Game Recap – Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time, Match 2 (Wednesday, January 8, 2020)


Warning: There may be spoilers in the post below at any point after 8:00 PM Eastern.

Tonight’s the night for Match #2 of the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time! Here’s tonight’s game recap (for Wednesday, January 8, 2020):


Today’s contestants:

Brad Rutter, currently on 0 wins
Brad Rutter on Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time
Ken Jennings, currently on 1 win
Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time
James Holzhauer, currently on 0 wins
James Holzhauer on Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time

This is currently a placeholder post which will be updated with Final Jeopardy! information and a game recap once it is known.

Preview: Coming into a crucial Match 2, Ken will have a large amount of confidence after his Match 1 victory. Brad will need to bounce back after his struggle on Daily Doubles in Match 1, whereas James needs to start finding Daily Doubles after being shut out thus far in the event. If Ken wins again, this may very well be a short series. James may need to help himself by getting in first on the buzzer more; Ken won that battle 50-38 over James in Match 1.


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Part 1, Final Jeopardy! category: INFLUENTIAL WRITING

Part 1, Final Jeopardy! clue: Its second line is “All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: pope & czar, Metternich & Guizot”


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?


Part 1, Final Jeopardy! correct response: What is “The Communist Manifesto”?


Part 2, Final Jeopardy! category: 19th CENTURY LEADERS

Part 2, Final Jeopardy! clue: Tall, lanky Joel Barlow was an ambassador carrying messages between these 2 world leaders, both mocked for being short


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(Content continues below)

Part 2, Final Jeopardy! correct response: Who are Napoleon and James Madison?



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! The Greatest of All Time today? Today’s results will be posted once the show airs!


Game 1 results:
Brad 7,200 + 7,200 = 14,400
Ken 22,000 + 18,000 = 40,000
James 32,400 + 11,914 = 44,314

Game 2 results:
Brad -3,600 (by rule, did not participate in Final Jeopardy) = 14,400
Ken 21,200 – 3,800 = 17,400 + 40,000 = 57,400 (Who are Napoleon and Monroe?)
James 22,800 + 15,300 = 38,100 + 44,314 = 82,414 (Match #2 winner)

Today's Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time result (for January 8, 2020.)

Daily Double locations:
1) SHORT STORY SYLLABUS 600 (4th pick)
James 800 +1000 (Brad 1800 Ken 0)
2) AROUND THE WORLD 2000 (11th pick)
James 13600 +13600 (Ken 7600 Brad 4400)
3) THE GREATEST OF ALL MINDS 2000 (13th pick)
Ken 8400 +8400 (James 27200 Brad 4400)
4) NAME THE DECADE 1000 (4th pick)
Brad 800 +1000 (James 1600 Ken 0)
5) I JUST TOOK A DNA TEST 1600 (1st pick)
Brad 3800 -3800 (James 8400 Ken 6800)
6) “G”EOGRAPHY 1600 (3rd pick)
James 8400 +8400 (Ken 6800 Brad 0)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this match: 400

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Unplayed clues:
Game 1, J! round: None!
Game 1, DJ! round: None!
Game 2, J! round: None!
Game 2, DJ! round: None!
Total $ Left On Board: 0

Game Stats:
James 36,400 Coryat, 50 correct, 4 incorrect, 44.74% in first on buzzer, 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Ken 36,800 Coryat, 44 correct, 2 incorrect, 33.33% in first on buzzer, 5/7 on rebound attempts (on 9 rebound opportunities)
Brad 7,400 Coryat, 18 correct, 6 incorrect, 18.42% in first on buzzer, 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: 80,600
Lach Trash: 11,400(on 7 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): 16,000

Cumulative Tournament Stats:
James 68,000 Coryat, 89 correct, 6 incorrect, 39.04% in first on buzzer, 3/3 on rebound attempts (on 11 rebound opportunities)
Ken 73,000 Coryat, 92 correct, 7 incorrect, 38.60% in first on buzzer, 6/8 on rebound attempts (on 12 rebound opportunities)
Brad 32,400 Coryat, 46 correct, 10 incorrect, 20.18% in first on buzzer, 4/4 on rebound attempts (on 11 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: 173,400
Lach Trash: 13,800(on 9 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): 28,800

