Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, October 21, 2022

Warning: This page contains spoilers for the October 21, 2022 game of Jeopardy! — please do not scroll down if you wish to avoid being spoiled. Please note that the game airs as early as noon Eastern in some U.S. television markets.

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category 19th Century Literary Characters) for Friday, October 21, 2022 (Season 39, Game 30):

This character from an 1859 novel symbolizes the fates, who in mythology spin the web of life, measure it & cut it off

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s Jeopardy! contestants:

Molly Karol, a CPA from Austin, Texas (Yesterday’s total: $15,600)
Molly Karol on Jeopardy!
Jessica Stephens, a statistical research specialist from Nashville, Tennessee (Yesterday’s total: $28,600)
Jessica Stephens on Jeopardy!
James Fraser, a Naval aviator from Newport Beach, California (Yesterday’s total: $30,929)
James Fraser on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

By the end of today’s episode of Jeopardy!, we’ll know the 20th of the 21 players in the upcoming Tournament of Champions. Representing the U.S. Navy well thus far, James Fraser holds a small lead over Nashville’s Jessica Stephens. Molly Karol put up a strong $15,600 yesterday, but only has just over half of James’ score; Molly definitely has her work cut out for her today if she wants to mount a comeback. James has had the best stats overall, so he’s still the favorite at this point, but absolutely anything can happen! Because this can be a confusing point: Yesterday’s scores are locked in and can not be bet in any way during today’s game—but, they do need to be taken into account when determining bet sizing today!

And, next week sees a new set of nine players playing for the last spot in the tournament!

On a more personal note, it is the time of year for the twice-yearly Gamers vs. MS 168-hour online fundraiser! 24 different Twitch streamers will be live between 8 AM Eastern on October 22 and 8 AM Eastern on October 29, raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS), with an estimated 1 in every 385 Canadians living with the disease. I’ll be streaming live on my Twitch channel, from 2 AM Eastern–8 AM Eastern on October 25! You can find more information about this fall’s relay at

PSA: The best way to keep COVID-19 at bay (and keep Jeopardy! producing new episodes) is for everybody to get their vaccinations as soon as they can, including any boosters as recommended. When wearing a mask, please ensure that your mask covers both your nose and your mouth.

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(Content continues below)

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Correct response: Who is Madame DeFarge?

You can find game-by-game stats here at The Jeopardy! Fan of all 14 players, including Matt Amodio, Jonathan Fisher, Amy Schneider, Mattea Roach, and Ryan Long, that have won 10 or more games on Jeopardy!?

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.)

In Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Defarge very famously knits by the guillotine during executions; in Greek mythology, the Moirai would use yarn to measure out the life of a human, and then cut it to end it.

The hilarious thing about this clue: I was listening to a Jeopardy! game this morning from December 1990 on TuneIn Radio—and the final Daily Double in that game was about Madame Lefarge!

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Game Recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: American History; Team Names Via Other Names; In The Bible Book; From C To D; Shave & A Haircut; 2 Bits)

James was definitely having the best time on the signalling device in the opening 30 clues, but he was also incorrect four times. All three players had a good amount of money at the second place.

Statistics at the first break (15 clues):

Jessica 6 correct 0 incorrect
Molly 3 correct 0 incorrect
James 5 correct 3 incorrect

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Jessica 8 correct 1 incorrect
James 12 correct 4 incorrect
Molly 7 correct 1 incorrect

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: So You Blew It The First Time; Movie & Tv Directors; It’s All About Her; Marsupials; Why Are My Pants Wet?; Before & After)

James was rolling—and then he went for a True Daily Double, in an attempt to put the tournament away. Unfortunately, he missed, and his chances probably went with it. Jessica got the last Daily Double and went onto having a runaway position going into Final; she had $15,300 going into Final Jeopardy! today, to Molly’s $10,600 and James’s $2,000.

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Jessica 16 correct 2 incorrect
Molly 16 correct 1 incorrect
James 18 correct 7 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 8 (0 today).

Final Jeopardy! was a Triple Stumper—Jessica managed to make it with enough money and is going to the Tournament of Champions!

Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Friday, October 21, 2022 Jeopardy! by the numbers:

Scores going into Final:

Jessica $15,300
Molly $10,600
James $2,000

Tonight’s results:

James $2,000 – $2,000 = $0 + $30,929 = $30,929 ($20,000) (Who is Urah Heep)
Molly $10,600 – $10,600 = $0 + $15,600 = $15,600 ($10,000) (Who is ? ? ? )
Jessica $15,300 – $10,000 = $5,300 + $28,600 = $33,900 (Who is Penelope?) (Winner, $35,000)

Jessica Stephens, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the October 21, 2022 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Jessica $4,600
James $3,600
Molly $2,600


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:

