Today’s Final Jeopardy – November 15, 2019

It’s the final day of the 2019 Tournament of Champions! Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category International Disputes) for Friday, November 15, 2019 (Season 36, Episode 50):

A dispute over Etorofu, Habomai, Kunashiri & Shikotan has kept these 2 countries from ever signing a WWII peace treaty

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Emma Boettcher, a user experience librarian from Chicago, Illinois (Yesterday’s score: $26,400)
Emma Boettcher on Jeopardy!
James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada (Yesterday’s score: $49,326)
James Holzhauer on Jeopardy!
Francois Barcomb, an 11th grade physics teacher from New Paltz, New York (Yesterday’s score: $1,800)
Francois Barcomb on Jeopardy!

Remember, today’s scores get added to yesterday’s to determine the champion! The winner gets $250,000, second gets $100,000, and third gets $50,000.

Semifinalist Steven Grade is organizing a charity play-along for the Tournament of Champions finals. In order to recognize Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, support Alex in his fight, and remember Larry Martin, who died of pancreatic cancer in January, viewers are invited to donate $1 to the Lustgarten Foundation for every answer they get correct while playing along at home during the Finals. You can find more information at the Lustgarten website.

Here are my predictions for the finals!

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Correct response: What are Japan and Russia?

Did you know that you can now find game-by-game stats of everyone, now including Jason Zuffranieri and James Holzhauer, who has won 10 or more games on Jeopardy!, here on the site?

More information about Final Jeopardy:

While the formal state of war between Japan and Russia (then the Soviet Union) ended in 1956 with the Soviet–Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956, it did not end the territorial dispute between the two countries over Etorofu, Habomai, Kunashiri & Shikotan, as there were apparent ambiguities in the Yalta Agreement, the Potsdam Declaration, and the Treaty of San Francisco. The Russians believed those four islands were part of the Kuril Islands (an island chain between Hokkaido and Kamchatka) and occupied them, while the Japanese believed they were part of their Northern Territories (and not the Kurils) and refused to agree to this. (During the 1956 negotiations, Japan was offered the opportunity to renounce claims to the two larger islands (Etorofu and Kunashir), but refused to do so under U.S. pressure.) The two countries have been unable to reach an agreement (and then sign a peace treaty) since.

I also anticipate that the earliest TV markets will be pre-empting today’s game for impeachment hearing coverage; check local listings.

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 $440 has been raised.)

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

Scores going into Final:
Emma $21,600
James $17,785
Francois $1,600

Tonight’s results:
Francois $1,600 + $1,600 = $3,200 + $1,800 = $5,000 ($50,000)
James $17,785 + $9,812 = $27,597 + $49,326 = $76,923 ($250,000)
Emma $21,600 + $17,000 = $38,600 + $26,400 = $65,000 ($100,000)

James Holzhauer, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the November 15, 2019 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
James $8,800
Emma $6,600
Francois $1,200


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) THE NIFTY ’50s $1000 (8th pick)
James 2600 +2600 (Emma 2200 Francois 0)
2) FEMALE FIRSTS $800 (9th pick)
Emma 8600 +8600 (James 16000 Francois 1200)
3) “R”CHITECTURE $1600 (14th pick)
James 19200 -8615 (Emma 19600 Francois 1200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 155

Unplayed clues:
J! round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total $ Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 88 (1.76 per episode average), 1 Daily Double

Game Stats:
James $24,800 Coryat, 30 correct, 3 incorrect, 54.39% in first on buzzer, 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
Emma $13,800 Coryat, 18 correct, 0 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer, 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Francois $1,600 Coryat, 6 correct, 1 incorrect, 12.28% in first on buzzer, 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $40,200
Lach Trash: $7,600 (on 5 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $6,200

James Holzhauer, stats to date:
1,307 correct, 45 incorrect
38/41 on rebound attempts (on 76 rebound opportunities)
56.91% in first on buzzer (1190/2091)
78/84 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $676,988)
35/37 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,000

Emma Boettcher, stats to date:
183 correct, 9 incorrect
5/5 on rebound attempts (on 25 rebound opportunities)
35.46% in first on buzzer (161/454)
8/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $37,800)
6/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,775

Francois Barcomb, stats to date:
159 correct, 15 incorrect
10/11 on rebound attempts (on 32 rebound opportunities)
31.79% in first on buzzer (144/453)
6/10 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $15,500)
6/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,175

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • Kudos to Emma for the fact that James was unable to make this tournament a runaway. (Emma’s maximum possible total was $69,600, whereas James had only accumulated $67,111 before Final Jeopardy.)

