Today’s Final Jeopardy – Monday, March 7, 2022

Good morning, and happy Monday, Jeopardy! fans! Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Central America) for Monday, March 7, 2022 (Season 38, Game 126):

A small river connects these 2 lakes that combined form close to 10% of their country’s area

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Clay Cooper, an SAT & ACT tutor from Las Vegas, Nevada
Clay Cooper on Jeopardy!
Maureen O’Neil, an executive assistant from Rye Beach, New Hampshire
Maureen O'Neil on Jeopardy!
Margaret Shelton, a homemaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (4-day total: $79,700)
Margaret Shelton on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts: On Friday’s game, Margaret Shelton proved just how important the Daily Doubles are on Jeopardy!, parlaying a True Daily Double early in the Double Jeopardy! round into her fourth victory. Maureen O’Neil and Clay Cooper are your challengers today, and Ken Jennings hosts as Margaret tries to become a 5-time champion.

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Correct response: What are Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua?

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More information about Final Jeopardy: (The following write-up is original content and is copyright 2022 The Jeopardy! Fan. It may not be copied without linked attribution back to this page.)

Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua are two large Nicaraguan lakes, named after the country and its capital, respectively. (The two lakes are also known as Cocibolca and Xolotlán.) The two lakes are joined by the Tipitapa River. Interestingly, the lakes drain into the Atlantic (via the San Juan River), despite the Pacific being visible from island mountains in the lakes. The important historical Nicaraguan city of Granada is situated on Lake Nicaragua.

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Game Recap:

Jeopardy! Round categories: Mountains, French Cooking Terms, 3-Letter Initialisms, Presidential Rhyme Time, From Book to TV, Phrase Farming

Maureen jumped out to an early lead, buoyed by a strong performance in PRESIDENTIAL RHYME TIME (including an alternate response on the $600 clue that the judges accepted). It was Clay who found the Daily Double, and he picked up the “table maximum” of $1000.

Coming out of the break, Maureen continued her strong play with another six correct responses to hold a $3,400 lead after Single Jeopardy! over Margaret.

Double Jeopardy! Round categories: The Ideas of March, Y is the Second Letter, Biographies, Towers, Single-Named Celebrities, That’s Just Science, Man

Unfortunately, Clay’s swapping consonants on the last clue of the Jeopardy! round was a bit of a harbinger of things to come from him, as he struggled in the back half of the game (picking up six incorrect responses himself); missing a True Daily Double on the opening clue of the round didn’t help, either.

Meanwhile, Margaret bet for and took a slim lead with a very late correct Daily Double.

There were a lot of incorrect responses and a few times today where the judges needed a couple of extra seconds to rule, explaining why we saw five unrevealed clues today. After Double Jeopardy!, Margaret held a slim lead at $12,300 to Maureen’s $10,200, with Clay at -$2,400.

In Final—a category that Margaret audibly reacted to upon its reveal—both Margaret and Maureen missed Final, and in the largest shock I have seen in months, Margaret bet everything, leading to Maureen becoming champion, at just $2,200!

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Monday, March 7, 2022 Jeopardy! by the numbers:

Scores going into Final:
Margaret $12,300
Maureen $10,200
Clay -$2,400

Tonight’s results:
Clay -$2,400 (By rule, did not participate in Final Jeopardy)
Maureen $10,200 – $8,000 = $2,200 (What are Guata + Mala?) (1-day total: $2,200)
Margaret $12,300 – $12,300 = $0 (What are Nicaragua & )

Maureen O'Neil, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the March 7, 2022 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Maureen $6,600
Margaret $3,200
Clay $2,600

Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) FROM BOOK TO TV $400 (clue #12)
Clay -400 +1000 (Margaret 600 Maureen 3000)
2) Y IS THE SECOND LETTER $1200 (clue #1)
Clay 2600 -2600 (Margaret 3200 Maureen 6600)
3) THAT’S JUST SCIENCE, MAN $1200 (clue #23, $6400 left on board)
Margaret 6800 +3500 (Maureen 10200 Clay -400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 51

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $2,800
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 36 (0.29 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:
Maureen $10,200 Coryat, 18 correct, 2 incorrect, 30.77% in first on buzzer (16/52), 2/4 on rebound attempts (on 8 rebound opportunities)
Clay -$400 Coryat, 13 correct, 8 incorrect, 34.62% in first on buzzer (18/52), 0/1 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Margaret $10,000 Coryat, 13 correct, 2 incorrect, 23.08% in first on buzzer (12/52), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $19,800
Lach Trash: $13,200 (on 10 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $18,200

Margaret Shelton, career statistics:
100 correct, 14 incorrect
13/13 on rebound attempts (on 30 rebound opportunities)
33.21% in first on buzzer (91/274)
4/5 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $12,100)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $13,920

Maureen O’Neil, career statistics:
18 correct, 3 incorrect
2/4 on rebound attempts (on 8 rebound opportunities)
30.77% in first on buzzer (16/52)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $10,200

Clay Cooper, career statistics:
13 correct, 8 incorrect
0/1 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
34.62% in first on buzzer (18/52)
1/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$1,600)
0/0 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: -$400

Maureen O’Neil, to win:
2 games: 34.429%
3: 11.854%
4: 4.081%
5: 1.405%
6: 0.484%
Avg. streak: 1.525 games.

