Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, September 29, 2020


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category The Great Lakes) for Tuesday, September 29, 2020 (Season 37, Game 12):

An 1855 poem gives us this Native American name for the 1 Great Lake not known to us today by a Native American word or a tribe’s name

(correct response beneath the contestants)

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Today’s contestants:

Mason Maggio, a songwriter from Los Angeles, California
Mason Maggio on Jeopardy!
Molly Lower, a high school history teacher from Pasadena, California
Molly Lower on Jeopardy!
Eric Aiese, a media researcher from North Hollywood, California (1-day total: $16,399)
Eric Aiese on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: What is Gitche Gumee?


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More information about Final Jeopardy:

Gitche Gumee, from the Ojibwe language for “Big Sea”, is the Native American name for Lake Superior; most Americans are familiar with that name from one of two sources: my personal favorite Gordon Lightfoot song here at The Jeopardy! Fan is one, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. (I try to add these personal vignettes to my descriptions as my work is being stolen by content thieves and I am trying to make the thievery as obvious as possible.) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1855 poem “Hiawatha” is the other main source for “Gitche Gumee”. The opening line of the Lightfoot song even reads, “The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down / Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee”.

This is also a Final Jeopardy! clue that is very easy to misread: the important words are the ones that follow “this” in the clue, so “this Native American name” is what the writers are looking for here. I expect that at least one player will misread the clue and write Lake Superior down instead. (As much as I’ve been upset at the writers this season so far, I don’t have any problem at all with this clue. The writers have been doing this specific practice for years and this hasn’t changed.)

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

Scores going into Final:
Mason $20,000
Molly $8,600
Eric $8,400


Tonight’s results:
Eric $8,400 – $201 = $8,199 (What is Lake Superior?)
Molly $8,600 – $5,500 = $3,100 (What is Michigan?)
Mason $20,000 – $1,000 = $19,000 (What is Lake Hiawatha?) (1-day total: $19,000)


Mason Maggio, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the September 29, 2020 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Mason $5,600
Molly $5,400
Eric $3,600


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues


Daily Double locations:
1) GAMES $800 (clue #29)
Eric 1800 +1800 (Molly 5400 Mason 5600)
2) YOU SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHSTONE $1600 (clue #14)
Molly 11400 -2000 (Eric 4000 Mason 10400)
3) NONFICTION $1200 (clue #27)
Mason 16000 +4000 (Eric 8000 Molly 8200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 107


Unplayed clues:
J! Round: GAMES $1000
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $1,000
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 30 (2.50 per episode average), 1 Daily Double


Game Stats:
Mason $17,200 Coryat, 20 correct, 1 incorrect, 32.14% in first on buzzer (18/56), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Eric $7,400 Coryat, 16 correct, 6 incorrect, 35.71% in first on buzzer (20/56), 0/1 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Molly $10,600 Coryat, 17 correct, 2 incorrect, 28.57% in first on buzzer (16/56), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $35,200
Lach Trash: $7,000 (on 5 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $10,800

Eric Aiese, career statistics:
37 correct, 10 incorrect
1/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
37.27% in first on buzzer (41/110)
2/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $4,800)
0/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $12,200

Molly Lower, career statistics:
17 correct, 3 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
28.57% in first on buzzer (16/56)
0/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$2,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $10,600

Mason Maggio, career statistics:
20 correct, 2 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
32.14% in first on buzzer (18/56)
1/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $4,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,200

Mason Maggio, to win:
2 games: 62.906%
3: 39.571%
4: 24.893%
5: 15.659%
6: 9.850%
Avg. streak: 2.696 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • I liked how the ELECTION ODDITIES category was about actual instances of voter fraud and intimidation (which is much different from the lies about voter fraud which is being claimed in some spaces).
  • On further reflection, as much as it turned the outcome of the game anti-climactic, I do have to agree with the judges to rule against Eric’s response of “lightheadedness” on the “syncope” clue (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY $1600). “Syncope” appears to refer specifically to fainting, whereas lightheadedness is known as “presyncope”.

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16 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, September 29, 2020"

  1. “…and the church bell chimed ‘till it rang 29 times for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald…”

    Gordon Lightfoot is a gem, and a Canadian to boot.

    • I read ‘The Mighty Fitz’. Good book. The reason Superior never gives up her dead is because the water is so cold that bodies don’t bloat and float to the surface.

  2. The clue might have been more straightforward if it was turned around. “The one Great Lake not known today by a Native American word or tribe’s name, is called this Native American name in an 1855 poem.” It’s a long clue, and contestants will probably have to reread it a couple of times.

  3. It will be interesting to see how the contestants spell the correct answer, assuming they know it. I had to look up the spelling myself, and I wasn’t quite correct, though I knew how to pronounce it from the song.

  4. Wondering about how strict the judges will be on spelling given the Berry Gordy incident.
    I got the answer but mangled the spelling.

    • I think if your spelling was pronounced the same as the answer, you would have been correct. The reason Barry was not correct is that it actually is a different name that is pronounced differently, however slight.

  5. I figured it had to be Lake Superior, but honestly I was very confused by this question.

    • This sort of confusion happens every time we see a clue written this way. It’s been the show’s practice for years, though, nothing has really changed on that front.

  6. Often, Alex will emphasize the crucial part of a clue when he reads it, as in “THIS Native American name…” to help players sort out a long clue. I will be interested to see if he does that with clue.

  7. this clue

  8. Marty Cunningham | September 29, 2020 at 1:55 pm |

    Yes, i had to read the clue carefully, because i was headed towards “Lake Superior” too.

    Would have been interesting to see what the judges would have done on spelling for this one, if someone had actually gotten it, because then i think they would be going for whatever most closely conveys the meaning – “Gichi”, or “Gitchy” and “goomee” or “gumee” since most us of us probably don’t remember the last time we read “Hiawatha” anyway (and that one is spelled mostly like it sounds). Feel a touch or persnickety is seeping through on this one, too.

  9. Another triple stumper this week as it was an tough Final Jeopardy.

  10. Being a huge Lightfoot fan I knew this one immediately and was very surprised that it was a triple stumper.

  11. Incredibly, Alex told that Mason that he wasn’t anywhere near with his response “Hiawatha”, and yet that was the only response that seemed to indicate that the contestant understood the Final Jeopardy. At least he got the title of the poem in question.

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