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49 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – November 15, 2019"

  1. I’m hoping that the impeachment hearing won’t be too long with just one person being questioned.

  2. The country of birth of James Holzhauer’s grandmother.

  3. I would be very surprised if any of the three missed this question, seems pretty logical to me. Having not seen the show yet, while James has a substantial lead, I would bet it will come down to who finds the DD’s and if course whether they answer them correctly. That’s how James lost to Emma to begin with, but he also didn’t have the in the pocket lead then either.

    Anyway, hurry up and finish the testimony! Enjoy everybody!

  4. This has to be one of the most competitive Finals to a tournament I’ve ever seen! Congrats to James for winning it all!

  5. What an exciting finish…congratulations to James. He really had to work for it towards the end because of the last DD it looks like. Emma was close to making up his lead after that with half the round left. Can’t wait to watch.

  6. I cannot believe that Channel 13, KTRK Houston, ABC, has preempted the last 3 days of Jeopardy ToC!?!? I am livid!!! At this point, I want to delete that channel off my tv!

  7. I was a little disappointed by Francois’ performance. I guess Emma and James were just too overwhelming. Still, congratulations to all to get that far and of course to James!
    Have a great and safe weekend everybody and I hope there is not too much cold and snow where you are!!
    “See” you next week , back to the “normal” games.

  8. ABC should show the Jeopardy episodes on 11/14 and 11/15 again since no one in Houston got to see them.

  9. In hindsight James $8615 DD wager was unnecessarily risky and by missing gave Emma a chance to win in FJ had she made a larger bet and James missed FJ. Fortunately for him, he’s the GOAT in FJ!

    With the score about even then and no more DDs James by betting the Coryat of $1600 or less could have guaranteed a win by merely by continuing doing what he did all tournament, and all 33 regular season games, by Coryat dominance.

    Like their regular season matchup, DDs helped Emma once again, though James’s Coryat was $4,600 better then, and a combined $20,000 over the 2 final TOC games. James’s 2-day Coryat of $47,000 was also a staggering $37,600 better than Francois’s combined $9,400.

    These three are all brilliant but one triple stumper yesterday showed why I love Jeopardy! and these contestants. They couldn’t identify who porn star Stormy Daniel’s self-promoting lawyer was (Michael Avennetti). Too much media negativity and partisan politics is dividing this great country in my view, but Jeopardy! is a positive media influence!

    • Yes. I agree. I cringed when he bet that amount.

      I normally love it when he goes all in or risks a lot, but at that stage of that round, with the current scores as they were, and with the amount he had won the day before, I didn’t think risking the amount he did was ideal or proper at all!

      And then when he missed the question, I thought, “I knew it!” It opened up the door for Emma, when he didn’t need to do so at all.

  10. NANCY BENDER | November 15, 2019 at 4:04 pm |


  11. James made a stupid bet in the second final jeopardy. He should have only bet enough to win the tournament. If he missed the final jeopardy, Emma would have won. But with the minimum bet he would win

    • You are incorrect, Al. If James had made the minimum bet ($2,490) and been incorrect, he would have finished at $64,621, which is less than Emma’s $65,000.

      • I totally agree. I have very mixed feelings about Emma’s bet in FJ. She didn’t bet enough to cover, if he bet 0 (it’s a low probability event, but still — if he goes super meta).

        I didn’t do the math to see the exact number he needed to cover her score to win 100% if they’re both right, but I suspect she could’ve covered a $0 bet and still won the tournament, had she done that and they both missed and James bet enough to cover her possible max.

        If James gets that DJ, he puts it away.

        • Will:

          Emma’s bet would not have materially affected her chances of winning. There is a 0% chance of James betting less than his minimum cover bet of $2,490. Emma’s bet of $17,000 wins if she is right and James is wrong, even if James had bet just $2,490.

          • That was my point though — is it a 0% chance he bets to cover or not, and that I’m not so sure about. If James got super meta recognizing that she has emulated his strategy, knowing she only wins if she gets it right and he gets it wrong is there a difference between her betting $1 over his current score vs what she bet? I suspect no.

            I think it’s about the 4th level. James’ decision is binary — she bets max or $0. She’s most likely to bet max(-ish), so I need to bet to cover. But she’s seen me in her shoes, and I didn’t do that, and she’s emulated how I’ve bet maybe she just does that? If she does, what I did, I shouldn’t bet much maybe a small low bday, but under the 2+k I need to cover.

