Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, August 18, 2023

Note: This page contains spoilers for the August 18, 2023, game of Jeopardy! — please do not scroll down if you wish to avoid being spoiled. Please also note that today’s game is an encore presentation of the game that originally aired on November 4, 2022.

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category World Cities) for Friday, August 18, 2023 (Season 39, Game 40):

The name of this city may come from “dur”, meaning water, a reference to the Helvetian people’s settlement on a lake

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s Jeopardy! contestants:

Jackie Kelly, a pension calculation developer from Cary, North Carolina
Jackie Kelly on Jeopardy!
Jaskaran Singh, a consultant from Plano, Texas
Jaskaran Singh on Jeopardy!
Eric Ahasic, a meteorologist from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Eric Ahasic on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

Eric, Jaskaran, and Jackie are all incredibly strong players—my prediction model believes they’re all in the top four players who are playing in the quarterfinal rounds. My prediction is that Eric is slightly favored to win today, but all three players are strong and whoever wins today has a very strong chance of taking down any member of the Big Three in the semifinals.

(Content continues below)

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Correct response: What is Zurich, Switzerland?

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.)

For those readers who are unfamiliar: I want the show to be as good as it can be, and if this means that I need to criticize the show, I do so from an objective position of wanting the show to be as good as it can be.

Zurich, located in northern Switzerland on the lake of the same name, is one of Switzerland’s major commercial centers. Of course, Switzerland is also known by its Latin name—”Confoederatio Helvetica”.

However, the word “may” is doing a significant amount of work in this clue, way too much for my liking. The most authoritative source that I can find that says that Zurich’s etymology fits this clue is this page, the “Online Etymology Dictionary”, as compiled by a man named Douglas Harper. For what it’s worth, Harper specifically says: “This is the creation of an amateur. Great care has been taken and it’s as accurate as I can make it. But if you’re a professional linguist or a serious student of linguistics, you shouldn’t be doing your homework here. This is for the rest of us.” If there’s a more authoritative source, I’d certainly like to see it. Is the clue technically correct as written? Yes. But as of the time I’m writing this, I think I ultimately disagree with the Jeopardy! writer’s room in this case as to “what constitutes an authoritative enough source”, especially for clues being used in the Tournament of Champions.

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Game Recap & Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Friday, August 18, 2023 Jeopardy! by the numbers, along with a recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: Champions Of Tournaments; South America; A Fashionable Category; Give Us Some Direction; Dinosaur Names; Homophones)

Jaskaran and Jackie had the best time of things in the opening round, with Jackie also doubling through the game’s first Daily Double.

Statistics at the first break (15 clues):

Jackie 5 correct 0 incorrect
Jaskaran 5 correct 0 incorrect
Eric 4 correct 0 incorrect

Today’s interviews:

Jackie had family tell her that her run was more exciting than Philly sports titles.
Jaskaran was invited to a University of Texas basketball game after his college win.
Eric got to do a morning radio show at the State Fair.

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Jackie 8 correct 2 incorrect
Jaskaran 10 correct 2 incorrect
Eric 8 correct 3 incorrect

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Jackie $6,000
Jaskaran $5,800
Eric $2,600

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: History; Triple Rhyme Time; Musical Instruments; The Tangled Web; On Broadway; The OED Quotes)

This game can basically be summed up in two clues: Clues 7 and 8 were the Daily Doubles in the round. Eric pulled his best Roger Craig impersonation over those two clues, dramatically increasing his score from $5,800 to $23,200. Jackie and Jaskaran fought bravely, though, and this game was not a runaway going into the Final!

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Eric 15 correct 4 incorrect
Jackie 19 correct 2 incorrect
Jaskaran 17 correct 3 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 8 (0 today).

Scores going into Final:

Eric $26,000
Jackie $19,600
Jaskaran $11,000

Eric and Jaskaran were correct today; Eric is a semi-finalist after his daring move early in Double Jeopardy! Congratulations!

Tonight’s results:

Jaskaran $11,000 + $2,201 = $13,201 (What is Zurich?)
Jackie $19,600 – $6,401 = $13,199 (What is Geneva?)
Eric $26,000 + $13,201 = $39,201 (What is Zurich?) (Semi-Finalist)

Eric Ahasic, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the August 18, 2023 game.)

