Doesn’t that mean if there are breaks for misc tournaments, that would take 5 months.

        Wonder if he can keep his sanity if it goes that long

        • He has been on break since April 6. And will return filming in July. So that is 10 weeks of studying, interview, and “sanity”. He is not new to the grind of quizzing.

        • Seems to me he has been enjoying life. Assuming he finished the season with wins, he already completed another 6 tape days. As Joseph said, he’s been on break for almost 2 months already and has at least another month (not sure when in July they start back). Once taping starts back, he only need 3 tape days to break the record.

    • Yes,a VERY long weekend indeed! But I’m confident James can manage to win more than $58,484 next Monday. Therefore, using James’ now familiar “all in” gesture, I will bet the farm that next Monday we will have a new champ, and a TRUE “Jeopardy James” !!!

    • How do you know he gives a flip about setting any records?? I sure wouldn’t at this point–I would be happy to take my 2.5 mil(or so) and go home…

      • The IRS takes ~25% of that and goes home.
        And you know what they say about a $million: it just doesn’t go as far as it used to.

      • Matt Rose | June 1, 2019 at 7:56 pm |

        I am pretty sure that James has mentioned that he looked forward to breaking some and certain Jeopardy records. And Why not. Bet James would want everyone to think of James, as the best Jeopardy player ever..

        Now, most of us, Puts James At #1 with his $77,000 daily average win. But I bet some people would say, Ken Jennings 74 wins is unbelievable, and also Ken has won more money than James.

  8. Bob Chang | May 31, 2019 at 12:18 pm |

    What is the chance James tops the $58,484 on Monday 6/3 needed to topple Ken’s $2.52M+ record haul over 74 regular games? Overall he’s exceeded that amount in 23 of 32 games, but 21 of his last 24, and 13 of his last 14.

    With his score today he also continued his amazing streak of exceeding at least twice every full week Roger Craig’s previous record of $77,000. In the week 4/29 to 5/3 he did it 4 times straight following his scare against Adam Levin on Monday 4/29.

    • Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 12:36 pm |

      Yup, but more amazing, is James has just under a $77,000 average per game win in his 32 games.

      Thinking more about this, wonder if anyone has done this well in the history of game shows. As some probably have had some great games, but how many have had so many great games, over and over again

    • This may not be the proper venue, but I keep seeing Andy’s Thoughts with something like today’s “$79,633 is the 16th-highest regular play total of all time. James currently holds 23 of the top 27 single-game regular-play totals of all time.” That’s incorrect, and seems odd. He holds 21 of the top 23 slots in that list, but also 21 of the top any number until you get down to 32 (or 30 if you exclude Celebrities and Kids Tournaments, 28 if you don’t double winnings in the haploid era). So how does he come up with 23 out of 27? By my count (including Richter & Hornback, and doubling Spangenberg, Vered, Lach & Skelton) he’s only 23 of the top 34; subtract them and he’s 23 of the top 28. I can’t twist the list into his being 23 of 27. Even if you count his 2 $90,812 wins as 1, that shrinks both sums by 1. (He was married 8 September 2012. Variations show up frequently.)

      But why not just say the obvious and incontrovertible, that he holds ranks 1-16 and 19-23? (More graphically stated as 21 of the top 23, all of the top 16.)

  9. Ho-Hum…… only 34 consecutive Daily Doubles correct.
    [26 Final Jeopardy is ok too]

  10. James holds 23 of the top 27.
    Can you give a ranking of all 31 games (including the low which is probably around #300)?

    He has the top how many games? I recall at one point it was the top 12?


  11. Noumon Munir | May 31, 2019 at 3:22 pm |

    wow i cannot believe this is really happening . the ultimate record that will be beaten!! now on the hunt of Brads record and the 75 wins of Ken!!!
    i bet this is what people in 2004 thought when Ken was on his run

  12. He’s still no Paul Michael Larson.

  13. Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 3:45 pm |

    So if James last game day taped was 4/6/19. Which is funny as his first televised game was shown on 4/4/19.

    So with the 10 week break you mentioned, when the new season starts, they will be pretty much caught up to the present. Before they start banking shows again, by doing 10 shows a week, but only show 5.

    • I haven’t seen anyone talk about the schedule for next season yet, but normally they don’t tape 10 shows every week. Normally they tape for 2 days then take 12 days off before doing 2 days again, and keep 4-8 weeks ahead of air dates. That was adjusted for portions of this season due to the All-Star tournament set and the threatened writers’ strike in April. They may still decide to tighten the taping schedule in July to work with Alex’s medical treatment schedule.

  14. Brian P Norwood | May 31, 2019 at 4:20 pm |

    I was thinking Coppola. I was thinking wrong.

  15. Elizabeth Harris | May 31, 2019 at 5:53 pm |

    Thank goodness he’s not.

  16. What was Ken’s lowest score?

    • Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 7:06 pm |

      Not sure but I known I figured out once that Ken Jennings daily average was just under $35,000 in 74 games

      Compared to James $77,000 in 32 games

    • Bob Chang | May 31, 2019 at 7:58 pm |

      All games of champs who won at least 10 in a row are on this site. Ken’s lowest was $10,001 in game 39. In final game 74 his score was higher than that but because he was second won only $2,000.

      • Bob Chang | June 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm |

        Correction: in game 75 when Ken lost to Julie Zerg he had $14,400 going to FJ, while she had 10,000. She wagered $4,401 and answered correctly to finish at $14,401 while he wagered $5,601 to finish at $8,799.