1) AMERICAN HISTORY $800 (clue #8)
James 1200 +1200 (Jessica 1800 Molly 2000)
2) SO YOU BLEW IT THE FIRST TIME $1200 (clue #4)
James 6800 -6800 (Jessica 6200 Molly 2600)
3) IT’S ALL ABOUT HER $1600 (clue #15, $16000 left on board)
Jessica 8600 +3500 (James 1600 Molly 4600)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 41

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 8 (0.27 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Jessica $13,400 Coryat, 16 correct, 2 incorrect, 22.81% in first on buzzer (13/57), 3/4 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
Molly $10,600 Coryat, 16 correct, 1 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer (17/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
James $8,400 Coryat, 18 correct, 7 incorrect, 40.35% in first on buzzer (23/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $32,400
Lach Trash: $10,000 (on 9 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $11,600

James Fraser, career statistics:

83 correct, 15 incorrect
1/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
43.88% in first on buzzer (86/196)
4/6 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $1,229)
2/4 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,000

Jessica Stephens, career statistics:

73 correct, 5 incorrect
7/8 on rebound attempts (on 19 rebound opportunities)
27.63% in first on buzzer (63/228)
3/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $7,000)
3/4 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $14,800

Molly Karol, career statistics:

68 correct, 13 incorrect
6/8 on rebound attempts (on 21 rebound opportunities)
28.95% in first on buzzer (66/228)
3/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $13,000)
2/4 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $9,750

Today’s interviews:

Molly would love to be a fly on the wall in the Tournament of Champions.
Jessica would love to see Matt and Jonathan again, and meet Amy and Mattea.
James finds it hard to imagine a ToC berth.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • If today’s wagering result was a result of the recent time limits on Final Jeopardy! betting instituted by the show, then Jeopardy! needs to remove said time limits with immediate effect. It was a solution in search of a problem, only serves to potentially make contestants look worse and is, quite frankly, a bad look for the show.
  • Today’s box score: October 21, 2022 Box Score.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Jessica $15,300 ($28,600) Molly $10,600 ($15,600) James $2,000 ($30,929))

James: You might as well go all-in. (Actual bet: $2,000)

Jessica: You are guaranteed a spot in the Tournament of Champions as long as you bet no more than $7,099, as you currently have a combined total of $43,900, Molly’s best possible total is $36,800, and James’ best possible total is $34,929. (Actual bet: $10,000)

Molly: You can only surpass James for second if you are correct; you might as well go all-in. (Actual bet: $10,600)

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29 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, October 21, 2022"

  1. Michael Johnston | October 21, 2022 at 9:24 am |

    Ha! I figured Tale of Two Cities from the time (although I didn’t remember the exact year, just that it was from later in Dickens’ life) and the mythic themes. The “cut it off” hint points to Madame DeFarge, who is more concerned with death than life.

    I was really taken with that novel when I read it back in Jr.High 🙂

  2. I remembered the high school English teacher telling us this allegory but only after giving up and scrolling down to see the answer.

    Your TuneIn is telling you something …

  3. Matthew Yothers | October 21, 2022 at 11:14 am |

    And I hope Jeopardy keeps their rule of having contestants keep their two-day total if it’s higher than the given amounts.

  4. Michael Johnston | October 21, 2022 at 1:15 pm |

    ? What’s this about time limits on the wagering in FJ? I don’t remember reading about that.

    • On “Inside Jeopardy”, the show has repeatedly said that there is (now) a five-minute time limit on coming up with a bet in Final Jeopardy.

      • Michael Johnston | October 21, 2022 at 1:40 pm |

        Thanks Andy! I’m way behind on Inside Jeopardy… I haven’t listened to it since the second podcast.

        Five minutes actually is a reasonable amount of time IMO, although an arbitrary cut-off does seem poor form.

        • Agreed 5 minutes is enough time to figure out the wagering for final. I mean if they have the totals in front of them I feel that is sufficient but clearly with the wagers lately maybe it takes them 10-15 minutes to figure things out?

    • I had always just assumed there was a time limit on placing your bet. I even assumed it was less than five minutes (though not like sixty seconds). If Andy can tell that five minutes is too short and makes the contestants look bad, I’m sure he is correct, but I would hope they would just lengthen the time [to maybe seven minutes] rather than go back to no limit.

      Over the last few months, I have sometimes thought (and once commented here) that some contestants bets seemed near clairvoyant in relation to what the other two actually had bet. If they had all the time they wanted, I wonder if some were able to fairly accurately judge what another contestant was betting based on how long it took them to come up with the bet and/or how long they seemed to deliberate before even starting to calculate [i.e., deciding they weren’t very likely to know an answer in the given category, with my assumption being if you think you are likely to know, you will probably feel so right away].

  5. I would not have gotten this if I had 30 days

    • Nor I. I was not required to read A Tale of Two Cities in school and if I had been, I’m pretty sure my teachers would not have known to teach about it what Diganta Das’ teachers did. [Any literature test question about the theme of any book (and most stories) would be ruled correct if you said “good triumphs over evil” — and these were public schools.]

