Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, January 28, 2021

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category 20th Century Authors) for Thursday, January 28, 2021 (Season 37, Game 89):

In a 1959 article he wrote, “People began to call themselves beatniks, beats…bugniks &…I was called the ‘avatar’ of all this”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

As I said in my recent editorial, 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:

Jill Tucker, a development director from Mulino Muhlieno, Oregon
Jill Tucker on Jeopardy!
Zach Newkirk, an attorney from Alexandria, Virginia (4-day total: $85,669)
Zach Newkirk on Jeopardy!
Brian Chang, an attorney from Chicago, Illinois (7-day total: $163,904)
Brian Chang on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts: A number of Jeopardy! fans have been waiting for today since June. Today sees Zach Newkirk, Season 36’s final champion, finally get a chance to defend his title. Unfortunately, he’s trying for his 5th win against a 7-day champion in Brian Chang. Will Brian or Zach win the “battle of the quarter-zips”, as some have called it? (Both Brian and Zach have worn quarter-zip shirts on the show.) Or, as has often happened in these sorts of matchups, will dark-horse Jill take the spoils? (I can’t help but think back to near the end of Season 34, where Burt Westermeier took victory in a highly-hyped matchup between Dave Mattingly and Ron Freshour.)

PSA: The best way to keep COVID-19 at bay (and keep Jeopardy! producing new episodes) is for everybody to abide by physical distancing guidelines and when you are not able to do so, properly wear a mask. Ensure that your mask covers both your nose and your mouth.

Are you going on the show and looking for information about how to bet in Final Jeopardy? Check out my new Betting Strategy 101 page!

I recently updated my tournament wildcard models with as much tournament data that I’ve been able to find! If you’re playing in a tournament, you’ll want to check this out!


(Content continues below)

If you appreciate the work I do here on The Jeopardy! Fan and would like to make a one-time contribution to the site, you may do so here!

Correct response: Who is Jack Kerouac?

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: (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.)

Jack Kerouac achieved widespread fame in the late 1950s with the success of his second novel, On the Road, in 1957. Some time earlier, he had coined the phrase “beat generation” to refer to the underground and nonconforming youth in New York City of the era; this group served as an inspiration to Kerouac and other contemporaries (such as Allen Ginsberg.)

The article containing the quote in today’s Final Jeopardy! clue, “The Origins of the Beat Generation”, was published in Playboy in 1959.

We have many new offerings at The Jeopardy! Fan Online Store! Here are our top sellers:

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

Scores going into Final:
Zach $23,600
Brian $12,600
Jill $10,600

Tonight’s results:
Jill $10,600 + $10,500 = $21,100 (Who is Jack Kerouac)
Brian $12,600 + $11,001 = $23,601 (Who is Kerouac?)
Zach $23,600 + $1,601 = $25,201 (Who is Kerouac?) (5-day total: $110,870)

Zach Newkirk, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 28, 2021 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Brian $7,400
Zach $5,000
Jill $3,800


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) LITERATURE $800 (clue #9)
Jill 2000 +2000 (Brian 2000 Zach 2000)
2) BIOGRAPHIES $1600 (clue #4)
Zach 5800 +4000 (Brian 7400 Jill 5400)
3) THAT’S SO GORGE! $1200 (clue #13, $21600 left on board)
Zach 15000 +5000 (Brian 9000 Jill 7800)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 202

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 150 (1.69 per episode average), 2 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:
Zach $17,400 Coryat, 20 correct, 2 incorrect, 31.58% in first on buzzer (18/57), 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Brian $12,600 Coryat, 20 correct, 3 incorrect, 38.60% in first on buzzer (22/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Jill $9,400 Coryat, 13 correct, 2 incorrect, 22.81% in first on buzzer (13/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $39,400
Lach Trash: $8,200 (on 7 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $6,400

Brian Chang, career statistics:
184 correct, 21 incorrect
5/6 on rebound attempts (on 29 rebound opportunities)
39.82% in first on buzzer (180/452)
8/10 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $14,500)
5/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,800

