Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Warning: This page contains spoilers for the January 17, 2023, 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 Geography Mnemonics) for Tuesday, January 17, 2023 (Season 39, Game 92):

Mimal, sometimes said to be the silhouette of a chef or elf, stands for Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and these 2 states

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s Jeopardy! contestants:

Stephanie Pakula, an aerospace engineer from Cambridge, Massachusetts
Stephanie Pakula on Jeopardy!
Vince Bacani, a risk manager from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Vince Bacani on Jeopardy!
Katie Palumbo, a museum interpreter from Amawalk, New York (1-day total: $23,100)
Katie Palumbo on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

Yesterday, Katie Palumbo became Jeopardy! champion after a conservative wager in Final Jeopardy! worked out for her. Today’s challengers are another Canadian—Montreal’s Vince Bacani—and Stephanie Pakula. One thing to keep an eye out for in terms of today’s strategy: How will Katie play Final Jeopardy! if she’s leading again? A savvy challenger will have noticed Katie’s non-cover bet yesterday and I would suggest that an all-in bet from second place if Katie is leading is probably an excellent idea.


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Correct response: What are Arkansas and Louisiana?


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More information about Final Jeopardy:

(The following write-up is original content and is copyright 2023 The Jeopardy! Fan. It may not be copied without linked attribution back to this page.)

The U.S. states known as Mimal, north to south, stand for Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Usually, Minnesota is the hat, Iowa the face, Missouri the shirt, Arkansas the pants, and Louisiana the boots. If the reference continues, one can find Kentucky on the map because Tennessee is a pan held by Mimal, and Kentucky is the fried chicken on the pan.

It seems as though the modern noticing of Mimal dates back to early 2015 and a post over at Futility Closet. (There’s also a map picture with everything highlighted out.)


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Game Recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: The Real Real Housewives Of…; “I” On Art; All About Hair; Summing Up The Spielberg Movie; Double Vowels Next To Double Consonants; During The Liz Truss Weeks)

Vince and Katie definitely had the best Jeopardy! round—Katie got the Daily Double right after the break and doubled up to bring herself back into the game!

Statistics at the first break (15 clues):

Vince 7 correct 2 incorrect
Stephanie 3 correct 0 incorrect
Katie 4 correct 1 incorrect

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Vince 13 correct 2 incorrect
Katie 12 correct 1 incorrect
Stephanie 3 correct 0 incorrect

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: A Little World History; 1980s Bestsellers; 3 Letters, 2 Meanings; International Food & Drink; Emmy Winners; Sciencey Stuff)

The Double Jeopardy! round saw the Daily Doubles suppress the scores slightly; Vince lost $5,000 on his, while Katie lost $6,000 on hers. Katie’s miss kept her barely in contention going into Final score—scores going into the final clue were Vince at $14,000, Katie at $7,400, and Stephanie at $1,000.

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Vince 26 correct 6 incorrect
Katie 21 correct 4 incorrect
Stephanie 4 correct 1 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 14 (2 today).

Final today was a Triple Stumper, which means that Vince gets the W and gets to return tomorrow!

Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Tuesday, January 17, 2023 Jeopardy! by the numbers:

Scores going into Final:

Vince $14,000
Katie $7,400
Stephanie $1,000

Tonight’s results:

Stephanie $1,000 – $899 = $101 (What are Alabama + Louisiana?)
Katie $7,400 – $5,000 = $2,400 (What are Alabama + Louisiana?)
Vince $14,000 – $1,000 = $13,000 (What are Louisiana and Illinois?) (1-day total: $13,000)


Vince Bacani, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 17, 2022 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Vince $7,000
Katie $6,200
Stephanie $1,400


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:

1) THE REAL REAL HOUSEWIVES OF… $800 (clue #16)
Katie 1200 +1200 (Vince 3800 Stephanie 1400)
2) 3 LETTERS, 2 MEANINGS $1600 (clue #18)
Vince 15400 -5000 (Katie 10200 Stephanie 1000)
3) A LITTLE WORLD HISTORY $2000 (clue #24, $3200 left on board)
Katie 13000 -6000 (Vince 12400 Stephanie 1000)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 21

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
Katie 3 4 4 3 4*
Vince 3 4 5 2 1 2 5 3 4
Stephanie 3 1

DJ! Round:
Katie 3 4 3 5 3 2 3 2 5*
Vince 2 3 4 4 5 1 5 3 4* 5† 2 4
Stephanie 1 4 5

† – selection in same category as Daily Double

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

Vince 3.38
Katie 3.43
Stephanie 2.80

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: A LITTLE WORLD HISTORY $400 3 LETTERS, 2 MEANINGS $800
Total Left On Board: $1,200
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 14 (0.15 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Vince $19,000 Coryat, 26 correct, 6 incorrect, 50.91% in first on buzzer (28/55), 1/3 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Katie $13,000 Coryat, 21 correct, 4 incorrect, 40.00% in first on buzzer (22/55), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Stephanie $1,000 Coryat, 4 correct, 1 incorrect, 3.64% in first on buzzer (2/55), 3/3 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $33,000
Lach Trash: $6,200 (on 6 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $13,600

Katie Palumbo, career statistics:

44 correct, 6 incorrect
1/1 on rebound attempts (on 9 rebound opportunities)
39.29% in first on buzzer (44/112)
2/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,200)
0/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,900

Vince Bacani, career statistics:

26 correct, 7 incorrect
1/3 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
50.91% in first on buzzer (28/55)
0/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$5,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,000

Stephanie Pakula, career statistics:

4 correct, 2 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
3.64% in first on buzzer (2/55)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $1,000

Vince Bacani, to win:

2 games: 46.429%
3: 21.557%
4: 10.009%
5: 4.647%
6: 2.158%
Avg. streak: 1.867 games.

