Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, August 13, 2020


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Word Histories) for Thursday, August 13, 2020 (Season 36, Episode 181):

In old philosophy this 12-letter word referred to a fifth substance, superior to earth, air, fire or water

This episode originally aired on May 13, 2002.

PSA: Jeopardy! may be resuming production soon, but the best way to keep COVID-19 at bay is for everybody to abide by physical distancing guidelines and when you are not able to do so, properly wear a mask.

(correct response beneath the contestants)


Today’s contestants:

Bob Verini, a film journalist and test prep teacher from Los Angeles, Califonia
Bob Verini on Jeopardy!
Eric Newhouse, a director of technical assistance from Vermillion, South Dakota
Eric Newhouse on Jeopardy!
Brad Rutter, a network administrator from Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Brad Rutter on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: What is quintessence?


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More information about Final Jeopardy:

According to ancient science, quintessence was believed to fill the universe above the terrestrial realm. Also known as aether, quintessence is best known today as the root word for the much more common word “quintessential”. The existence of aether or quintessence was disproved by the famed Michelson–Morley experiment in 1887, in which there was no significant difference in the speed of light through the presumed aether and its speed at right angles. That experiment later was believed by many to motivate Einstein’s research into relativity.

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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:
Brad $15,800
Bob $10,400
Eric $7,600


Tonight’s results:
Eric $7,600 – $7,600 = $0 (What is phlogiston?)
Bob $10,400 – $3,600 = $6,800 (What is phlogiston?)
Brad $15,800 – $4,000 = $11,800 (What is adamantium?)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Brad $6,400
Eric $2,800
Bob $2,200


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues


Daily Double locations:
1) AUTHORS’ NATIVE LANDS $800 (clue #7)
Brad 1400 +1400 (Eric 400 Bob 0)
2) GRAMMAR SCHOOL $1200 (clue #18)
Brad 10400 +600 (Eric 6400 Bob 9800)
3) NEAR EAST ANCIENT HISTORY $1200 (clue #28)
Bob 9400 +1000 (Brad 16200 Eric 6800)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 116


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


Game Stats:
Brad $15,800 Coryat, 26 correct, 4 incorrect, 43.86% in first on buzzer (25/57), 2/3 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Bob $10,600 Coryat, 14 correct, 3 incorrect, 28.07% in first on buzzer (16/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Eric $7,600 Coryat, 12 correct, 3 incorrect, 22.81% in first on buzzer (13/57), 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $34,000
Lach Trash: $8,800 (on 8 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $11,200

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6 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, August 13, 2020"

  1. They all had to know they were guessing the wrong word in fj- neither is 12 letters.
    Truly tho’, I would’ve been blown away had ANY of them known the correct question!

    • For years after I would point to this specific Final as an example of the most difficult that the show has ever asked. Of course, it made sense difficulty-wise for a million-dollar tournament. But it was hard!

  2. We end this episode with a triple stumper in FJ. As always, deepscan would say Trebek wins Final.

  3. I find it incredible that none of the three contestants (arguably three of the best to ever play the game) was able to come up with the correct response, considering that the word “quintessential” is such an overused word, and Hamlet’s ” What is this quintessence of dust?” is one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes.

    • Gary Kevin Ware | August 14, 2020 at 5:34 pm |

      I agree with you and not the other commenter(s) that this should have been known by all three contestants and not none. I knew it right away.

  4. I’ve never been a fan of “triple stumpers” in Final Jeopardy, especially when the players give different answers, and especially when it is in a Tournament of Champions. The goal for Jeopardy should not be to give answers that nobody could possibly know the questions to, but when you come up with clues that, arguably, the best and brightest to play the game can’t answer, you defeat the purpose of the game. I’ve long been astounded at how much some of these players know (I amaze myself sometimes in how much I know!) so when they all miss an important answer (FJ) I am more disappointed in the game than I am in the players.

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