Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, January 18, 2023


Warning: This page contains spoilers for the January 18, 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 Early American History) for Wednesday, January 18, 2023 (Season 39, Game 93):

In 1692 Increase Mather wrote, “It were better that ten suspected” these “escape, than that one innocent person … be condemned”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s Jeopardy! contestants:

Alec Wang, a real estate analyst from Avon, Connecticut
Alec Wang on Jeopardy!
Erin Portman, a high school English teacher from Naperville, Illinois
Erin Portman on Jeopardy!
Vince Bacani, a risk manager from Montreal, Quebec, Canada (1-day total: $13,000)
Vince Bacani on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

It’s always nice when I get to write this: A Canadian is the defending champion on Jeopardy! Last night, Vince Bacani picked up $13,000 with his victory in last night’s game! Today’s challengers are Naperville, Illinois teacher Erin Portman and Avon, Connecticut real estate analyst Alec Wang.


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Correct response: What are witches?


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Increase Mather’s words regarding the Salem Witch Trials, in Cases of Conscience Concerning Witchcrafts, were a rebuke of the fact that the special Court of Oyer and Terminer, created specifically to hear these cases, was relying heavily on spectral evidence as proof of witchcraft. Mather’s words were finally strong enough for the colony’s Governor, Sir William Phips, to end the trials. (Though it must be said, it was pretty much entirely due to Mather’s lobbying of the Crown that Phips was named Governor of the Massachusetts colony in the first place.)


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Game Recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: The 1890s; Women Of Science; A College / Town; Songs Of The 2010S; Same First & Last Letter; Six Pack)

Erin definitely had the best Jeopardy! round, punctuated by a true Daily Double, in amongst 9 correct after the break! She was nearly in five figures, with Vince and Alec far behind.

Statistics at the first break (15 clues):

Vince 7 correct 1 incorrect
Erin 5 correct 1 incorrect
Alec 1 correct 3 incorrect

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Erin 14 correct 2 incorrect
Vince 10 correct 1 incorrect
Alec 3 correct 3 incorrect

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: Know Your Boundaries; Blank Verse; Long-Serving Politicians; Newspaper Names; Elemental Responses; Movies That Matter)

Vince got to both Daily Doubles—his first one saw him fall back to $0, but he got the second one, and clawed back Erin’s runaway by going for an almost True Daily Double! Scores going into Final were Erin at $21,000, Vince at $15,599, and Alec out of play at minus $2,000.

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Erin 23 correct 3 incorrect
Vince 22 correct 3 incorrect
Alec 6 correct 5 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 14 (0 today).

Both Erin and Vince got Final today; Erin is your new champion! She’ll attempt to get win #2 tomorrow!

Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Wednesday, January 18, 2023 Jeopardy! by the numbers:

Scores going into Final:

Erin $21,000
Vince $15,599
Alec -$2,000

Tonight’s results:

Alec -$2,000 (By rule, did not participate in Final Jeopardy)
Vince $15,599 + $5,402 = $21,001 (What are witches?)
Erin $21,000 + $10,201 = $31,201 (What are witches?) (1-day total: $31,201)


Erin Portman, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 18, 2023 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Erin $9,400
Vince $3,800
Alec $400


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:

1) THE 1890s $1000 (clue #18)
Erin 3600 +3600 (Vince 3000 Alec -800)
2) ELEMENTAL RESPONSES $2000 (clue #6)
Vince 4600 -4600 (Erin 11400 Alec 1200)
3) NEWSPAPER NAMES $1600 (clue #26, $4800 left on board)
Vince 6400 +6399 (Erin 21000 Alec -2800)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 100

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
Vince 3 4 3 4 5 3 2 1 3
Erin 4 5 5 2 2 1 4 5*
Alec 3

DJ! Round:
Vince 5* 5 5 4 5 4† 3† 5 2 4 5 4*
Erin 1 2 4 3 3 2 1 1 1 1 2
Alec 1 2 3

† – selection in same category as Daily Double

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

Erin 2.58
Vince 3.76
Alec 2.25

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 14 (0.15 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Erin $18,400 Coryat, 23 correct, 3 incorrect, 38.60% in first on buzzer (22/57), 2/3 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Vince $15,400 Coryat, 22 correct, 3 incorrect, 35.09% in first on buzzer (20/57), 2/3 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
Alec -$2,000 Coryat, 6 correct, 5 incorrect, 19.30% in first on buzzer (11/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $31,800
Lach Trash: $8,400 (on 7 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $12,800

Vince Bacani, career statistics:

49 correct, 10 incorrect
3/6 on rebound attempts (on 11 rebound opportunities)
42.86% in first on buzzer (48/112)
1/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$3,201)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,200

Erin Portman, career statistics:

24 correct, 3 incorrect
2/3 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
38.60% in first on buzzer (22/57)
1/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,600)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,400

Alec Wang, career statistics:

6 correct, 5 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
19.30% in first on buzzer (11/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/0 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: -$2,000

Erin Portman, to win:

2 games: 66.587%
3: 44.339%
4: 29.524%
5: 19.659%
6: 13.090%
Avg. streak: 2.993 games.

