Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, August 24, 2023

Note: This page contains spoilers for the August 24, 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 10, 2022.

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Geographic Pairs) for Thursday, August 24, 2023 (Season 39, Game 44):

By ferry, the distance between these 2 paired Mediterranean islands is about 40 miles from Alcudia to Ciutadella

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s Jeopardy! contestants:

Sam Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School from Pacific Grove, California
Sam Buttrey on Jeopardy!
John Focht, a software team lead originally from El Paso, Texas
John Focht on Jeopardy!
Matt Amodio, a postdoctoral researcher from Cambridge, Massachusetts
Matt Amodio on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

Yesterday, Amy Schneider played her way into the finals. Today, Matt Amodio makes his competitive return to the Jeopardy! stage. His opponents today are John Focht and Sam Buttrey, both of whom put up incredibly impressive quarterfinal performances. Both John and Sam looked very ready for the Tournament of Champions. My prediction model still thinks Matt is the favorite, and his buzzer timing seems good—he got in first most often during the exhibition match on Tuesday. However, both John and Sam proved in the quarter-finals that they could pull off a victory in today’s game. Things could get very interesting!

Back when these games first aired in November, I had a great chuckle at the third category in Double Jeopardy. This definitely feels like a callback to the 2013 Tournament of Champions, where Keith Whitener ran a semifinal category called DRUMMER FOR THE BAND en route to victory, much to top seed Jason Keller’s chagrin. Jason was very vocal online afterward in his disdain for the category, referring to the category as “Rock Drummers”.

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Correct response: What are Majorca and Menorca (Minorca)?

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.)

Here’s what I really like about this clue in a Tournament of Champions context: in regular play, one would see “2 paired Mediterranean islands” and “about 40 miles”, immediately go to Corsica and Sardinia, and be done. If you did that here, you’d be wrong. Of course, Majorca and Menorca are also two paired islands, part of the Balearic Islands (which are a part of Spain). That’s certainly been a theme of this tournament, though—the writers seem to be trying to catch players who are relying too much on the “regular play” canon, almost saying, “Your Pavlovs will not work here!” (For the uninitiated, I use the term the same way Bob Harris used it in his Prisoner of Trebekistan.)

One other thing I found interesting: While Google Maps does not believe that there is a ferry between the two locations, a ferry definitely exists and can be booked. (Which is good, because it takes less than two hours direct; according to Google, it would take nearly eight.

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Game Recap & Tonight’s Game Stats:

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

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: All Over The Map; Organizations; Nutrition; 21st Century Bestsellers; Celebs; Drop The Mic)

This was a very close game for the entire round—by the end of it, Sam had a very tiny lead over Matt.

Statistics at the first break (16 clues):

Sam 4 correct 0 incorrect
John 5 correct 0 incorrect
Matt 4 correct 1 incorrect

Today’s interviews:

Sam went viral because he looks like Steve Martin.
John was interviewed by an MLB show after his wins.
Matt fixed his air conditioner and hired an accountant after his wins.

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Sam 7 correct 0 incorrect
John 9 correct 0 incorrect
Matt 8 correct 1 incorrect

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Sam $4,600
John $4,200
Matt $4,000

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: The Lore Of The Land; Scientific Trios; The Rock Bassist’s Group; We Spy; With Our Little “I”; Something That Is…)

Matt seemed nervous at the start of Double Jeopardy, but he did double up on the opening clue! He needed to find the last one, though, and he didn’t! Sam did and picked up $6,000 to jump into a huge lead! Sam carried that lead through to Final Jeopardy.

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Sam 20 correct 1 incorrect
Matt 19 correct 2 incorrect
John 15 correct 1 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 12 (0 today).

Scores going into Final:

Sam $23,000
Matt $16,800
John $12,600

All three players got Final correct today — which means, in a monumental upset, Sam Buttrey is now a finalist!

Tonight’s results:

John $12,600 + $11,400 = $24,000 (What are Majorca and Minorca?)
Matt $16,800 + $0 = $16,800 (What Minorca & Mallorca)
Sam $23,000 + $10,601 = $33,601 (What are Majorca & Minorca?) (1-day total: $33,601)

Sam Buttrey, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the August 24, 2023 game.)

Other Miscellaneous Game Statistics:

Daily Double locations:

1) ORGANIZATIONS $1000 (clue #11)
Sam 1600 +1600 (Matt 2400 John 1000)
2) THE LORE OF THE LAND $1600 (clue #1)
Matt 4000 +4000 (John 4200 Sam 4600)
3) SCIENTIFIC TRIOS $800 (clue #6, $27600 left on board)
Sam 8600 +6000 (Matt 8000 John 6200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 270

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
Matt 4 5 3 4 4 5 4
John 4
Sam 5 5 5*

DJ! Round:
Matt 4* 3
John 3
Sam 4 5 2*

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

Sam 4.33
John 3.50
Matt 4.00

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 12 (0.27 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Sam $17,200 Coryat, 20 correct, 1 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer (17/57), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
John $12,600 Coryat, 15 correct, 1 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Matt $14,400 Coryat, 19 correct, 2 incorrect, 33.33% in first on buzzer (19/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $44,200
Lach Trash: $5,000 (on 6 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $4,800

