Jeopardy! Masters Recap – Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Are you looking for today’s regular-game recap? Find it here!

Warning: This page will eventually contain spoilers for the May 24, 2023, episode of Jeopardy! Masters — please do not scroll down if you wish to avoid being spoiled. It will be updated alongside the Eastern Time airing of the show, beginning at about 8:00 PM Eastern.

This game’s Jeopardy! Masters contestants:

Mattea Roach, a writer & podcaster from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Mattea Roach on Jeopardy! Masters
Matt Amodio, a postdoctoral researcher from Cambridge, Massachusetts
Matt Amodio on Jeopardy! Masters
James Holzhauer, a self-described game show villain from Las Vegas, Nevada
James Holzhauer on Jeopardy! Masters

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

Here are our three players’ career statistics going into the Jeopardy! Masters final:

James Holzhauer:
1766 correct, 86 incorrect
54/59 on rebound attempts (on 126 rebound opportunities)
52.29% in first on buzzer (1630/3117)
101/108 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $851,593)
43/55 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $26,469
To win: 50.8%
To finish second: 26.7%
To finish third: 22.5%

Matt Amodio:
1502 correct, 170 incorrect
62/72 on rebound attempts (on 157 rebound opportunities)
50.09% in first on buzzer (1447/2889)
90/102 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $359,800)
33/50 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $24,122
To win: 32.8%
To finish second: 36.0%
To finish third: 31.2%

Mattea Roach:
857 correct, 92 incorrect
46/54 on rebound attempts (on 147 rebound opportunities)
39.99% in first on buzzer (815/2038)
36/44 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $88,400)
22/36 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,250
To win: 16.4%
To finish second: 37.3%
To finish third: 46.3%

James Holzhauer has played 10 games in Jeopardy! Masters. He has won 9 of those 10 games. The only player who has beaten him in those 10 games: Matt Amodio—who happens to be at podium number 3. In those 10 games, James has been leading or tied going into Final Jeopardy! in 9 of those 10 games. The only player in this tournament who has led James going into Final: Mattea Roach, in semifinal #2—who happens to be at podium number 2. Many Internet commenters believe that tonight’s match will be a simple coronation of James Holzhauer. I disagree. This is not going to be a walk in the park for James whatsoever—if James were to win tonight, Matt and Mattea will have absolutely made him work for it.

This final will be a two-game total-point affair: the points from the first half-hour will be added to the points from the second half-hour to determine the overall champion of Jeopardy! Masters. The winner tonight will receive $500,000 + the Trebek Trophy, second place will receive $250,000, while third place will receive $150,000.

Interestingly, Jeopardy!‘s Instagram story has teased that one of the Final Jeopardy! categories tonight is going to be LATIN IN LITERATURE.

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Game Recap & Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! Masters today? Here’s the Wednesday, May 24, 2023 Jeopardy! Masters final by the numbers, along with a recap:

Game 1:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: So You Think You’re Pretty Good At This; In The World Capital; Recent Events; Composers; Some Hard Words; Cops & Robbers TV)

James started the game with something usual—finding the Daily Double—and something unusual—getting it incorrect. In a very evenly-matched opening round, the three players were separated by just 1,000 points after 30 clues!

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

James 10 correct 1 incorrect
Matt 9 correct 0 incorrect
Mattea 6 correct 1 incorrect

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

James $4,600
Matt $4,400
Mattea $3,600

Today’s interviews:

Mattea will be donating to JDRF if they win Jeopardy! Masters.
Matt will be donating to Best Friends Animal Society if they win Jeopardy! Masters.
James will be donating to Project 150 if they win Jeopardy! Masters

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: National Historical Parks; Furniture & Furnishings; 3-“Sy”llable Words; Horror Movies; British Authors; What’s All This?)

James doubled up through DD2 early in the round; Mattea then doubled up through DD3 midway through the round! Things were still very close going into Final!

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

James 20 correct 2 incorrect
Mattea 12 correct 1 incorrect
Matt 14 correct 1 incorrect

Scores going into Final:

James $22,400
Mattea $16,800
Matt $6,000

Game 1 Final Jeopardy category: Africa

Game 1 Final Jeopardy! clue: A major seaport & formerly a world capital, a this city has a name from Arabic for “house of peace”

Game 1 Final Jeopardy! Correct response: What is Dar-es-Salaam?