James Holzhauer, stats to date:
1,400 correct, 51 incorrect
41/44 on rebound attempts (on 87 rebound opportunities)
55.15% in first on buzzer (1279/2319)
81/87 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $699,988)
39/41 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $28,731

James Holzhauer, to win (per the prediction model):
Wins in 3: 0.000% of the time.
Wins in 4: 27.545% of the time.
Wins in 5: 26.212% of the time.
Wins in 6: 11.572% of the time.
Wins in 7: 3.241% of the time.
Overall: 68.570% of the time.

Ken Jennings, stats to date:
3,028 correct, 302 incorrect
113/141 on rebound attempts
58.11% in first on buzzer (2926/5037)
146/176 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $473,799)
57/87 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $26,206

Ken Jennings, to win (per the prediction model):
Wins in 3: 0.000% of the time.
Wins in 4: 8.535% of the time.
Wins in 5: 12.050% of the time.
Wins in 6: 5.826% of the time.
Wins in 7: 1.764% of the time.
Overall: 28.176% of the time.

Brad Rutter, stats to date:
741 correct, 87 incorrect
42/45 on rebound attempts
39.80% in first on buzzer (702/1764)
44/54 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $59,500)
17/28 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,129

Brad Rutter, to win (per the prediction model):
Wins in 3: 0.000% of the time.
Wins in 4: 0.000% of the time.
Wins in 5: 0.618% of the time.
Wins in 6: 1.506% of the time.
Wins in 7: 1.130% of the time.
Overall: 3.254% of the time.


Andy’s Thoughts:

  • This is what happens when James picks up some Daily Doubles. Also, that was a crucial get on the final Final Jeopardy! to seal the victory.
  • Kudos to Ken for being able to keep the game close, though. Missing that Final Jeopardy! thankfully had no effect on the outcome for him.
  • At this point, I’d be very surprised if Brad were to win a game. Ken and James are completely outplaying him at this point.
  • The prediction model is bullish on James because James is playing better than the model thought that he would. James is going to need to keep finding some Daily Doubles; Ken ran things very close despite only playing 1 to James’ 3.

Contestant photo credit: abc.com

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55 Comments on "Game Recap – Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time, Match 2 (Wednesday, January 8, 2020)"

  1. Jackson Aprile | January 8, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Reply

    I love the work you do so people can spoil the final jeopardy to the family.😁

  2. It’s Ken vs. James, folks! What a battle! It won’t get any better than this for us jeopardy fans.

  3. Seems to me Brad does not stand a chance. I don’t see him winning 3 games. It will be between James and Ken and I’m giving a slight edge to James, he needed to warm up……

    • I would not ‘shovel dirt’ on Brad. These THREE are very, very, special. Brad could come alive and run the table! I’m not predicting here; just saying that Brad has this capacity still. The same capacity as Ken and James, imo.

      • Brad’s got an 89.5% correct ratio to Ken’s 91% to Jame’s 96.5%. Granted Brad’s is a much smaller sample size but that’s a big number to overcome especially in two game matches. All things being equal he’s got a decent shot to get on the board except they’re not. James and Ken are way faster on the buzzer and you can really see it when all three of them are playing together. Brad’s career first buzz ins are less than 40% whereas James and Ken are closer to 60% which means that even if they all know a response Ken and James are going to beat him on the buzzer and they have a historically greater percentage of correct responses.

  4. Donna M Steen | January 8, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Reply

    Seems like James and Ken are so close, which means it will be left to the luck of the draw–whoever gets the daily doubles will likely win! I wish somehow this wasn’t left up to luck!

    • I really hope Brad can get on the board. It might come down to Ken and James going after each other Brad can sneak in from behind but statistically it’s unlikely. Brad’s buzzer timing is way slower and he’s getting murdered by daily doubles.