  17. Matt Rose | May 31, 2019 at 7:12 pm |

    Poor William only got 2 incorrect answers today, which happened on his first 2 questions.

    Wondering if his strategy was that he wanted to just ring in quickly, just before James, which he did, but then he didn’t know the answers.

  18. James streak is amazing. I know the Shows are taped ahead of time. How have they been able to keep everything a secret . There appears to be a decent size studio audience . Human nature being what it is I am surprised there hasn’t been a leak . Must see tv every night great for Jeopardy ratings.

    • My theory is the internet is so awash in people fake leaking, any real leak would be washed out or dismissed. I assume they are pretty vigilant about people not filming or photographing in any way. Without that, your leak won’t get far.

  19. Mark Warner | May 31, 2019 at 8:21 pm |

    What is Ken Jennings’s most conservative FJs correct in a row?
    It seems like in every round like at maybe between questions 20 and 30 that James does not even try to answer but gives himself a rest. Is there any quantifiable way to show that?

    • I feel the same too like he doesn’t bother with some questions that seem like he definitely should know. 🤔🤔 It’s like I get mad at him for not responding 😄😄😄

    • Elizabeth Harris | May 31, 2019 at 11:37 pm |

      I doubt that he is “giving himself a rest.” I don’t think this is a consistent pattern.

      • Bill Weil | June 1, 2019 at 12:54 am |

        I do think he gives himself a mental rest at least once in every game. It’s when the DD are gone and there are mostly lower-valued clues left. He seems to “check out” for a few minutes to avoid mental fatigue taping five shows in one day. He doesn’t ring in on easy clues he must know. Then he always goes for the last clue in each round. I’m not sure why. There is no advantage to answering the last clue.

  20. It is really interesting to see Ken Jennings scored $50000 six times and $52000 several times. Besides that, he had his one $75000 outlier game –which was immediately followed up with his low game of $10001.

    Meanwhile, we are bummed to see “only” $50k from James, but he has also popped for more than the previous record-high of $77k in SIXTEEN of his 32 shows.

  21. Bob Chang | June 1, 2019 at 2:47 pm |

    While James 3 incorrect responses Friday was among his most misses, even in his two 4 incorrect response games he topped the previous record of $77k with $80,006 and $80,615!

    Ken many times missed 4 or more in almost half his 74 game streak, 36 altogether:

    4 misses – 16 times
    5 misses – 10 times
    6 misses – 6 times
    7 misses – 3 times
    …and an uncharacteristic 9 misses once!

    This doesn’t diminish Ken’s greatness, but it does highlight James’s incredible accuracy and consistency to date!

    • 2 cogent difference between Ken & James: 1st is James’ obvious cognizance of wagering strategy, willingness to seek wagering opportunities and ability to correctly calculate odds. Ken acknowledged the chance element of the game, often betting on hunch or instinct. 2nd is James’ discipline in refraining from buzzing on clues of which he’s unsure. Ken was actually more eager to answer than James, buzzing 1st and answering correctly more times/game, but the salient statistic, aside from Ken’s anemic wagering, is that he also answered incorrectly more often. Guessing probably benefited him, overall, but he overlooked something significant: if he was unsure, probably so were the others; their incorrect guesses would have worried them > his incorrect guesses worried him, affecting their play > his. His guessing at clues deprived his opponents of the opportunity to fail and encouraged them to compete. James, by allowing others to guess at obscure clues, probably derives at least as much material benefit as he would by guessing himself, plus a huge psychological advantage in dampening their enthusiasm for reflexive buzzing. He seeks amassing relatively large stakes. The difference between his bankroll and his competitors’ is what allows large bets on 3rd DDs and FJ!, so even minor early deductions and consequent self-doubt on their part are worth at least as much to him as his own success and confidence.

  22. Prithvi Sudhakar | June 1, 2019 at 4:42 pm |

    I found out that Jeopardy! had a McDonald’s clue and had “Mickey D’s” in it. Is that the slang term for McDonalds, and when did it first pop up?

    Also, I heard that Alex is recovering from his cancer. Is this true?

    • Mickey D’s is indeed a slang term for McDonald’s. I don’t know when it first came up, but it’s been around for at least 15 years.
      Alex said in an interview a few days ago that he is responding well to chemotherapy, that he is nearly in remission, and that some of his tumors have shrunk by 50%. Let’s hope he continues with this progress.

      • “Micky D’s” was common to the point of ubiquity when I was a kid in the 60s in DC. I can’t say about earlier than that or elsewhere, but both seem highly likely.

  23. Prithvi Sudhakar | June 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm |

    One thing I really like about Jeopardy! are the so-called “J-Effects”. I even watch the videos of all six All-Star captains on YouTube.

    Colby: “During my contestant interview, they said, “What would you do if you won $100,000? I was like, “All right, I’ll get my mom a house.” My mother sacrificed for years, for decades, to put me in a position where I could be successful in life.”
    Buzzy: “Jeopardy! was a really big boost in terms of helping my self-esteem and really showing me what I was capable of.”
    Julia: “Having this financial freedom to explore has been really incredible and wholly unexpected.”
    Ken: “Having some childhood dream like “maybe I could be on Jeopardy! someday” and then actually getting to do that – that really changes who you are.”
    Austin: “The biggest thing that’s changed for me as a result of being on Jeopardy! is obviously all of these spectacular opportunities.”
    Brad: “The biggest thing I’ve learned over the whole Jeopardy! experience is just thinking positively can really help.”

    I wonder what is going to be in James’s “J-Effect” video, should they choose to do one on him.

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