Today’s Final Jeopardy – July 18, 2019

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Notorious) for Thursday, July 18, 2019 (Season 35, Episode 224):

The death penalty has been carried out only once under Israeli law—in 1962, for this man

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Nathan Kaplan, a math professor from Los Angeles, California
Nathan Kaplan on Jeopardy!
Amy King, a teacher from Seattle, Washington
Amy King on Jeopardy!
Roey Hadar, a journalist from Arlington, Virginia (1-day total: $23,600)
Roey Hadar on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: Who is Adolf Eichmann?

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More information about Final Jeopardy:

High-ranking Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 31, 1962, for his role in the Holocaust during World War II. During the Holocaust, Eichmann was essentially “chief executioner”, organizing the assembly of many of Europe’s Jews at concentration camps (what Nazis referred to as the “Final Solution”), where millions were executed. After World War II, Eichmann attempted to escape, but was captured and brought to trial in Israel, where he was given the death penalty.

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

Scores going into Final:
Roey $19,600
Nathan $9,800
Amy $7,200

Tonight’s results:
Amy $7,200 + $2,700 = $9,900
Nathan $9,800 + $9,800 = $19,600
Roey $19,600 + $0 = $19,600

Tiebreaker round category: SCIENCE

Tiebreaker round clue: This noble gas is the second-lightest element

Tiebreaker round correct response: What is helium?

Nathan responded correctly to win the game; he is now a 1-day champion with a total of $19,600.

This is only the second tiebreaker clue in a regular-play game; the first was on March 1, 2018. The rules changed as of the November 24, 2014 game (the game immediately following the 25th Tournament of Champions).

Nathan Kaplan, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the July 18, 2019 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Roey $11,200
Nathan $4,400
Amy $3,600

Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) A TOUR OF EUROPE $600 (9th pick)
Roey 3400 +3400 (Amy 400 Nathan 0)
2) THE 3-NAMED EDGARS $800 (18th pick)
Nathan 6000 +6000 (Roey 16000 Amy 5200)
3) MEDICAL TERMS $1600 (20th pick)
Nathan 12000 -5000 (Roey 16000 Amy 5200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 158

Unplayed clues:
J! round: None!
DJ! Round: THE 3-NAMED EDGARS $1200 & $1600
Total $ Left On Board: $2,800

Game Stats:
Nathan $9,600 Coryat, 12 correct, 2 incorrect, 16.36% in first on buzzer, 3/3 on rebound attempts
Roey $16,800 Coryat, 27 correct, 4 incorrect, 54.55% in first on buzzer
Amy $7,200 Coryat, 13 correct, 2 incorrect, 23.64% in first on buzzer, 1/2 on rebound attempts
Combined Coryat Score: $33,600
Lach Trash: $5,800 (on 5 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $11,800

Roey Hadar, final stats:
58 correct, 8 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
51.33% in first on buzzer (58/113)
3/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $7,400)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $20,300

Nathan Kaplan, stats to date:
14 correct, 2 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
17.86% in first on buzzer (10/56)
1/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $1,000)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $9,600

Nathan Kaplan, to win:
2 games: 32.976%
3: 10.874%
4: 3.586%
5: 1.183%
6: 0.390%
Avg. streak: 1.492 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • Depending on the metrics used (% in first on buzzer, correct responses give, performance on lower-valued clues), Roey was between 67 to 75% to win a tiebreaker over Nathan. Obviously, it didn’t work out for him in this specific case, but having that much of an advantage does skew the standard strategy slightly. I’ll be looking at it closer over the coming days.
  • There were complaints after the tiebreaker in the Teen Tournament over clue difficulty. An easy tiebreaker clue here is the entire point of the operation. Because tiebreakers are so rare, the show needs to shut taping down for 10-15 minutes in order to prepare a tiebreaker clue (It takes a non-trivial amount of time in order to find a clue, Chyron it, type-set it onto a card for Alex to read, and bring it to set for him.) Having to do this multiple times would severely hamstring the show’s tape day, and may even lead to overtime costs for the crew from a production standpoint. Moreover, the likelihood of an easier tiebreaker clue may dissuade certain players from trying to play tiebreaker in the first place, avoiding the entire operation.
  • The rules changed regarding tiebreakers in 2014 for a couple of reasons. Firstly: today’s world is significantly more connected than the world of the 1960s or 1980s when the rule was originally devised. Message boards did not exist in the 1980s and it became much more difficult to keep even the possibility of collusion at bay by the 2010s. Thus, in order to completely remove any possibilities of impropriety, the rules were changed. Moreover, in early season 31, ties were becoming so prevalent that there were contestants who had been Called and were unable to play through no fault of their own (because the preponderance of ties meant that there were too many contestants being held in the Green Room), and it was a severe inconvenience for both contestants and show. It has absolutely nothing to do with prize budgets. In fact, the show generally seems to like giving away larger prizes because generally, larger prizes means higher ratings.

