Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, October 9, 2020


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Books of the 1950s) for Friday, October 9, 2020 (Season 37, Game 20):

A special edition of this 1953 novel came with an asbestos binding

(correct response beneath the contestants)

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Today’s contestants:

Sabreena Merchant, a sportswriter from Los Angeles, California
Sabreena Merchant on Jeopardy!
Brian Semel, an associate producer originally from Armonk, New York
Brian Semel on Jeopardy!
Kevin Walsh, a story analyst originally from Williamstown, New Jersey (1-day total: $15,300)
Kevin Walsh on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: What is Fahrenheit 451?


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Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s famous 1953 novel, got its title because it has been said that paper’s autoignition temperature is 451 degrees Fahrenheit. (In actual fact, according to Tony Cafe and Australian Fire Investigators, paper will begin to ignite at a temperature between 218 and 246 degrees Celsius (424-475 degrees Fahrenheit).) Today is also the fourth time in the last five years that Jeopardy! has selected Fahrenheit 451 as the subject of a Final Jeopardy! clue; my personal favorite here at The Jeopardy! Fan was in June 2017 when the show made reference to the 451 HTTP error code. While an asbestos-bound book would be problematic in 2020, especially as most game show fans or daytime TV watchers are very familiar with TV legal ads surrounding mesothelioma litigation, asbestos binding was chosen for its fire-retardant properties for special first editions of Ray Bradbury’s book. It is still one of only two books known to have the distinction of being asbestos-bound. (In homage to Bradbury, Stephen King requested that a number of copies of his 1980 work Firestarter be bound in asbestos.)

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

Scores going into Final:
Kevin $23,800
Sabreena $6,600
Brian $5,200


Tonight’s results:
Brian $5,200 – $5,200 = $0 (What is Invisible Man?)
Sabreena $6,600 – $1,399 = $5,201 (What is Brave New World?)
Kevin $23,800 + $3,800 = $27,600 (What is Fahrenheit 451?) (2-day total: $42,900)


Kevin Walsh, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the October 9, 2020 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Kevin $11,400
Sabreena $3,400
Brian $2,600


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues


Daily Double locations:
1) THE WORK’S ORIGINAL LANGUAGE $800 (clue #26)
Kevin 7800 +1800 (Brian 2600 Sabreena 3400)
2) OXFORD ALUMNI $1200 (clue #8)
Brian 5400 -3000 (Kevin 13800 Sabreena 5400)
3) THE DOCTOR WILL “C” YOU NOW $1600 (clue #13)
Sabreena 7400 -4000 (Kevin 17400 Brian 2400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -87


Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 42 (2.10 per episode average), 1 Daily Double


Game Stats:
Kevin $22,800 Coryat, 28 correct, 0 incorrect, 47.37% in first on buzzer (27/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Sabreena $10,600 Coryat, 14 correct, 2 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
Brian $8,200 Coryat, 9 correct, 2 incorrect, 17.54% in first on buzzer (10/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
Combined Coryat Score: $41,600
Lach Trash: $7,800 (on 7 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $4,600

Kevin Walsh, career statistics:
49 correct, 3 incorrect
0/1 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
41.23% in first on buzzer (47/114)
2/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,000)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,200

Brian Semel, career statistics:
9 correct, 3 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
17.54% in first on buzzer (10/57)
0/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$3,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $8,200

Sabreena Merchant, career statistics:
14 correct, 3 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57)
0/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$4,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $10,600

Kevin Walsh, to win:
3 games: 65.294%
4: 42.633%
5: 27.836%
6: 18.175%
7: 11.867%
Avg. streak: 3.881 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • It comes as no surprise to me that Brian’s mispronunciation on the Beelzebub clue was walked back by the judges; it is a mistake that the judges have traditionally dinged in the past. It most recently happened to Pranjal Vachaspati in July 2016.
  • As a diehard Formula One fan, I am obligated to point out an error in the WHERE AM I? $600 clue; the first Grand Prix in Long Beach did not take place in 1977. The first United States Grand Prix West in Long Beach took place in 1976, won by John Watson in a McLaren; additionally, a Formula 5000 event known as the Long Beach Grand Prix was even held on that circuit in September 1975.
  • Another reminder that the judges can see Final Jeopardy! responses being written in real-time, light pen glitches often make letters seem different from how they appear to the viewer. It was obvious that the judges felt that Kevin’s response had no issues, even though his first H did look a bit rushed and potentially a U.

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9 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, October 9, 2020"

  1. Is Zach Newkirk coming back next week?

  2. Marty Cunningham | October 9, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Reply

    Andy, I want to remind you about a segment on the website, called “In the Control Room” from February 8, 2018, where they showed how the show is run in the control room, from when the director cues Johnny to start his introduction, to when to roll in graphics for the contestants, and it also focused on the “Final” segment, where they not only were watching what we were writing, but they were also commenting on each written answer, as to who “got it” and who did not. That was a little unnerving the first time i saw it, but kinda cool to think about now, too. They also check each contestant’s wager for Final, which is written during that last break and before Alex reads the Final clue, to make sure all the numbers are legible, and in a certain format that avoids confusion; I had to re-write one of my wagers because of legibility.

    • Marty: Was that the video I linked to today in Andy’s Thoughts?

      • Is Marty He-Mansplaining? 🙂

      • Marty Cunningham | October 13, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Reply

        Yes, same video. Me with returning champ John and challenger Alex. One of my Youtube moments from the show; i think there is also a segment about “Movie Math” – solving equations with the numeric part of movie titles, think it was new for us and i have not seen it repeated, like the Before (During) and After category has been. Again, very interesting to know that someone is watching you as you actually write an answer, and a little surreal.

  3. After yesterday’s show, in reply to someone who commented that Hispaniola is a common Final Jeopardy response, I mentioned Lawrence of Arabia as a common Final Jeopardy response that no one has managed to come up with. Well, in today’s show, Lawrence of Arabia comes up again, not as a Final but as a Daily Double, and despite being shown a very famous photograph of the gentleman in question, the contestant still manages to miss it.

    • Marty Cunningham | October 13, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Reply

      Tim, i had to think whether to answer with T.E.Lawrence, or with Peter O’Toole, who played him in the film. I think Lawrence came up not long ago, maybe even in this season, in Final, in reference to his death on a motorcycle.

  4. I noticed that that Tim. Kind of eerie.

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