  5. surprised james didnt bet it all in game 1 final jeopardy …. he would have locked up game 2 without having to bet in FJ (granted, the game would have been different) …. but im surprised that wasnt his strategy

    • Elizabeth Harris | January 9, 2020 at 9:36 am | Reply

      I applaud his strategy. This competition is showing that he is not about wild wagers, but about careful analysis. Remember – this is a math guy.

  6. I honestly think Brad’s best chances are to play a DD-free James style like in Match 1. If he doesn’t win tomorrow and even everything up, then he’ll be a very interesting spoiler for the rest of the tournament.

  7. I always seem to mix up which M prez is the short one too, I’m happy to be in such good company!
    And, could Glenn Close’s video clue have been any longer?!

  8. I hope Brad wins at least one game. So many members of the general public reacted to the tournament announcement with “Brad who?” and haven’t had an opportunity to see him excel.

    • He was the original GOAT. He came on that show and destroyed every and swept up in that years ToC. I would like to see them let him back on the regular season just to see if he could still tear things up. He’s the only one on that stage that hasn’t lost a regular season match so by the current rules he should have never been bounced. Honestly they should have invited all ToC winners back to open competition after they changed the rules.

  9. There had to be at least three 1-hour shows in this tournament because of the network’s plan to air one special segment each night on one of the players. So from very early on it was obvious that James was going to win tonight’s match. If Ken won tonight’s show, then they wouldn’t had a chance to air the 3rd interview.

  10. It’s almost like Brad’s not even there. So much for Andy’s computer model.

  11. I never have liked the multi day tournament games, for this reason. I’ve always felt that Day 2, or Game 2, in this new 1 hour format, players should start with their carryover balance from Game 1. Tonight for example, they each would have started Game 2 with 44314, 40000, and 14400, respectively and just resumed play with those totals. The problem with the current format is if one player has a large lead from Game 1, it changes their whole strategy; my change would also change the strategy, but everyone would know exactly where they stand at all times.
    The other problem is why did Brad not have his negative balance taken away from his Game 1 balance. Although unlikely, I could see a scenario whereby, for example, Player A and B end Game 1 with 25000 points each and Player C has 30000. Going into Final Jeopardy, A & B each have 24000 points and Player C has to sit out with -5000. Both A & B wager 21000, get the answer wrong, end up with 3000 points for the game and 28000 for their total. Player C, by virtue of not playing, and not being penalized for his -5000 negative balance, wins. How is this fair? Not a likely outcome, but this, or a similar situation, could occur, under the current rules.

    • Steve: It would make the Daily Doubles too crucial, even more crucial than they are now, if they did that.

      Also: It’s basically “That’s how the show’s elected to set its rules” when it comes to “making negative scores 0 for the purposes of cumulative score calculation”.

      • I sent in another comment, not knowing it would take 17 hours for my first comment to be moderated. I assumed “That’s how the show’s elected to set its rules”; that is what I was objecting to. What my second comment presented was a scenario whereby a player could theoretically benefit by “sitting out” Final Jeopardy by virtue of ending with a negative balance, and inadvertently end up winning by unintentionally being able to avoid not having to wager on a difficult question. It could happen. (I am not trying to be contrarian; just merely pointing out what I feel is a flaw in the rules.)

  12. I was a little surprised when in the pre-match conversations, Ken discusssed the challenges of playing back-to-back games. “It’s a long game. Playing an hour of Jeopardy! Is something none of us have e we done back-to-back.”

    I thought that during regular recordings of the show, they record a week’s worth of games in a day. I would think that would be tougher?

    Side question—do we know when this tournament was recorded, and how many episodes they did on any particular day? Thanks!

    • How much time do they get between games on a regular day of taping? For wardrobe changes and such.

      I’m thinking maybe the time between games in these matches is much shorter, and that’s what Ken meant?

      Or maybe Ken was just making a wink-wink statement about how the games are recorded.