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30 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – July 18, 2019"

  1. One could argue the strategy, but I’ve always been of the philosophy that if it were me, if I’m in the lead going into final jeopardy, I am going to bet as such that I won’t lose if I get final jeopardy correct.

  2. I think the FJ! category would be the biggest factor for me if I’d been in Roey’s position. If it was one I had very high confidence in, I’d bet the dollar, and conversely, if I had low confidence, I’d take my chances with the possible tiebreaker. Today’s category was pretty vague and broad…I’d wait for the possible tiebreaker in this case.

  3. Andy, forgive me if you’ve already addressed this,but I seem to recall, not too long ago, that in case of ties in FJ, they simply invited BOTH players to return the next day. Am I remembering wrong?

    • Yeah, I was wondering too what happened before 2014 when there was a tie???

      • They would be declared co-champions, each get what they won, and come back the next day. Andy’s Thoughts above has a pretty good explanation of possible reasons why they may have changed it five years ago.

        • Bob Chang | July 18, 2019 at 7:11 pm |

          After looking at the tie-break options, I think co-champs is the fairest. However, I do see that for tournaments it could be problematic.

  4. Maurine Gutowski | July 18, 2019 at 2:02 pm |

    So with the tiebreaker a simple question, it’s a matter of who hits the button first, not a measured, write-down answer? A harder, preprepared question would seem fairer.

    • I disagree. The whole game from start to finish favors the quick buzzerer (new word!). This seems like the logical (albeit stark) conclusion to such a close contest.

    • Carlos Hill | July 18, 2019 at 2:43 pm |

      If both tied contestants were to be incorrect on a hard tiebreaker, they’d have to prepare a new question entirely and continue until one of them is right. Having an easy one saves them having to repeat the process over and over.

  5. Bob Chang | July 18, 2019 at 7:06 pm |

    Two tiebreakers in a month! Poor Roey, 27 correct answers to only 12 for the new champ.

  6. I knew, thanks to this web site, what the final outcome would be…but, omg! it was painful to watch! Why didn’t Roey bet that o-n-e dollar! 😞

  7. Stunned Roey didn’t go for it in Final. I know he was quick on the buzzer but I’d rather give myself that time to consider the question rather than leave it to what’s essentially a jump ball.

  8. Roey should have bet a buck. He has nobody to blame but himself.Nathan did all he could and then beat Roey to the punch in the tiebreaker.

  9. Since he didn’t bet anything, Roey should have intentionally gotten it wrong. The MMQs would be praising him right now instead of burying him. You make a calculated decision, you live with it.

  10. Why would he bet a dollar? He knew with absolute certainty that second place would bet it all. If he had faith in himself a la James the only move was to bet it all minus 3rd places max and potentially earn more for his risk-taking.

    • If you’ve seen more than one episode of this show, you’d know that “absolute certainty” has never applied to how contestants bet, no matter the situation.

  11. Andy,

    Do you have the ability to pull data on the frequency of the 4 possible combinations of the 1st and 2nd player getting FJ right/wrong or can you direct me to where that can be pulled? I would think knowing the frequency of 1W, 2R vs. the two 2R boxes would be the first place to start on figuring out whether to wager, especially with a vague category. I would hope, but not assume, that all contestants in Nathan’s position would wager everything, but if there’s a history of that not always happening, then that’s another argument in favor of the 0 wager.

  12. Pizza Face Fred | July 19, 2019 at 2:20 pm |

    I’ve been having trouble coming up with a correct response in Final Jeopardy the last couple of weeks. I’m used to getting two or three per week. Should I quit watching?

  13. Why was there a tie-breaker on July 18th show? Did they change champion and co-champion for the next show? I thought tie-breakers were only used during tournament games. not regular games

  14. Bonnie Lynn | July 20, 2019 at 9:05 pm |

    It seems apparent, at least to me, that Roey was unaware of the sudden-death rule and was thinking worst case scenario = co-champions.

  15. Bonnie Lynn | July 22, 2019 at 12:28 am |

    Why is it “improper,” i.e., “not in accordance with accepted rules or standards, especially of morality or honesty?”

    • Because in positing “a player was unaware of the rules”, you are essentially accusing the show’s producers of gross professional misconduct, as “failing to inform players of the rules” would be a major Standards & Practices violation.

      (By the way: The show spends significant time specifically briefing players on the rules, and paperwork is signed indicating understanding.)

      So, no, Roey was VERY aware of the rule. And yes, it is very improper to imply otherwise, as it is literally “not in accordance with accepted rules or standards”.

  16. Bonnie Lynn | July 22, 2019 at 3:21 pm |

    Oh dear, Andy. I suppose I should have chosen a better description than “unaware,” such as “he forgot that rule change, in the heat of the moment.” It was the farthest thing from my mind to suggest that Roey was not informed by Jeopardy! of the rule. He is a really smart man, and his non-bet didn’t seem to make sense to me.

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