Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Famous Animals) for Tuesday, January 12, 2021 (Season 37, Game 77):

When she first came to the world’s attention in 1957, she was dubbed “Muttnik” by U.S. journalists

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s episode is guest-hosted by Ken Jennings; it is his second show. As I said in my editorial yesterday, if you’re going to express an opinion about one host or another, I ask that you make thoughtful, reasoned arguments. A lot of your opinions on one host over another are going to be a matter of personal taste. Please also remember that a permanent host will not be named until the start of Season 38.

Today’s contestants:

Lucy Ricketts, an illustrator originally from Atlanta, Georgia
Lucy Ricketts on Jeopardy!
Dusty Smith, a former movie executive from Corvallis, Oregon
Dusty Smith on Jeopardy!
Tanay Kothari, a business operations associate from Oakland, California (1-day total: $26,800)
Tanay Kothari on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts: Tanay had a really strong debut yesterday, picking up nearly half of the correct responses on the board. Tanay seems to have picked up Ken’s faster cadence. That being said, he wasn’t perfect on the Daily Doubles, and the prediction model gives him a 74.8% chance of winning today.

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Correct response: Who is Laika?

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More information about Final Jeopardy: (The following write-up is original content and is copyright 2020 The Jeopardy! Fan. It may not be copied without linked attribution back to this page.)

Very good doggo Laika, a Moscow stray, was sent into space aboard Sputnik 2 in November 1957, a hastily-planned flight by the Soviet Union to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Laika (Russian for “barker”) was the first animal sent into space; the terrified Laika—her heartrate was three times normal rate and breath rate four times normal rate during the flight—was believed to have died five to seven hours into the flight, as the thermal control system failed, raising the cabin temperature to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many Westerners vehemently opposed the launch on animal cruelty grounds, as the Soviet Union knew that it lacked the technology to return Laika safely to Earth and deliberately sent her up to die. Even Oleg Gazenko, one of the scientists responsible for the mission, later said, “we did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death” of Laika.

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

Scores going into Final:
Lucy $25,200
Tanay $16,400
Dusty $6,400

Tonight’s results:
Dusty $6,400 – $6,398 = $2 (Who is that Russian dog?)
Tanay $16,400 – $3,599 = $12,801 (Who is Checkers?)
Lucy $25,200 + $7,900 = $33,100 (Who is Laika?) (1-day total: $33,100)

Lucy Ricketts, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 12, 2021 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Tanay $10,000
Lucy $6,600
Dusty $1,600


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) AMERICAN CITIES $800 (clue #8)
Tanay 2000 +2000 (Dusty -200 Lucy 2200)
2) NOTABLE WOMEN $2000 (clue #10)
Lucy 9000 +9000 (Tanay 11200 Dusty 5200)
3) HEAVY MEDALS $1200 (clue #21, $9600 left on board)
Lucy 22000 +2000 (Tanay 12800 Dusty 6000)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 209

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 142 (1.84 per episode average), 2 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:
Lucy $17,400 Coryat, 22 correct, 2 incorrect, 35.09% in first on buzzer (20/57), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Tanay $15,200 Coryat, 18 correct, 2 incorrect, 31.58% in first on buzzer (18/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Dusty $6,400 Coryat, 14 correct, 3 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57), 0/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $39,000
Lach Trash: $8,000 (on 6 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $7,000

Tanay Kothari, career statistics:
46 correct, 5 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 8 rebound opportunities)
36.84% in first on buzzer (42/114)
3/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $4,600)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $20,900

Dusty Smith, career statistics:
14 correct, 4 incorrect
0/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $6,400

Lucy Ricketts, career statistics:
23 correct, 2 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
35.09% in first on buzzer (20/57)
2/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $11,000)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,400

Lucy Ricketts, to win:
2 games: 71.672%
3: 51.368%
4: 36.817%
5: 26.387%
6: 18.912%
Avg. streak: 3.530 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

    • It felt to me that Ken’s delivery seemed more stilted today than he did on yesterday’s episode.
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    30 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, January 12, 2021"

    1. I wonder who the guest host will be after Katie Couric.

    2. Took several years too long, but they finally put up a statue to commemorate Laika. Hopefully her death up there was quick and merciful.