          • Further, her bet loses if she gets it right and he gets it wrong if he bets $0 going along with that line of thinking.

          • We’re debating what is, in practice, a completely moot point. I have a greater chance of being called by the show next week to be a contestant than James had of betting $0 on this Final Jeopardy.

          • I agree with Andy that’s there’s no chance that James makes a 0 wager on that FJ. The Thursday scores and the Friday pre-FJ scores meant Emma was guaranteed 2nd place if she misses the question, so the 4600 she would’ve retained had she missed the question had no value. Consequently there was no risk to her wagering everything. James wagering 0 and exposing himself to losing despite getting the question right would’ve ranked as one of the biggest blunders in the history of the program.

    • As Andy noted, Emma by going “all in” In FJ would have made $69,600. James, having a combined $67,111, and betting the minimum $2,490 in FJ to win by $1 if correct, would have left him $64,621 if incorrect, losing even to her actual bet which left her with $65,000.

      However, if his final DD wager was at least $2490 less ($8615 – $2490 = $6125), he would have been guaranteed a win entering FJ. If he had to do it again, not knowing the clue, doubtlessly he would have wagered much less. But hard to figure these things out in real-time!

      • There was still 15,600 remaining on the board after the last DD. James consistently wagered large until the game was out of reach and only then wagered modestly if he needed to protect a lock game. With the amount that remained on the board I don’t believe there’s any reason to think James would change his strategy. I think he had a sense of where he wanted to wager to all but close out the match with a correct answer, but not put himself in too large a deficit with a miss and then picked his preferred date in that range.

  12. Time for a Ken versus Brad versus James 2-day GOAT matchup?

    • I agree it’s time, but two games is too short for me.
      I suggest a format, with each day counting, and first to win 3 games wins the big prize, meaning it could be over in as little as 3 games or last up to 7 games.

      Perhaps $1,000,000 for first, $500,000 for second and $250,000 for third. Or $500k/$250k/$100k, plus $ won.

    • Not without Brad Rutter. I would want a 3 day affair with no DDs!

    • Such a matchup deserves the whole week.

  13. It was an exciting climax to end the TOC. Emma abundantly proved that she belonged in this tournament. CONGRATS TO BOTH EMMA AND JAMES!!!

  14. Jean-Michel Mercier | November 15, 2019 at 8:42 pm |

    Hi all. Happy to see some suspense in this ToC final. I’m sure James will openly admit in hindsight that his bet on the last DD was too large. I suspect the added complexity of considering previous day total in coming up with the safe bet played a part in his decision. Combine that with his fondness for the bet he made and the fact it would have been 100% game over if were correct. So went for the “kill” without overkill because it was hard to figure correct number in the few seconds he had. He knew what the stakes were and decided to “gamble” a bit.

    My 2 cents.

  15. The question on Mt Apo is not accurate- “Mt Apo is the highest peak….. also means grandfather in Tagalog”. Grandfather in Tagalog means Lolo. Apo in Tagalog means grandchild. The accent in the pronunciation of Mt Apo and Apo (grandchild) are also different. In another dialect in the Philippines (Ilocano?) Apo is added to the name of the elder as a sign of respect. I think it is also pronounced the same way as Mt Apo.

  16. Granted the strategy for game 2 is altered by the goal of winning the two-day event, but there’s nothing stopping Emma from pointing out that she beat James in 2 of the 3 individual games they played head to head.

  17. I’m a bit miffed that ESPN decided to post the spoiler result in a headline on their main page well before this episode had a chance to air on the West Coast.

    Why is ESPN reporting on Jeopardy results for games recorded weeks ago? Well, it was an article by their sports gambling beat writer. So the fact that James was a sports gambler led to ESPN deciding to spoil the tournament final for who knows how many people?

    • Suspecting something like this might happen, I stayed away from ALL sources of information (radio, television, all websites, e-mail, et.c) all day long today. (Which wasn’t easy. How sad.)

      I really, really wanted to watch the program without knowing the result ahead of time. I’ve been spoiled by knowing the results ahead of time before, and it’s no fun for me… I don’t enjoy it then at all.

      Send ESPN a letter, letting them know they screwed up. (Not that I expect it will do any good.)

    • Vader,

      Sorry to say but you’re in the wrong here. ESPN didn’t screw up.