Everyone got Final correct; at the midway point James’ “effective lead” is 4,757 points over Mattea and 11,157 over Matt. Still everything to play for!

Game 1 results:

Matt $6,000 + $6,000 = $12,000 (What Dar-es-Salaam)
Mattea $16,800 + $8,000 = $24,800 (What is Dar es Salaam?)
James $22,400 + $11,914 = $34,314 (What is Dar Es Salaam)

Other Miscellaneous Game 1 Statistics:

Daily Double locations:

1) IN THE WORLD CAPITAL $1000 (clue #1)
James 0 -1000 (Matt 0 Mattea 0)
2) BRITISH AUTHORS $800 (clue #7)
James 8600 +8600 (Matt 4000 Mattea 4400)
3) 3-“SY”LLABLE WORDS $2000 (clue #18, $10800 left on board)
Mattea 7200 +7200 (James 18800 Matt 4800)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 100

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
James 5*

DJ! Round:
James 3 2 2* 3 4 2 5 3 4 3
Matt 3 5
Mattea 4 5 4 2 4 5*

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

James 3.27
Mattea 4.00
Matt 4.00

Game 1 Stats:

James $15,600 Coryat, 20 correct, 2 incorrect, 35.09% in first on buzzer (20/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Mattea $11,600 Coryat, 12 correct, 1 incorrect, 21.05% in first on buzzer (12/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Matt $6,000 Coryat, 14 correct, 1 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $33,200
Lach Trash: $16,400 (on 13 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $4,400

Game 2 Recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: The 1960s; Common Bonds; “P” Is For Poetry; Nom Nom Nominations; The Grammar Police; Michael J. Fox)

Just like Game 1, James found the Daily Double and proceeded to get it wrong. Mattea had another very strong round and stayed within 1,000 points of James in this opening round. This isn’t over!

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

James 12 correct 1 incorrect
Mattea 9 correct 0 incorrect
Matt 4 correct 1 incorrect

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

James $5,600
Mattea $4,600
Matt $1,800

Today’s interviews:

Mattea would like to thank their mother.
Matt would like to thank many family members and his girlfriend.
James would like to thank his childhood home of Naperville, Illinois.

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: Nature; Crossword Clues “AE”; 3-Named People; In This World; It’s Just Us; You Know It’s Not The Same As It Was)

James didn’t get to a Daily Double! Mattea and Matt got them. Mattea got theirs, Matt went to 0. Mattea had a very strong round to hold a lead, but not a runaway, going into Final!

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Mattea 19 correct 0 incorrect
James 19 correct 2 incorrect
Matt 12 correct 3 incorrect

Scores going into Final:

Mattea $22,800
James $9,600
Matt $3,200

Game 2 Final Jeopardy category: Latin In Literature

Game 2 Final Jeopardy! clue: A work by this 15th-century English writer quotes the phrase “rex quondam rexque futurus”

Game 2 Correct response: Who is Thomas Malory?

Final Jeopardy! was a Triple Stumper—with where the scores were, James ended up your winner, Mattea 2nd, and Matt 3rd!

Tonight’s results:

Matt $3,200 – $0 = $3,200 + $12,000 = $15,200 (Who … will …. Win?!?!?!) ($150,000)
James $9,600 – $119 = $9,481 + $34,314 = $43,795 (Who is T H White) ($500,000)
Mattea $22,800 – $5,915 = $16,885 + $24,800 = $41,685 (Who is Chaucer?) ($250,000)

Jeopardy! Masters final results for May 24, 2023.

Other Miscellaneous Game 2 Statistics:

Daily Double locations:

1) THE 1960s $1000 (clue #1)
James 0 -1000 (Matt 0 Mattea 0)
2) NATURE $2000 (clue #3)
Mattea 7400 +7400 (James 5600 Matt 1800)
3) IN THIS WORLD $2000 (clue #10, $22000 left on board)
Matt 4600 -4600 (James 8400 Mattea 16400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -100

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
James 5*

DJ! Round:
James 3 2
Matt 4 4 2 5*
Mattea 3 5* 3 4

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

James 3.33
Mattea 3.75
Matt 3.75

Game Stats:

James $10,600 Coryat, 19 correct, 2 incorrect, 35.09% in first on buzzer (20/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Mattea $17,400 Coryat, 19 correct, 0 incorrect, 31.58% in first on buzzer (18/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Matt $7,800 Coryat, 12 correct, 3 incorrect, 24.56% in first on buzzer (14/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
Combined Coryat Score: $35,800
Lach Trash: $10,400 (on 8 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $7,800