Player Statistics:

Matt Amodio, career statistics:

1343 correct, 135 incorrect
57/66 on rebound attempts (on 128 rebound opportunities)
55.24% in first on buzzer (1281/2319)
79/89 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $312,000)
30/41 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $26,956

John Focht, career statistics:

156 correct, 14 incorrect
7/9 on rebound attempts (on 19 rebound opportunities)
36.09% in first on buzzer (144/399)
9/10 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $31,300)
4/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,200

Sam Buttrey, career statistics:

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

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

Amy Schneider: 46.326%
Sam Buttrey: 20.961%

Mattea Roach: 6.207%
Andrew He: 14.344%
Eric Ahasic: 12.162%

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • At the time this episode had aired, Matt Amodio had still yet to win a game with Michael Davies as Executive Producer. Clearly, Mr. Davies was a jinx.
  • More seriously, though, today’s result happened because Matt was already incredibly close to his “ceiling” in regular play, whereas the rest of the field had much more room for improvement. And, knowing that Matt was in the field, a number of players raised their game close to Matt’s level—and it’s paid off.
  • Today’s box score: August 24, 2023 Box Score.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Sam $23,000 Matt $16,800 John $12,600)

Matt: You’re in Stratton’s Dilemma; you can’t both cover John and beat Sam in a Triple Stumper. If you think a diabolical clue is more likely, bet no more than $3,999—just in case John also plays for the Triple Stumper. If you think a softball is more likely, go all in to force Sam to cover. (Actual bet: $0)

John: If Sam bets to cover Matt, he falls to $12,399 if he’s incorrect. Thus, your low range is “up to $200”. If you’re going big, you should go all-in, just in case Sam makes a small bet to try to finesse Matt. (Actual bet: $11,400)

Sam: You have the easiest choice—the standard cover bet over Matt is $10,601. Going small (up to $2,200) won’t work today, as staying ahead of Matt’s small bet range leaves you open to being passed by John if he doubles up.(Actual bet: $10,601)

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7 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, August 24, 2023"

  1. I would think, having seen these encore games once already, that I would remember the answers: but I don’t. What mystified me originally mystifies me still. These are hard. Again! I guess this is why I keep watching. I wonder, if Jeopardy! winds up using “recycled” clues, would that give the contestants (all of whom I am sure are much smarter than I!) a memory advantage, or would the answers be from so far back that it would strike them, like me, as “fresh material”?

  2. This one still hurts to watch. It’s never fun when who you think is the favorite – and your favorite – loses their first game up.

    I want to bring attention, though, to how well the Double Jeopardy round was played, even for a ToC. Every single clue was responded to correctly, and only three clues – all in WITH OUR LITTLE “I” – had an incorrect response tied to them before another person rebounded. I don’t think it’s often that Double Jeopardy by itself contributes over $30,000 in Coryat, and this round saw $32,000. So despite my favorite losing, this was still a great game. That I actually never got to saw, because I was doing a trivia night – coincidentally, in Cambridge – when this game aired. (Unfortunately, though, I did not get to meet Matt or Maureen O’Neil!)

    Matt’s playing ability now that he’s done with regular play is very intriguing to me, though, in that he seems to thrive under extreme pressure. In both the final quarterfinal and semifinal of Masters, he had been struggling a bit before then, but managed to turn in dominant performances in both of those games to clinch wins when he absolutely needed them. (I still remember jokingly suggesting that Jeopardy hires a substitute Executive Producer for Masters, just to see if that would get Matt a win!)

    More than anything, though, Masters was the perfect example of just how important is when every single contestant has such a deep knowledge base. Sam ended up tying Matt for the third-most correct responses in the quarterfinals (with both having 115) but his strategic errors – going back to categories where DD2 had already been found, and playing for second in a situation where he absolutely needed a win – ended up causing him to finish in sixth. All six players were absolutely capable of winning the tournament; the reason the semifinal four ended up being James, Matt, Andrew, and Mattea were because those players were much more refined in their strategy than either Amy or Sam.

    That’s the end of my thoughts for today! Hopefully, y’all in the comments section haven’t gotten too sick of me yet 🙂

    • How important strategy is*

      Why is it that you only notice issues with multi-paragraph comments after you’ve already posted them?

      • It’s largely because of so few lines being visible at once in the box in which we type our comments. Even though you can scroll up and down reviewing, it is still not easy to find subtle errors (as opposed to misspellings or missing spaces between words), such as your not noticing your “never got to saw” written instead of “never got to see” OR “never saw”.

        • Oh, also, (remembering after it happened to me again on the 30th) the ad across the bottom of the screen will sometimes cover part of what one has written in the comment box when trying to read back through the past lines. These ads are the type that have no “X button” to make them go away, but they will sometimes disappear for a few seconds while changing to a different content and thus allow one to have accidentally scrolled “behind” them.

  3. The show was cut off in my area to cover the “trip” to jail of President Trump. Will it be replayed at some point?

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