      Jeopardy!’s press release to news outlets clearly has at the top: EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 5 P.M. ET 11/15/19

      • I’m sure ESPN’s interest in James originally stemmed from his sports gambling interests and its coverage of the topic. He had an extensive interview during his run last spring with Scott Van Pelt, host of ESPN’s highest-rated show (and clips of James’ shows were seen on other shows, such as Highly Questionable). Good to see that intelligence and athletics are not mutually exclusive, or at least as often as some might think.

        BTW, Andy, it was a great week — to watch a fantastic TOC and see Don Cherry get hoisted by his own petard!

      • How am I “in the wrong”? For not wanting to be spoiled by a site that wouldn’t be reasonably associated with covering Jeopardy? For being frustrated with the general nature of Internet culture that leads to things like this happening? Unless the implication was to defend ESPN by throwing Jeopardy’s PR team under the bus. Even so, I can’t be “in the wrong” for saying ESPN screwed up, since I didn’t say ESPN screwed up — that was implied by someone who responded to me.

        Still, just because Jeopardy puts out a press release (2 p.m. PT? Really?) doesn’t mean ESPN or any outlet doesn’t have editorial discretion about when to run with it. Sure, the news business is a competition and they have to get their hits. But they also don’t have to spoil the result in their headline to have the story up.

        In addition, I’ve worked for news outlets and received the Jeopardy press release before. For the last TOC they sent me an email that said in the subject line that Buzzy Cohen had won the Friday morning of the game. I was not happy with them doing that then and I said so at the time (sending the press release was fine and understandable … it was the spoilery subject line I didn’t like).

        Something more neutral announcing that the result is available at least gives me more choice in clicking it. This site spoils the results all the time but is easy enough to avoid wholesale before the game airs because it’s a known quantity.

        If James wasn’t a sports gambler there’s no way ESPN would likely have covered it at all.

        The sting of the James spoiler was dampened a bit by the fact he had a big lead after game 1 and was favored to win due to it. Back then Buzzy had bageled in game 1 so the idea of him bouncing back was a surprise.

        And for what it’s worth, ESPN’s post of the result was at 1:59 PT, 1 minute before the reported embargo time. And that’s ESPN’s own clock posted on the story, so the outward appearances would suggest they violated the embargo, as ridiculously early as such embargo would have been to begin with.

        • I saw a timestamp of 7:59 PM ET on the ESPN article, not 1:59 PM PT.

          • Yesterday it said 1:59 pm PT on my broswer. Now it says 4:59 PM PT.

            Regardless, a 7:59 pm ET posting, being 3 hours after the embargo time, would make the story seem based more on watching an east coast airing of the episode, rather than seeing the press release. That would pretty much render the press release a non-factor in their editorial decision-making.

          • FWIW it’s my understanding that ESPN has a history of altering timestamps for various reasons including backdating them to make it appear in search results as though ESPN broke a story that was in fact first reported by a different outlet. I wouldn’t place much reliance in any timestamp from ESPN.

    • Even worse than that are the media outlets predicting presidential winners before the West Coast polls are even closed. Time differences always take a back seat to a headline.
      Rant over.

      • The media — always to blame and always at fault. If it weren’t for the media, where would Jeopardy! be? Pub quiz, anyone!

  18. Pizza Face Fred | November 15, 2019 at 10:48 pm |

    Now back to trivia for mere mortals. Intimidating. Seven years of college down the drain :“(

  19. Watching the game was exciting! Read elsewhere that James’ and Emma’ Final scores were TOC records. If so, there were likely other TOC records; possibly Emma’s day 2 FJ wager and James’ number of correct answers over two days are TOC records.

  20. It would be interesting to revisit Emma’s 4th regular game, the one she lost. From what I recall, there were a lot of fluke things that happened in that game, a perfect storm of unlikely events that all had to happen for her to lose. She showed in this tournament that she had the potential to be a 5+ or even 10+ game winner. I don’t remember the details about that game, but I have a distinct memory of it being a very odd game where Emna dominated for much of it, but lost due to bad luck and an unfortunate slip on FJ.

  21. Christina O. | November 16, 2019 at 2:01 pm |

    Congratulations, James! You played a great tournament and kept me scratching my head with your wagers and inspired by your brilliance. So happy for your success.

  22. I’m confused as to why a professional gambler would bet $7322 more than he had to to secure a win. Makes no sense to me. In fact, it seems foolish and illogical.

      • Gamblers still do things for good luck;
      • James’ chances of winning are identical, so long as he bets at least that minimum, so why not bet a lucky number to him if it helps his mojo?
      • James never bet the minimum cover bet his entire time on the show, why would he change now?

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