Other Miscellaneous Game Statistics:

Daily Double locations:

1) DINOSAUR NAMES $800 (clue #11)
Jackie 3000 +3000 (Eric 1200 Jaskaran 3000)
2) THE OED QUOTES $1200 (clue #7)
Eric 5800 +5800 (Jaskaran 5400 Jackie 8000)
3) HISTORY $800 (clue #8, $24400 left on board)
Eric 11600 +11600 (Jaskaran 5400 Jackie 8000)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 300

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
Eric 3 4 5
Jaskaran 2 1 3 5
Jackie 4 5 4 4*

DJ! Round:
Eric 3 5 3* 2*
Jaskaran 4
Jackie 4 4 4

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

Eric 3.57
Jaskaran 3.00
Jackie 4.14

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 8 (0.20 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Eric $10,600 Coryat, 15 correct, 4 incorrect, 24.56% in first on buzzer (14/57), 1/3 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Jaskaran $11,000 Coryat, 17 correct, 3 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer (17/57), 3/3 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Jackie $17,400 Coryat, 19 correct, 2 incorrect, 35.09% in first on buzzer (20/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $39,000
Lach Trash: $9,000 (on 9 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $6,000

Player Statistics:

Eric Ahasic, career statistics:

192 correct, 23 incorrect
14/17 on rebound attempts (on 38 rebound opportunities)
37.94% in first on buzzer (173/456)
15/17 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $65,000)
3/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,275

Jaskaran Singh, career statistics:

115 correct, 19 incorrect
4/5 on rebound attempts (on 17 rebound opportunities)
40.35% in first on buzzer (115/285)
7/9 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $21,400)
5/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,320

Jackie Kelly, career statistics:

121 correct, 11 incorrect
13/13 on rebound attempts (on 38 rebound opportunities)
31.34% in first on buzzer (105/335)
6/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $20,200)
3/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,967

Remaining Players’ Tournament of Champions Chances (after 100,000 Simulations)

Amy Schneider: 17.178%
Matt Amodio: 26.586%
Mattea Roach: 9.930%
Maureen O’Neil: 0.658%
Andrew He: 13.914%
Tyler Rhode: 3.631%
John Focht: 9.672%
Eric Ahasic: 14.932%

Zach Newkirk: 0.970%
Jessica Stephens: 0.395%
Sam Buttrey: 2.134%

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • A reminder: while Jaskaran is very much a strong quiz bowl player, quiz bowl is not Jeopardy—the show’s history is littered with those who were expected to win more than they did but did not do so.
  • I’d like to think that the prediction model got today’s game more or less correct: fireworks, Eric’s victory, and Jackie being in second going into Final.
  • Today’s box score: August 18, 2023 Box Score.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Eric $26,000 Jackie $19,600 Jaskaran $11,000)

Eric: Standard cover bet over Jackie is $13,201. (Actual bet: $13,201)

Jaskaran: You need to bet at least $6,201 to surpass Jackie’s low cover bet over you. However, being that you need to be correct to pass Eric, you should go all in. (Actual bet: $2,201)

Jackie: Standard cover bet over Jaskaran is $2,401. (Actual bet: $6,401)

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7 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, August 18, 2023"

  1. I’m gonna keep my thoughts for today brief, but this was an excellent game all around! I think if you showed this game to someone without showing them names and told them it was a Masters game, it would be believable!

    What blows my mind is how Roger Craig was the only person to have attempted what he did – i.e. back-to-back True Daily Doubles – for over a decade. And now, you’ve got Eric doing it going from $5,800 to $23,200, James Holzhauer going from $8,000 to $32,000 (sorry, 8,000 to 32,000 points) and Andrew He trying to do it from $5,000 to $20,000 but missing the second one, all in the span of a year. And for quite a while after his ToC, Roger was effectively the gold standard for Daily Doubles. It’s interesting to see how much the player landscape can change over a decade!

    Overall, one of my favorite games to watch of the entire season. Any game where the combined score going into Final is greater than the clue value on the board is a good one in my book.

  2. I don’t have any problems with the usage, connotation, or basis for the “MAY” in this FJ clue. It allows the contestants to come up with a reasonable response without feeling like they HAVE TO HAVE prior knowledge of some definitive scholarly published conclusion.

    I feel like it even leaves it open to someone coming up with an equally logical response (though HIGHLY unlikely that there even is such a city/town/community that would fit) that would have to be accepted (even if later, thus resulting in a return). But the main thing is that “MAY” removes the ability of critics to say that the rest of the clue and Jeopardy’s desired question-response is INCORRECT.

  3. My only gripe was that one of the “homophone” solutions doesn’t rhyme for much of the country, including me; the right answers never even occurred to me. This isn’t the first time this has happened (ignorance of the cot-caught merger).

  4. I’m happy that Eric won today’s game…

  5. Paddy Baker | August 19, 2023 at 10:40 am |

    I’m not an advanced student of Jeopardy betting, but it’s interesting to me that Jackie and Jaskaran were thinking along the same lines: she bet $6401 to beat Eric if he was incorrect or bet zero, and Jaskaran bet to beat Jackie if she was lost $6401.

  6. Paddy Baker | August 19, 2023 at 10:42 am |

    … typo – I meant ‘if she lost $6401’.

Comments are closed.