Player Statistics:

James Holzhauer, career statistics:

1806 correct, 91 incorrect
54/59 on rebound attempts (on 130 rebound opportunities)
51.69% in first on buzzer (1670/3231)
102/111 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $858,193)
44/57 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $26,000

Matt Amodio, career statistics:

1529 correct, 175 incorrect
62/72 on rebound attempts (on 160 rebound opportunities)
49.15% in first on buzzer (1476/3003)
90/103 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $355,200)
34/52 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $23,472

Mattea Roach, career statistics:

889 correct, 94 incorrect
46/54 on rebound attempts (on 152 rebound opportunities)
39.27% in first on buzzer (845/2152)
38/46 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $103,000)
23/38 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,105

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • What an incredible competition.
  • Mattea had to bet what they did in order to defend against the possibility that James may double up. Note that James did not make a perfect game-theory optimal wager in the semifinal from second place, presumably as a gambit to ensure a cover bet from the leader in a situation where it ultimately mattered.
  • This is precisely why James was only a 50–55% favorite going into the Final—there is so much variance at this level.
  • Today’s box score will be linked to when posted by the show.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Mattea $22,800 (24,800) James $9,600 (34,314) Matt $3,200 (12,000)

James: If Mattea covers and bets 5,915 (the standard cover bet), they fall to 47,600 – 5,915 = 41,685 if incorrect. Your current combined score is 34314 + 9600 = 43,914. Thus, I would suggest limiting your bet to 2,227, staying at 43,916 or above, no matter what. (Actual bet: $119)

Matt: You’re locked into third place, no matter what happens. Do whatever you like. (Actual bet: $0)

Mattea: James’ maximum possible total is 9600 + 9600 + 34314 = 53,514. Your current combined score is 22800 + 24800 = 47,600. Thus, your cover bet over James is 5,915, to get to 53,515 if you’re correct. (Actual bet: $5,915)

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27 Comments on "Jeopardy! Masters Recap – Wednesday, May 24, 2023"

  1. The right person won but man Mattea had a hell of a run in the finals.

  2. Congratulation to Mattea and James! This is exactly what James did in the game he lost — that low bet that so many complained about — and this time it paid off for him. But wow Mattea!

    • Congratulations to Matt too, as well as to Sam, Amy and Andrew — I definitely don’t mean to denigrate them and their performance over these episodes. That was a heck of a competition!

    • I didn’t even think about that but more or less this was a slightly different scenario as James was covering the guy in 3rd place from getting ahead if James bet more.

    • The people complaining about his low bet in that previous game do not know the proper way to bet in that situation. James bet exactly what he should have to give himself the best chance to win the game. If he bet more he would have had another way to lose. Betting more would have looked better if he got the final right but it would have opened the door to losing to the third player if he missed.

      • Matt was locked into third in this specific case tonight.

        • I think this was in reply to the Emma bet.

          Regardless — there was a natural upper bound to a rational James bet both times — here because of how low Mattea would go with a cover and wanting to win a triple stumper, and then because of crowding due to third place. Either way, it involved a small bet. Regardless, he wasn’t in control of his destiny and made the right bet to maximize his chances of winning — and that wasn’t betting as much as possible as some people (who haven’t thought about the situation) seem to expect.

          • My reply was in regards to the game James lost against Emma since I didn’t make that clear.

  3. An incredible pair of games! Mattea’s performance was outstanding! I cannot wait to see all three of them again next year

  4. Michael Johnston | May 24, 2023 at 9:16 pm | Reply

    Game 1 – Welp… there goes my hope for a strong finish. Maybe I can still go for moderate😅 At least I got a reminder to shore up my knowledge of African geography.

    Current FJ! streak: 1L

    • Michael Johnston | May 24, 2023 at 9:26 pm | Reply

      Game 2 – Really? None of them got Mallory? That’s… odd. I mean, it wasn’t an instant get for me… it probably took me 2 or 3 seconds to remember his name. 🤷 Vagaries of the game, I guess.

  5. Wow! What a game by Mattea! If they were more of a poker player they might have figured out James’ Final Jeopardy betting strategy and bet accordingly and won! As it is,though, the best player by far won, even on an off day. Congratulation James!