Today’s interviews:

Alec graduated at Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden.
Erin got to meet Jane Goodall.
Vince has held many different jobs.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • I often get asked why I say “By rule,” a player “did not participate in Final Jeopardy!”; it’s because the rule is literally that one may not play Final if their score is $0 or below.
  • Today’s box score: January 18, 2023 Box Score.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Erin $21,000 Vince $15,599 Alec -$2,000)

Vince: If Erin covers you and is incorrect, she falls to $10,801. Limit your bet to $4,797. (Actual bet: $5,402)

Erin: Standard cover bet over Vince is $10,199. (Actual bet: $10,201)

Alec: (By rule, did not participate in Final Jeopardy!)


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22 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, January 18, 2023"

  1. Literal instant-get. I am related by blood to one of the Salem Witches, though, so that might be an unfair advantage 🙂

    • same there on the instant get, but not related to any of the Salem Witches. My people were being persecuted on the other side of the world at the time.

    • Also descended from one of the “witches.” I said Salem Witch Trials so thinking that may not have been accepted.

      • Michael Johnston | January 18, 2023 at 9:59 am | Reply

        Tricky…
        I got it right away also just because of Mather’s name. The “Salem witch trials” phrasing doesn’t work with the clue but I wonder if having “witch” in the response would count?

      • Because trials cannot “escape” I would expect you to be ruled wrong. However, had you been an actual contestant and wrote it down immediately, you probably would have had time to review the clue, realize that it really only meant the witches themselves, crossed out the “Salem” and “Trials” and tucked an “es” after “witch”.

  2. The infamous Salem witch trials come up from time to time in the genealogy programs on PBS and elsewhere. 1692 is the dreaded year. Two of my own ancestors signed a petition on behalf of one accused person and it had a happy result.

  3. Okay, that’s three easy ones in a row. Expecting a triple get (though I won’t be able to watch today), but the last two were triple stumpers when they shouldn’t have been, so what do I know about that?

  4. With the wonderfully unique name, Increase Mather, it HAD to be witches!

  5. The Salem witch trials helped me to get the witches. Easy get for me. yesterday’s geography triple stumper should not have been that hard to get. Furthermore, Happy to see erin winning this game and congrats to vince getting the final.

  6. I believe Erin’s occupation, high school teacher, was Alex Trebec’s favorite for a Jeopardy champion. Recall reading that the teen tournament, and, the teacher’s tournament were his favorites. I’m happy because she’s from the South Chicago area.
    Was Increase Mather a relation to Cotton Mather?

  7. Increase was Cotton’s father.

  8. I think they should’ve accepted “Republic of Texas” for the six flags question. It’s not clear from the wording if the order refers to the flags or the entities, and it seems more like the latter to me. If you count Grover Cleveland-style the US was the sixth and eight entity, and the fifth would be Republic of Texas.

    Cite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_flags_over_Texas

    • I agree that the clue is ambiguous. Although six entities have controlled Texas (if you start with Spain), each of Spain and the USA controlled it in two non-continuous periods. Thus, the identity of the “fifth” entity to control Texas depends on your counting procedure.

  9. Vince Bacani reminds me of Vince Gilligan (creator of “Breaking Bad”, “Better Call Saul” and others).
    Maybe it is just the name tricking my brain into it, but I see similarities in their mannerisms, and the glasses/facial hair look.

    as for the “by rule” discussion, sometimes I think they should just let all 3 participate in FJ anyway, even if they can’t bet anything. It wouldn’t be that different than situations where 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are basically locked anyway (1st has more than double 2nd, 2nd has more than double 3rd). And it wouldn’t really hurt anything.

    • As to the Vinces, I see no special resemblances as a LOT of white men have glasses, mustaches, and beards. VB’s eyes are a little heavier lidded and VG’s chin seems narrower. You did mention mannerisms, so wondering why you see VG enough to get an idea (since he is basically a behind-the-camera guy)?

      I see your point for being curious whether <$0 contestant knew FJ! or not, but with nothing more to win [than 3rd place $1,000] and nothing to lose, such a contestant would be more likely to just put a message to family or a joke or a pun (which an actual player who has even a guess is unlikely to do), so that would be sort of a reward for finishing in the negative. I bet Jeopardy! would also prefer not risking their winner being shown up if they win without getting FJ! right but the <$0 person does get it right.

  10. I like how Vince bet all but one dollar on his last DJ. In case he never got another correct it allows him to be in FJ ‘by the rule’
    I don’t know why more contestants don’t do this all but one dollar bet.

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