Zach Newkirk, career statistics:
97 correct, 12 incorrect
10/13 on rebound attempts (on 25 rebound opportunities)
29.67% in first on buzzer (81/273)
6/10 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $13,000)
4/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,520

Jill Tucker, career statistics:
14 correct, 2 incorrect
1/1 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
22.81% in first on buzzer (13/57)
1/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $2,000)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $9,400

Zach Newkirk, to win:
6 games: 58.090%
7: 33.744%
8: 19.602%
9: 11.387%
10: 6.614%
Avg. streak: 6.386 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • Ken announced most of this on-air, but I can confirm: Jeopardy! has decided to place its Tournament of Champions cutoff as of Alex’s death. Brian and Zach appear to be eligible for the 30th Tournament of Champions.
  • In terms of “does Ken know the Triple Stumpers?” I’m pretty sure he did know the Katzenjammer Kids, as that was the subject of a major turning-point clue early in his run; Matt Ottinger was giving him a good run in Ken’s 14th game before a clue about them showed up.

Become a Supporter now! Make a monthly contribution to the site on Patreon!

Contestant photo credit:

When commenting, please note that all comments on The Jeopardy! Fan must be in compliance with the Site Comment Policy.

If you are going to quote any information from this page or this website, attribution is required.

Have you had a chance to listen to our podcast game show, Complete The List, yet? Check it out! It’s also available on Apple Podcasts.

39 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, January 28, 2021"

  1. Matthew Yothers | January 28, 2021 at 9:08 am |

    Wow, a 4-day champ vs a 7-day champ, we’re going to see some competition here.

    • Does anyone know if this is the first time ever in a regular match (non-TOC or other special events) that pair of 4+ game winners have faced off? It obviously takes a rare special circumstance for winners to face off at all—but did any of those prior occurrences involve this level of decorated champs?

  2. Much love to Brian, one of my favorite champions in a while, but I’m rooting for Zach to get his 5th win today for a TOC bid.

  3. Pretty easy final. When I saw the year 1959, as well as the word “beatnik,” I immediately thought of On the Road, which got me to Kerouac.

  4. This was one of the one’s where you ‘know’ it but you have ‘Jack Kevorkian’ stuck in your head and can’t get it out to allow the correct answer in your head in 30 seconds.

  5. Zach N (from the sidebar) | January 28, 2021 at 9:31 am |

    [Posted before results]

    Math is not my strong suit, but I calculate that with the algorithm giving Brian a 57.454% chance of winning this game and giving me a 53.756% chance of victory, there is a 111.21% chance that there will be just one champion featured in the sidebar this time tomorrow — for the first time since Sept. 14, 2020.

    • The prediction calculator is not generally programmed for such a scenario.

      That being said, taking the numbers from the calculator into account, I would say that these would be fair chances for each player:

      Brian 43.38%
      Zach 40.59%
      Jill 16.03%

    • Too many quarter-zips! Only one may survive.

  6. I suspected Alan Ginsburg, poet of ‘Howl’….. but I was wrong…..

    • I thought of Timothy Leary then settled on Ginsburg……….but I was wrong too…..

    • I guess I’m number three in this thread who settled on Ginsburg.

    • Both Kerouac and Ginsburg are referenced in the 10,000 Maniacs song “Hey, Jack Kerouac,” whose melody I can’t get out of my head now. 🙂

  7. John McCleary | January 28, 2021 at 11:10 am |

    I personally think that it is unfair to Zach that he has to play Brian. It wasn’t even Zach’s fault that he couldn’t even come back at the beginning of the season. It would’ve made more sense to have him play a one day champ compared to a seven-day champ. If Zach would’ve returned in September, he would’ve been playing two contestants with no Jeopardy experience.

  8. KAREN J DUNBAR | January 28, 2021 at 11:38 am |

    This ought to be interesting. I’m hoping that Jill Tucker wins, as a fellow Oregonian, she would be taking out two good players. I also would like to see Zach win, to make the Tournament of Champions. I want Brian to win. In other words, I’ll be happy no matter who wins.