  6. Wow! A few takeaways:
    1)Glad to see these 3 in the finals. Sort of a redemption tour for all 3 after they had lost their mojo a bit. (Mattea and Matt with underwhelming TOCs, James losing the GOAT tourney).
    2) Mattea- Wow! Unreal performance, especially for a 24 year old. Stock has definitely risen after this tournament.
    3)James- Wow! Won 10 of 11 games (if tonight is considered 1 game) against the best of the best. That’s amazing. I’m glad he won tonight. Wouldn’t have seemed right if he lost this game- winning 9 out of 11- and ended up not winning this tournament. Still think they ought to tinker with the format for next year.
    4)Was the board too difficult tonight? Seemed like an unusual amount of triple stumpers.

    Great tournament!

  7. Robert Fawkes | May 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm | Reply

    I don’t really understand why people had a problem with a low bet by James in the game he lost. In fact, he had written the correct response in the one game he lost. It’s just that he changed the correct response (Haiti) to an incorrect response (Nicaragua). Had he kept Haiti, he would have won every game he participated in. To me, all of that means the correct person won the tournament. I do, however, like that Mattea made it a real nail-biter. Congrats to everyone in the tournament. That made for some great television.

  8. That was riveting tv until the end. Andy called it, James had his work cut out for him and then some. In the end he prevailed and deserved it, but man, Mattea, they came to play! Congrats on your well deserved second place! Matt is a crowd favorite, and I had hope he might have another come from behind moment, but it was not to be this time.

    The three weeks of this tournament was almost a little bit too much jeopardy crammed into a single month (also Ben Chan’s run too), I was almost suffering fatigue at the end but I’m glad I made the effort to see these champions in action again.

  9. I concur on it being almost too much Jeopardy this month. It would’ve been better either in the summer rerun season of the syndicated version or since it is an ABC property, scheduled around NBA Finals games in June.

  10. There were a couple of unapproved comments asking about the betting.

    I have expanded on the “Final Jeopardy Wagering Suggestions” section to explain the numbers behind why Mattea and James wagered what they did here.

    Crucially: No mathematical errors were made onstage by the contestants.

    • James’s suggestion: “If Mattea covers and bets 53,515”

      Should read either “bets 5,915” or “bets to reach 53,515 if correct”.

      • Thank you! Corrected.

        • I think you have a typo. It now says “James: If Mattea covers and bets 5,915 (the standard cover bet) if correct, they fall to 47,600 – 5,915 = 41,685.” I didn’t see it before you corrected the first thing about 5,915 vs 53,515, but it now says “if correct they fall” but I’m sure you meant “if incorrect, they fall”.

  11. Jim Cardillo | May 25, 2023 at 11:56 am | Reply

    I really enjoyed the Masters Tournament. I will come around to the methods of scoring and advancing, since I trust Michael Davies, et. al. to make decisions on the best game play for these super-champions.

    • Jim Cardillo | May 25, 2023 at 11:57 am | Reply

      I wanted to add one item that should be carried over to future tournaments – that’s Sam Buttrey shouting “bring it!” from the gallery.

  12. An amazing competition all around = the high skill level of all of the Masters was exceptionally impressive.

  13. Bill Vollmer | May 25, 2023 at 1:10 pm | Reply

    Apparently ABC, Micheal Davies/Sony have decided that the Masters competition will return next year. Did I understand that all three finalists are invited back for the 2nd Jeopardy Masters?
    Surprising that james, our professional sports gambler wagered the way he did on the 2nd Final Jeopardy, but it all worked out for him. I guess the three players are too young to know of the 1960’s (or, don’t remember the history of that time.) Wonder how long Ken had to pratice the latin in the second Final Jeopardy,
    Geography can be a solid category for me, but didn’t know Dar-Es- Saalam in the first Final Jeopardy, the second, I was as lost, or, even more than the players.

  14. Andy, you might want to clarify about the interview statements saying “will be donating to if they win”. I feel it sounds like they will be donating THEIR winnings (like in Celebrity Jeopardy!”). They all won SOME and I believe they probably each will donate some of that to their chosen charity, but I thought I heard Ken say that an additional $150,000 will be donated BY THE SHOW to the charity of the winner’s choice.

    From doing ‘FIND’ for “donat”, I did not find anywhere on your site that mentions that. I’m not sure where it would fit in best, but as I said, I just felt like the interview statements need clarifying because they were made directly after Ken had explained about the additional money as a donation directed by the winner, so they did not have to say that part themselves in their interviews.

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