    3. So I bet “the dog that went up to space with Sputnik” would not be acceptable??!! Was the name pronounced “LAY-KA” or “LA-EE-KA?” Anyone know?

    4. I wonder if Tanay can put a string together. Hopefully, but a superb one time performance is not enough to predict the next few games….

    5. Fun fact: even though Brad (Rutter) has won the most money on Jeopardy! specifically, Ken has won the most money of any contestant in game show history. Over the shows he’s been on, I think he racked up around $5.7 million.

      • Follow up: made a mistake in my calculations, he actually won 5.2 million. Still puts him in first, though

      • Dana Tischer | January 13, 2021 at 11:15 am |

        I like the job Ken is doing, but Brad Rutter is my choice as permanent host. He’s got the low-key calm demeanor that was Alex’s trademark. Considering he hasn’t been in the public eye the way Ken, Katie Couric, and Aaron Rodgers have been, it would be easier to keep the contestants as the star.

    6. Checkers was the right era – came to the world’s attention in 1952 when Nixon was running for vice president.

    7. Ken’s voice does not have the same tone or timbre as Alex did. But Alex was a professional announcer with many game shows before he came to Jeopardy.

    8. I like Ken but I miss Alex’s broadcaster type voice.

    9. Brad (not Rutter) | January 12, 2021 at 5:26 pm |

      True daily double at 9k! Hats off to Lucy.

      Another very good performance from Ken. His style is very warm with a little more humor than Alex, but not so much that it’s a distraction. While I miss Alex, I’m really enjoying what Ken brings to the table.

    10. Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers QB, has stated that he will do a guest stint as the Jeopardy! host when the NFL playoffs are over.



    11. Myron Rushetzky | January 12, 2021 at 7:35 pm |

      Did Ken sign off with a “Thank-you, Alex,” again today like he did yesterday? (I got distracted.)

    12. Lucy did great! But Dusty made me laugh with the ICP comment!

    13. The fatigue factor for multi-game champions as a taping day went on has been mentioned and discussed on this site many times, but I suspect that Alex’s endurance and was one of his abilities that many of us overlooked. I doubt fatigue would have set in quite that quickly for Ken, but he probably had quite the adrenaline rush for the first game (despite his many appearances on the show as a contestant) that was starting to wear off for tonight’s episode.

      As Andy has said, I hope everyone is patient enough to give all the hosts time to find their comfort level and for the permanent host to make the job their own.

    14. I like how Ken Jennings speaks at a faster pace than did Alex. Notice that for the second day in a row there were no unplayed clues.

      • Dana Tischer | January 13, 2021 at 11:11 am |

        In the earlier shows, I noticed Alex spoke faster than he did in later years, even before he got sick. I guess we all slow down as we age. 🙂

    15. Yes, Ken said “Thank you, Alex” at the end of the show.

      • It’ll be interesting to see how long that goes. Will he do it all week? For the entire duration of his guest host run? Might that become the standard sign-off for all Jeopardy hosts from now on, a la the Price Is Right “spay or neuter” sign-off? It would be a fitting tribute.

    16. Just curious—I could easily have missed it—but have here been any announcements so far on plans for the various tournaments (teen, college, teachers, champions, etc.)? Will they still happen, and if so, on what schedule, and with whom as host?

    17. I think Ken is doing an absolutely incredible job. I love watching him interview the guests and his quick wit shines through. My favorite line so far came after Dusty’s answer of ‘Who is the Russian space dog?’ in Final Jeopardy. Ken seamlessly quipped, “Nothing is wrong there, but we cannot give you full credit.”

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