Today’s interviews:

Stephanie held her wedding in Crete. It was bilingual.
Vince plays the organ as part of a combined Mohawk–Catholic choir.
Katie did a 5k, 10k, and half-marathon on successive days.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • This was the first time in regular play since October 10 that a clue was left unseen. This 44-game streak is the longest known streak, breaking the previous mark of 40 games (May 31–September 6, 2002).
  • Today’s box score: January 17, 2023 Box Score.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Vince $14,000 Katie $7,400 Stephanie $1,000)

Katie: If Vince makes the cover bet and is incorrect, he falls to $13,199. To have any chance of winning, you must bet at least $5,800. (Actual bet: $5,000)

Vince: Standard cover bet over Katie is $801. (Actual bet: $1,000)

Stephanie: Bet at least $601, but not everything, to give yourself the best chance at second place, as Katie needs to bet for the lead. (Actual bet: $899)


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21 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, January 17, 2023"

  1. I’ve also seen the iteration where Tennessee is the platter the chef is holding, and Kentucky is the fried chicken on the platter! This is an easy get if you know US geography. Might be tricky for the Canadian players

    • I never had heard this mnemonic when I was in grade school or high school, but when I was in college one of my girlfriends mentioned it to me, though she was taught that MIMAL was a toy soldier rather than a baker, chef, or elf.

  2. Never heard of it, but having driven from my home in St. Louis down I-55 to New Orleans made it straight forward to figure out.

  3. Michael Johnston | January 17, 2023 at 9:37 am | Reply

    I don’t remember ever hearing that acronym, but a little thinking on what the three given states have in common made it apparent what the last two initials had to be for.

  4. I guess Katie was playing for second or hoping Vince was bad at math. But kudos as always for making it on the show to all of them.

  5. MIMAL acronym was something I only heard of back in grade school but I would have gone for the obvious and chose Louisiana and Iowa. Not sure why vince picked Illinois but still happy he got the win.

    • Iowa was already one of the states listed in the clue. I had never heard of that mnemonic, but the states listed were a “stack” following [kinda, anyway] down the Mississippi River, so I correctly said Arkansas and Louisiana.

      One comment said “Might be tricky for the Canadian players” but I would expect Canadian players to have brushed up on U.S. states (and their capitals and locations), whereas U.S. players might have assumed they could depend on earlier education and only “crammed” for other subjects. The two U.S. players MAY have fit into my second theory, but apparently Vince did not fit into my first.

  6. I remember learning MIMAL in grade 5, somewhere around 2000. No way I’d keep them straight otherwise

  7. I never head of the acronym in this game’s Final Jeopardy, but since only one state begins with an “L,” had Louisiana, but for some reason forgot Arkansas.
    Question; there have been many winners from Canada, but is Vince the first from Quebec?

  8. In hindsight, Katie is probably glad she got FJ wrong because if she got it right, she would have finished in a close 2nd due to her wager when 1st was there for the taking.

    • Gary you are bang on, Katie’s wager guaranteed that she could not win. There is no way Vince was going to wager too much.

  9. I know the states as a baker rather than a chef (same concept). Never heard of MIMAL. But was easy to figure it out based on the concept. HOMES is used to remember the Great Lakes but I always remember She Made Henry Eat Onions to put the lakes in order from west to east.

    • Same, never heard of MIMAL but, to me, this was one of those responses that was easy to figure out from the clue. Having been give the top three, it was easy to go south to add in Arkansas and Louisiana. Don’t really understand how someone could come up with Illinois when you needed a state beginning with an “A.” Alabama was, at least, a good alternative to Arkansas. Must be the pressure of short amount of time, but still, Illinois does not fit the acronym.

      By the way, thanks, Brian, for the Great Lakes mnemonic. I always went with HOMES but your mnemonic helps in getting the order correct.

  10. I live in the eye of MIMAL

  11. Oh I just saw the chef!!!! The first two times I looked at the map, I thought you were all a little insane. (I happen to be a Canadian who knows all your state caps but I certainly never heard of MIMAL before). Oh btw, yesterday I watched with my wife and I said Model T right away. At the same time she said “cars”. We both thought that yesterday’s was one of the worst questions ever.

  12. I had never heard or seen this mnemonic before today’s show.
    Wait. Is it a mnemonic? It helps one remember the states from the 49th parallel down to The Gulf.
    Or is it an acronym? It’s not the short form for anything.
    Maybe’s it neither?

    I thought the pace of the game seemed off somehow so it’s understandable that two clues were not revealed.

    And yes, I’m another Canadian who got Final right. I’m quite surprised it turned into a triple stumper.

  13. I, too, learned this in 5th grade in 91-92. Our teacher was obsessed with mnemonic devices and we used them to learn nearly everything. I find that this one, nor any of the other ones we used for memorizing states, were particularly effective for me.

  14. Took me a little, but I got it with hopefully enough time to scribble it down. I also got Monday’s easy clue (and I’m shocked that they didn’t – what else would have cost that much in 1908?). I expect to get today’s wrong…

    Arkansas is really that unmemorable, huh? Also confused by Katie’s wager – if she’d gotten it right, she’d still have lost.

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