  9. (Admin note: A question posed here that was answered specifically on-air today has been removed.)

  10. Wait, so… Brian and Zach won’t be in the upcoming TOC? 🙁 I really wanted to see em face off against the others that made it, but I suppose it makes sense given the circumstances.

  11. Wow the “Zachinator” rolls on, with good games by Brian and Jill! If he lasts to Monday or beyond, he’ll extend what is already the longest run in terms of calendar length, from June to February; Ken went from June through November and there’s no close 3rd place. Wished Brian could have had an easier path to extend his streak but regardless great success by “Changinator 2.0” (“The Changinator” was a nickname someone once playfully gave me)!

    • Matthew Yothers | January 28, 2021 at 2:43 pm |

      I agree, this is definitely worth the wait for Zach, as he secured his spot in the Tournament of Champions.

  12. Thomas Gazdayka | January 28, 2021 at 3:31 pm |

    It’s great that Zach wins his fifth game. Now onto the ToC for him. Let’s see how many more games he can win. But in less than 6 hours I’ll be able to watch the game and see him win.

  13. To remove a tiny bit of ambiguity in the “thought” above — based on the show’s own ToC tracker, “cutoff as of Alex’s death” refers to January 8, 2021, Alex’s last episode as host (vice November 6, 2020, the last game aired before his passing).

    With Ken making reference to “this season’s Tournament of Champions”… so, a May airing likely?

  14. Brad (not Rutter) | January 28, 2021 at 5:08 pm |

    Wow…big ups to Zach. I would have given Brian the edge since he was “on a roll” and I didn’t remember Zach’s wins being particularly dominant, but Zach proved his mettle in beating a great champion like Brian. Hope he goes on a long streak.

  15. Thomas Gazdayka | January 28, 2021 at 5:45 pm |

    Thr final 5 time champion under Alex Trebek was Braydon Smith. So apparently the cut off date is with him for the ToC. Their are 15 players for the tournament ending with four time champ Veronica from Portland, OR. So we’ve waited nearly two years to see Jason Zuffranieri in this upcoming tournament.

  16. I’m also reminded of when Ryan Fenster returned with a 4 game streak to face a 3 time champion.

    • Matthew Yothers | January 28, 2021 at 7:48 pm |

      Actually, if you get both parts of Ryan Fenster’s run combined, he actually won 7 games.

  17. Jill was the perfect addition to the two champions – quite the lively show!
    The DDs certainly worked for Zach – unfortunately, not for Brian.
    There can only be one winner and it will be fun to see the smiling Zach win a few more games. It’ll be a pleasure to see both Zach AND Brian in the ToC.

  18. This game reminded me of when Roger Craig reached the finals of the Battle of the Decades only to face Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Jill had to feel a little that way. She and Roger both finished third, but they were competitive and not at all intimidated by the competition.

  19. I love watching players’ strategy late in the game. Not every contestant is as good at late game strategy as the three today were. Obviously Brian and Jill were playing catch up so they went to the higher value clues, and abbreviated the category titles. Then Zach, with a big lead, was happy to say all of “Responses In the Form of a Question,” and go to the $400 clues. You never know if time will run out before the board is cleared. If two clues had been left in the DJ round, Zach would have had a runaway.

  20. Excuse me? “Mulino Muhlieno, Oregon?” What happened there? Mulino is a CDP in Oregon. That second non-word, what? Please fix this!!! Pedants look at your site!

  21. Prithvi Sudhakar | January 29, 2021 at 4:34 pm |

    Well, congrats to Zach on his win! I hope he can expand his winning streak!

  22. What an exceptional game, well played by all three contestants. I was so torn because I loved Zach from last season, yet was equally impressed by Brian’s successful current winning streak; Jill was no slouch, either and a strong contender. Many kudos to Brian on his great games and I look forward to (hopefully) many more games with Zach, who is such a charming person. And it had to be a bit emotional for Zach coming back to a stage without Alex standing behind the podium.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: