2022 Tournament of Champions – Finals Preview

We started four weeks ago with 37 people ultimately having a chance of being crowned Tournament of Champions winner. After 20 incredibly exciting games, we are now down to three. We’ve seen so much incredible play over these last few games and have found three very deserving finalists.

30th Tournament of Champions Final:

Amy Schneider on Jeopardy!
Amy Schneider
Oakland, California
1379 correct, 87 incorrect
64/78 on rebound attempts (on 167 rebound opportunities)
51.90% in first on buzzer (1267/2441)
68/78 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $215,200)
29/43 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $26,233

38.962% to win the tournament

Andrew He on Jeopardy!
Andrew He
San Francisco, California
182 correct, 21 incorrect
12/13 on rebound attempts (on 26 rebound opportunities)
42.61% in first on buzzer (170/399)
8/13 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $32,800)
3/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $21,429

43.417% to win tournament

Sam Buttrey on Jeopardy!
Sam Buttrey
Pacific Grove, California
157 correct, 12 incorrect
10/11 on rebound attempts (on 25 rebound opportunities)
42.69% in first on buzzer (146/342)
5/6 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $10,600)
4/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,467

17.621% to win tournament

Andy’s Thoughts:
Odds: Andrew +110 Amy +140 Sam +440

We are now down to three players, all Californians: Amy Schneider, Andrew He, and Sam Buttrey. One major advantage to the “first to three wins” format is that it incentives taking chances, especially on the Daily Doubles. If you get a Daily Double incorrect, you’re not going to find yourself eliminated from the tournament (as long as you have the mindset to bounce back). Andrew definitely has proved his ability, both on making incredibly large Daily Double wagers and bouncing back from missing them (after all, he bounced back to defeat Jonathan Fisher in the quarterfinals). It’s on that Daily Double ability that the prediction model has pegged Andrew as the slight favorite to win.

However, Amy is still incredibly strong and has a very deep knowledge base. She didn’t win 40 games for no reason—and she’s already beaten Andrew once. She is 100% in prime position to take down the $250,000 first prize.

A number of you will also look at this preview and think that the best value lies in Sam—and an eye test might agree with that. But, of the three players, Sam does currently have both the lowest rate of finding Daily Doubles and the lowest average Daily Double bet—and in a tournament where finding and taking full advantage of those clues has been so crucial, Sam might be coming into this final at a disadvantage. But, he had the ability to defeat Matt Amodio and he has still never lost a game of Jeopardy. (One more note regarding Sam, regarding his age: There are news outlets that have placed his age as significantly higher than I believe it is. According to this post (after the Professors Tournament) from his prep school alma mater, Philip Exeter Academy, Sam was a member of their class of 1979. That would put Sam in his early 60s, and quite possibly the oldest player ever to make the finals of a Tournament of Champions. (The oldest I could find were Lou Pryor (1991) and Marilyn Kneeland (1993), who both reached the final at the age of 57.)

Absolutely anything can happen over the next three to seven games, though. I can’t wait!

Chances of 3 games: 12.251%
Chances of 4 games: 23.439%
Chances of 5 games: 29.726%
Chances of 6 games: 23.452%
Chances of 7 games: 11.132%

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9 Comments on "2022 Tournament of Champions – Finals Preview"

  1. I’m as curious as anything else to see how your prediction models play out. My gut tells me that Amy should win, but my gut can also be far from accurate.

    • I’m also curious how the TV listings for the game on Wednesday (11/15) state:
      “Tournament of Champions Finals: Game #4, if Necessary”
      Did I miss a game of the finals or are the listings out of sync?

  2. Do I get a cookie?
    Well before the ToC started I said to myself:
    Matt, Amy and Mattea, Ryan, and Jonathan are getting all the attention (justifiably so) but Sam could be very formidable and may very well upset the apple cart.

    Can we petition for a rule change?
    any special tournament winner is automatically eligible for regular play (if they do choose). Who knows what damage Sam could do if given the opportunity?

    • No, absolutely not. Any special tournament winner already gets a ToC spot.

    • Also, nobody HAS TO BE in a special tournament. They could have held out for the potential of getting into regular Jeopardy! with the POTENTIAL of winning enough games to get into a ToC.

      I guess there is a potential of earning more money in several regular games than winning a special tournament, but I don’t know how much the prize money is in special tournaments.

      That anyone chooses to go into a special tournament instead of trying to get into regular Jeopardy! seems to imply that being a tournament champion is more important to them (and maybe to most people) than the money. So, I agree with Andy that they should not be eligible to go on to regular Jeopardy! after winning a special tournament. Actually I don’t think any contestant (winner or not) of special tournaments should be eligible to go on to regular Jeopardy! but now that there is a Second Chance Tournament, I think they should be able to qualify for that if they demonstrate exceptional ability without winning their special tournament.

  3. Was watching Celebrity Jeopardy on Sunday.Matt Amodio had his own category about computers.He looked very handsome in a suit and tie. I still can’t believe he is not in this tournament.

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