      I only feel slightly pleased that I thought (correctly) it probably was a character from Dickens. I had taken a wild guess that maybe it was Miss Havisham.

  6. Andy, you make a fair point on the issue of time limits with the betting, but I still can’t figure out how Jessica made such an error today (which thankfully didn’t cost her the game). Assuming they have the prior game numbers in front of them it shouldn’t take more than a minute to calculate your opponent’s maximum outcomes. Then she adds her 1st-day score to her current total for the 2nd-day. With that in hand, since this is a tournament and not a moneymaking wager, her bet should be fairly easy to write down. $0 and that’s it.

    • I totally agree, but perhaps she was over-confident in this FJ Category and wanted to try to make a big splash back home (with the high amount she “won” even if she wouldn’t get to take back but $35,000 — or would she have truly gotten the $43,900 with the correct response?) If the latter, then perhaps she was not feeling all that confident about winning ToC and wanted to win as much money as possible now.

      Not attributing these thoughts to Jessica — just speculating on “what ifs”.

      And was the $35,000 what the winner was going to get regardless of a score above or below it or was that just the minimum the winner was going to get?

      • Ken Jennings announced the prize money on Monday. So Jessica simply blundered. I can’t imagine the pressure.

  7. Andy, for the December 1990 Daily Double you heard, did that contestant get it right or not?

  8. Jessica really dodged a bullet with her excessive FJ wager. In any event, she is a very strong player and most deserving to be in the TOC. Congratulations to her!

  9. First time ever that three contestants from a regular season game will compete in the tournament of champions.

  10. I remember reading about a tale of two cities and of course defarge was after Charles Darnay or evermond as what she calls him. She accused him of betraying his own country. Still this book reminds me that I should read it again soon. I hope jessica does well in the toc

  11. 5 minutes seems like it should be enough for a regular game, but it would make sense to give them a little extra time for the conclusion of “two day total point affairs” like this

  12. Robert Fawkes | October 21, 2022 at 6:49 pm |

    As I posted on October 17th, “Jessica was my odds on favorite going in as she nearly defeated not just one but two super champs in Matt and Jonathan. Would be happy to see her make it to the ToC.” Needless to say, I am happy that Jessica is moving on to the ToC. That aside, she really did dodge a bullet as Dave B. wrote. Had James gotten FJ correct, he would have been going to the ToC. I’m really liking this SCT. The first week was great, let’s hope the second week matches it. Congratulations to all the participants.

  13. will they have any Harriet Tubman clues in tomorrow’s game?

  14. Seriously it should have taken Jessica 10 seconds to realize she had a runaway. 5 minutes is tons of time to wager. I would have guessed that they would have had about the length of the commercial, 2 minutes tops. Anyway, I thought Jessica would win today. She is an awesome player and it will come as no surprise if she wins her next game. I would assume that the 2 winners of these second chances will not align with the person who beat them in the first place. Perhaps Andy will clarify that part. 🙂

  15. I hope someone asks her why she bet that amount. It was very puzzling. She had never missed a final jeopardy in the games she has played. I noticed she missed a couple of questions today after missing only 2 in her first 3 games. The other two seemed faster on the buzzer. I think James anticipated the answer coming to him a few times which probably worked for him in the past.

  16. Pizza Face Fred | October 21, 2022 at 11:21 pm |

    Never read the book and didn’t get the Final, but I’ve read the opening lines a million times. When people ask me about my Army experience, I’ve often quoted the first line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That pretty much sums it up. (I would’ve used semicolons between paragraph elements in the series.) In my next life, I hope to read every book in the Library of Congress like some of the people on here. My local station didn’t air Thursday’s game for whatever reason. They repeated Wednesday’s. I got three of the nine Triple Stumpers to comfort my bruised ego as I drift off into the ether world . . .

  17. Is it possible Jessica transposed the scores from Thursday? If so, $10000 would make sense as it would give her $53900 if correct, being a bit more than enough to cover the potential opponent’s score of 30929+2*10600 = $52129.

    At any rate, a very well-played week from Jessica. Happy to see her advance.

  18. bill vollmer | October 22, 2022 at 9:57 pm |

    I can understand why there is a time limit as to how long contestants have to make their Final Jeopardy wager I’d think for non-tournament games, 5 minutes would be plenty of time. But for the second day of a two day final, maybe it should be lengthened, if everyones previous days totals, were on display, as an help in wagering. In the new T of C finals format, where the first to two wins is champion, as I beieve I’ve read, then previous days totals wouldn’t be needed.

    • Jay N Williams | October 23, 2022 at 6:33 pm |

      Bill, for the TofC Finals, it is the first to win three out of seven is the champion, not two out of four.

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