      • I’m guessing you’re correct with time between matches. They spend like an hour filming the match with minor breaks to make corrections but then have time between games to swap out contestants, go through the legal stuff, wardrobe, etc. I imagine this is filmed straight through like there is no more time between games than there is between rounds. Even watching it at home gives me anxiety, I can’t imagine having to be “on” for that long. keep in mind Jeopardy! is super fast paced compared to most any other quiz shows. They go through a 122 clues in an hour. Watch Who wants to be a Millionaire they can make 4 questions last an hour.

        • Yeah, it’s a lot of Jeopardy at once. I watched the GOAT games and then went to the regular game for the day on my DVR and I was barely paying attention to it. The intensity and skill level is so much lower that I wonder if maybe they should have rerun a tournament these two weeks.

    • Marty Cunningham | January 9, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Reply

      There are more breaks during regular taping. Each show is recorded in real time, so there as an allowance for commercials after the opener, and between the first and second rounds, and before Final. Then after each game, as soon as the “all clear” is given, the champ and Alex both go and change their clothes, maybe grab some water or a snack, get makeup re-touched, and then head back on to the stage (probably around 10 to 15 minutes, I never really timed it). Then after the third game, “Wednesday”, there is about an hour-and-a-half lunch break. The audience is cleared and another group will be brought in for the last two shows, and the current champ and the contestants who have not played yet are taken to the studio commissary for lunch. Then everyone returns for the last two games. Usually the taping starts around 11 and is done by 4 (but again, you don’t always check the time when you are in the thick of things)
      From watching this tournament, it does like they still follow the ‘real-time’ taping format, so they DO actually play for an hour, allowing for breaks, and it does not look like anyone changed their clothes between the first and second half. And, during every break, the contestants are always offered water, to rehydrate, so they do try to keep everyone comfortable. (Remember, if this goes the max, they had to record 7 hours of programming in a similar time frame in which they usually record 5 hours of programming (over Tuesday and Wednesday on most weeks), so I think there was a little bit extra required to get through each show. (Not sure if they recorded these at night, maybe after regular taping, or used a couple days during what would have normally been a production break in December.
      So, yes, I do believe Ken, that this is a different format, having to play twice as many clues than normal.
      Do hope Brad can win at least one match.

  13. I had forgotten how much weight Brad has lost in the last 20 years, until I saw tonight’s historical highlight reel. He looks great!

  14. Impressed with Ken’s 2nd FJ wager. He couldn’t win going all-in, but realizing James would bet to cover, would have won had James not gotten Madison & Napoleon.

    Ken’s bested James in Coryat both yesterday and today (though barely). The difference yesterday was Ken getting more DDs than anyone (James none); today it was James getting more DDs (3) than Ken(1). All their DDs have been all-in! Both playing on a very high level worthy of GOATs. Hoping Brad turns it around to make it at least competitive.

  15. I was talking about this tournament format with my brother and we thought it would be amusing if instead of two games back to back, they just extended one game with Triple Jeopardy, then Quadruple Jeopardy, then 1 final Jeopardy. I wonder how that would play out — imagine James making a $100000 daily double bet.

    • I noticed they specifically refer to their score in points. Maybe I just never noticed this before but it seems like they’re being very specific to not refer to dollars. I was wondering if they did this in any other format because no matter what their score is they’re getting capped at $1,000,000. If they had a quadruple Jeopardy! James would probably rack up over a 2m in 3 games. I gotta do the math on that but he’d have 4 DDs and a FJ to make bets on with like 50k to start. If he ever hit it right he could double, double, double, double then double. Thats 800k plus any other clues.

      • yeah, it’s in points. They do that in the tournaments too but interchange it with dollars just because that’s what people are used to even though no one is winning that amount.

  16. The Ken Vs James battle has been great think the model is a bit too generous to James ken has been matching James very well it’s about those daily doubles at this point. Also still tell brad will probably win a game don’t know why just do. Still fell good about Ken in 6 daily doubles will fall his way and he’ll cash in on it he’s proven he can play James game with him.

    • Elizabeth Harris | January 9, 2020 at 9:42 am | Reply

      Seriously – you really think the model is too generous to James? If so, the clues are certainly more generous to Ken who is a wordsmith and strong in the humanities like literature and religion. (How about the FJ John 1 v 1 clue for a Mormon??!) Let’s bring it on with some advanced mathematics clues. GO JAMES!

      • 68% chance to win is far too generous Ken has been right there with him I give James right now a 50% chance ken 45% brad 5%

  17. barbara epstein | January 9, 2020 at 1:53 am | Reply

    it is fun to watch such brilliant minds –

  18. In FJ of part 1, Ken drew a hammer and sickle next to his response. It sounded like Brad graciously commented, “How do you do that!” James then drily added, “Pointing the wrong way.” Not sure why James felt the need to critique Ken’s drawing. I was impressed Ken could come up with an apt drawing and the response in the mere 30 seconds

    • The “critique” sounds like trash talk, Jeopardy! style, IMO. Usually reserved for sports.

      • Yeah, they’re having fun with each other. They seem to genuinely all like each other and the chemistry is great. The competition is definitely intense, so seeing that they’re comfortable enough with each other to tease a bit is great.

  19. I think I would rather have seen this tournament set up as 2 individual games per day and a first to 5 wins format. The 2-game match featuring a non-final Final Jeopardy is used in only about 1% of matches and the strategy is hard to follow for viewers. I originally feared that each episode would be a 30-minute game stretched out to an hour with featurettes. I’m thrilled that is not the case, but 2 matches a day would have felt more like real Jeopardy!

    • In case anyone is curious, if this was the case, James would be up 3-1-0, but 1 of the matches would have been quite close.

  20. Another new record for James—his 82,414 the highest score in a 2-game tournament format, beating his 79,000 in his TOC final last year.

    And a huge milestones for Ken—while there’s the elite 300 club for correct answers, he joined the 3,000 club tonight and Is now at an astounding 3,028, with James less than half at 1400.

    The other less prestigious 300 club he joined that’s even more exclusive, is that of incorrect answers, now at 302. Brad’s a distant second at 87.

  21. Elizabeth Harris | January 9, 2020 at 9:31 am | Reply

    What I have noticed is that the clues being given are designed to keep the players from knowing when the clue will end which really tests buzzer skills. Some of the clues are going several screens and many are video clues with different readers and different rates of delivery. This one was the perfect example as it seemed like it could be answered at the end of each of the three screens!

  22. Andy, James must have seen your comments yesterday. He reversed the first-in-on-the-buzzer stats!

    • Oops! I forgot that the taping was on 12-10-19. What I should have said was that James likely realized that he needed to address this stat, after Day 1.

  23. *** i never watched Brad before, but I heard Ken say previously that Brad has an advantage based on his super fast buzzer skills. ANYWAY, Brad isn’t showing that speed and James clearly outclasses both Ken and Brad in buzzer speed.

    *** Also I have been very impressed with Ken overall knowledge….would love to see a Ken vs Brad, 1 on 1 showdown….Maybe jeopardy could do that for Part 2 of the GOAT

  24. Francine Pilon | January 9, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Reply

    I find that the material for this tournament is much more difficult. I’m amazed that they get most clues right.

    • It ain’t called “The Greatest of All Time” tournament for nuthin’! These guys truly are the best of the best. 🙂

  25. Andy, I apologize in advance for asking you to do more work, but would you consider adding a section to the players’ individual stats which shows each of their cumulative stats for the GOAT tournament (or matchplay, however it should be styled)?

  26. Brad’s performance so far is curious. Do you have his individual stats from 2019’s “All Star Game” when he was the team captain and Larissa Kelly and Dave Madden were on his team? I know Brad’s team won but how well did Brad actually play during that tournament?

  27. If they’re gonna add the two games together, maybe someone finishing in the red one game should subtract from their total. I know Jeopardy treats anything beliw zero as if it were zero but this wrinkle would make things a bit more interesting.

    The fact James and Ken were able to lock out Brad from a FJ is a bit of a shock

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