Today’s interviews:
Clay had four perfect scores on high school standardized tests.
Maureen is part of five sets of twins in her family.
Margaret loves England.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • I present the following link to everyone: Wagering Strategy 101: How To Bet In Final Jeopardy
  • Readers are reminded that shaming contestants for their Final Jeopardy! responses on what is essentially a forced guess is completely out-of-order. Your comments actively make gameplay worse overall, as contestants have gone on record in the past saying that they regret guessing because of the Internet mocking, and in hindsight, they would have rather guessed nothing than make a guess that people would mock them for. This behaviour needs to stop from Jeopardy! fans.

Final Jeopardy! betting suggestions:

Margaret: Standard cover bet here is $8,101.

Maureen: It’s a new week, so you don’t really know of Margaret’s propensity to not cover. You should bet between $4,201 and $5,999—it’s a four-fifths game (and this also has the benefit of covering Margaret’s past non-covering strategy as well.).

Link to the box score: March 7, 2022 Box Score

Contestant photo credit:

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16 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Monday, March 7, 2022"

  1. No ambiguity here…slam dunk given the category name. Expect an 70%+ get rate.

  2. Personally, I think “Guata + Mala” is both a hilarious answer and as good a guess as any. God help us all if Maureen gets ridiculed for it.

    I checked out the wagering calculator, and while I agree with most of it, this core principle really stands out: “When leading, it is significantly better to lose by getting Final Jeopardy! incorrect than it is to lose by getting Final Jeopardy! correct and be overtaken by a trailing player.”

    This is essentially presented without evidence, and I don’t think it’s true. (And the more pervasive the belief becomes, the less true it is.) That said, as a player I would probably make the cover bet 100% of the time.

  3. Oh no Margaret why the all-in wager?

    • Right — I don’t think ANYONE should bet more in FJ! than it takes to win by $1 if everyone else wagers all and you are all correct. I am guessing that the reason Margaret did so was because she DOES know a lot about Central America and maybe she wanted to bring up her daily average (since $12,300 would bring that down). If so, the irony is that just betting $8,101 (and getting FJ! correct) would have resulted in pretty close to her daily average [and still up a bit] and in trying to decide how much to bet, had she thought that “going for not much above her daily average” was a good omen, she would have won. I think the fact that she got one of the two lakes correct indicates she did know a lot about Central America, just not quite enough.

      • Yakov Baylis | March 7, 2022 at 11:28 pm |

        Matt Amodio in his very 1st game with a $400 lead going into final bet it all. Odds were very low that Maureen would over wager. Being strong in Central America Margaret went all in figuring if she misses she will lose anyways if she plays to win. If she gets it right she will double her winnings. This wager is very understandable.
        Congratulations to Margaret on 4 wins and a likely spot in the tournament of Champions!!!

  4. And to add to past opinions as to who should be considered for the Second Chance Tourney (though Margaret will probably make the cut-off for ToC anyway), I don’t think that they should include anyone who was ahead after their DJ! round and could have won had they not bet more than the minimum it would take to win if they and their closest competitor had both gotten FJ! correct (whether they did or not).

  5. That final was solvable, but a lot to write out in 30 seconds, which cuts into solving time. I would’ve probably come up with “Lake Nicaragua &” and just run out of time b/c I actually had to think about it.

  6. Michael Johnston | March 7, 2022 at 6:07 pm |

    I just happened to know this one because I know a lot of people from Nicaragua so I know something about the geography. To me, it doesn’t look like one that a majority of contestants would know.
    I suppose I’ve ben a guilty party wrt to comments on wagering so I’ll try to keep that in check from now on. I hope Margaret makes it into the TOC, but with the way this season has been going 🤷😕

  7. Noumon Munir | March 7, 2022 at 7:03 pm |

    she should have bet conservatively!!

  8. Is this the smallest win of the season so far?

  9. I can personally vouch for the fact that if you are tired, it’s hard to do the arithmetic in final Jeopardy wagering. So sometimes, if you feel confident in a category, it’s easier just to bet it all. Fortunately, when I did it, it only cost me $1,000 IRL.

  10. Hannah Starr | March 8, 2022 at 3:58 am |

    ::sigh:: I enjoyed watching Margaret play the game and will miss her. So quiet, unassuming, humble. Hope to see her on ToC.

  11. I agree that contestants shouldn’t be shamed for their FJ/DD guesses,
    but why is it considered acceptable to shame people for their wagering?

  12. Donn Nemchick | March 8, 2022 at 3:58 pm |

    Margaret was pretty cool although seemed suprprised when she answered correctly…She is originally from Mississippi and is related the the Manning family of NFL fame. Hope she returns to the ToC and does well.

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