Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, February 14, 2020


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Famous First Lines) for Friday, February 14, 2020 (Season 36, Episode 115):

These 7 words precede, “The rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals”

(correct response beneath the contestants)


Today’s contestants:

Jayne Niemi, a retired college registrar from St. Paul, Minnesota
Jayne Niemi on Jeopardy!
Terry Heard, Jr., an aircraft maintainer from Akron, Ohio
Terry Heard, Jr. on Jeopardy!
Brooke MacKenzie, a lawyer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1-day total: $17,300)
Brooke MacKenzie on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: What is “It was a dark and stormy night”?


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:

“It was a dark and stormy night” is the opening line to Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel Paul Clifford; it quickly became a clichéd opening line to works. Charles Schulz had Snoppy refer to it in the Peanuts comics specifically because it had been a cliché for such a long time.

I don’t know how I feel about this sort of a Final Jeopardy that requires so much to be written, though — and no short forms, either. It could catch out a contestant who doesn’t leave themself enough time to write!


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, nearly $500 has been raised.)


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

Scores going into Final:
Terry $19,000
Jayne $7,000
Brooke $6,600


Tonight’s results:
Brooke $6,600 + $6,501 = $13,101
Jayne $7,000 – $6,206 = $794 (What is it was a dark s)
Terry $19,000 – $1,337 = $17,663 (What is Aleve)


Terry Heard, Jr., today's Jeopardy! winner (for the February 14, 2020 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Jayne $3,800
Terry $1,800
Brooke $1,000


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues


Daily Double locations:
Daily Double locations:
1) HISTORIC NAMES $800 (5th pick)
Terry -1000 -1000 (Jayne 800 Brooke 0)
2) TREES GROW ON MONEY $2000 (27th pick) ($4400 remaining on the board)
Terry 9800 +9800 (Jayne 7000 Brooke 6600)
3) LONDON BOROUGHS $2000 (29th pick) ($2000 remaining on the board)
Terry 20000 -1000 (Jayne 7000 Brooke 6600)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -5


Unplayed clues:
J! round: WOMEN AUTHORS $400 & $600
DJ! round: None!
Total $ Left On Board: $1,000
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 236 (2.05 per episode average), 1 Daily Double


Game Stats:
Terry $13,200 Coryat, 20 correct, 9 incorrect, 47.27% in first on buzzer, 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
Brooke $6,600 Coryat, 10 correct, 2 incorrect, 18.18% in first on buzzer, 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
Jayne $7,000 Coryat, 11 correct, 0 incorrect, 16.36% in first on buzzer, 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 8 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $26,800
Lach Trash: $16,600 (on 15 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $9,600


Brooke MacKenzie, final stats:
28 correct, 5 incorrect
3/4 on rebound attempts (on 12 rebound opportunities)
23.64% in first on buzzer (26/110)
1/1 on Daily Double (Net Earned: $7,700)
2/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $8,000

Terry Heard, Jr., stats to date:
20 correct, 10 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
47.27% in first on buzzer (26/55)
1/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $7,800)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $13,200

Terry Heard, Jr., to win:
2 games: 64.339%
3: 41.396%
4: 26.634%
5: 17.136%
6: 11.025%
Avg. streak: 2.804 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • Because Terry had gotten himself out of the red before the end of the Jeopardy! round, the most recent regular-play game winner to be at $0 or worse after the Jeopardy! round is still John Giambrone on February 7, 2018.

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10 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, February 14, 2020"

  1. I agree with you, Andy, about such a long response. If you need a bit of thinking time then you lose writing time.

    • Marty Cunningham | February 14, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Reply

      First, this was a Final where speed-reading can be especially helpful. Reading something out loud always takes longer than reading it ‘in your head’, so if you can finish reading the clue before Alex does, you may have a second or two more to work on the correct answer.
      This may be a lot of words, but they are relatively short so presumably easier to write. And since it specifies a quantity you could not leave out a word, such as “it was” or “and”. I wonder, too, if you could have substituted an ampersand or plus sign for “and”.
      Finally, I counted, and these seven words contain only three more letters than a presumably ‘shorter’ answer, like “The Beverly Hillbillies” which was the last Final I had to deal with, and, as I was writing that out, I could also hear the squeaking as the contestant in the middle was still writing on his telestrator as well, and I knew he had to be writing the same answer because of the length of the answer, especially the last word.
      And, like many, I immediately thought of Snoopy sitting at his typewriter on the doghouse roof, banging out this intro before somebody would usually interrupt him. Sometimes those lines were also in the final frame, as the punchline to the previous set up. This could also work if they had a category of (In)Famous First Lines.

  2. Terry’s true DD of $9800 in the J! round seems very dramatic, looking forward to watching!

    • Excuse me, I meant Terry’s true DD late in the DJ! to almost wrap up the game is dramatic! However, if either of his opponents had gotten the final DD, they could have made a game of it with their own true DD!

  3. “aleve” – gotta love Terry’s sense of humor! Congrats on the win, Man!

  4. I believe this is the first week since June 2018 (Leslie Manion to David Kleinman) where the winning totals increased every day Mon-Fri.

  5. Terry’s 47% on buzzer is superior, and if he increase his accuracy he’ll win multiple games. Don’t know the last time someone got at least 20 right and 10 wrong. Hoping he does well next week!

    • Ken may not be the last person before Terry with at least 20 right and 10 wrong, but on 7-2-04 the GOAT winner got an incredible 35 right AND 10 wrong (that includes missing FJ), while buzzing first 70.91%! Terry’s 17,663 today exceeds the 17,600 Ken ended with that day.

  6. Ken may not be the last person before Terry with at least 20 right and 10 wrong, but on 7-2-04 the GOAT winner got an incredible 35 right AND 10 wrong (that includes missing FJ), while buzzing first 70.91%! Terry’s 17,663 today exceeds the 17,600 Ken ended with that day.

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