Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Note: This page contains spoilers for the August 30, 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 16, 2022.

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category The New Testament) for Wednesday, August 30, 2023 (Season 39, Game 48):

Paul’s letter to them is the New Testament epistle with the most Old Testament quotations

(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!
Andrew He, a software developer from San Francisco, California
Andrew He on Jeopardy!
Amy Schneider, a writer from Oakland, California
Amy Schneider on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

I would like to reiterate: today’s game is an encore presentation; it originally aired in November. If you were watching today’s game for the first time: great! I’m sure you were very angry about what transpired during Final Jeopardy. However: nothing you do or say at this point—even if you are Pope Francis—is going to have any effect or make any change at this point. All three players, and the show, have moved on. Basically, the fans and experts outside the show believe that the show got this one wrong, and the show doesn’t believe that it got this one wrong, and as much as you might want to vent your anger about the outcome in online spaces, it’s not going to have any effect whatsoever, and there are other otherwise unaffected people who have to expend their mental energy to read these diatribes. I would greatly encourage you to get some fresh air instead—it’s August, so it’s generally going to be nice outside.

For posterity, here was my original preview of this game from back in November:

In all three meetings between Amy Schneider and Andrew He, Andrew He has led going into Final Jeopardy. However, in two of those meetings, Amy Schneider has come out as the victor. Andrew’s stronger strategy over the first two rounds—namely, being better at both finding and taking advantage of the Daily Doubles—has resulted in having the upper hand twice. One thing to consider: there was an overnight taping break in between Game 2 and Game 3 of this series; will Amy have adapted her strategy as we go into Game 3? Or, will she feel that her current strategy is working? Amy has been dominating on the signaling device and Andrew is only in this series because of the Daily Doubles. If Amy and Sam stop selecting top-row clues and start an all-out hunt for the Daily Doubles, this might be a different series going forward, because starving Andrew of those big-money opportunities is the best way to keep him from winning.

I should also point out that I come at this from a perspective of hoping that all the players play their best game possible, and I feel disappointed when I don’t see that happen.

(Content continues below)

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Correct response: Who are Hebrews?

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 wrote about this clue back in November:

There are a couple of problems with this clue: I can’t tell whether the intended correct response is “Romans” or “Hebrews”. Firstly, I have found conflicting sources as to whether Romans or Hebrews contains more quotations. Secondly, there’s the more pressing question of authorship—specifically of Hebrews. There’s no dispute that Paul wrote Romans. While Ken’s church—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—claims Paul wrote Hebrews, this is certainly disputed—even a clue by the show from June 2021 says that Barnabas has sometimes been credited with authorship—and even Britannica itself says it is “now widely believed to be the work of another Jewish Christian”.

These combined problems make this clue completely inappropriate for a Tournament of Champions final. The show needs to improve—all this will do is cause unnecessary angst online, especially amongst Biblical scholars.

This Final Jeopardy! was probably the singularly worst clue that the show wrote in Season 39 because the show failed to make any mention of the King James Version of the Bible in the clue itself. I think the show lost a great deal of respect amongst Biblical scholars back in November over its failure to potentially acknowledge that it had even made a mistake—and as much as I hate to invoke the name of our late host, it’s absolutely a situation that Alex Trebek would not have stood for. Alex knew that humans make mistakes, but what makes better a human is the acknowledgment of past errors, and a willingness to learn from those mistakes. And I’m not currently convinced that Jeopardy! has learned from this one.

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Game Recap & Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Wednesday, August 30, 2023 Jeopardy! by the numbers, along with a recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: A Bouquet Of Flowers; American History; Better Call Saul; Rappers Who Act; Beastly Book Titles; Making An Assonance Of Yourself)

Amy had control of the board for most of the opening of today’s game, but it was Andrew who found the Daily Double—because he was searching for it. Andrew led after 15 clues, but all three players stayed very close—Amy and Andrew were tied at $3,800, with Sam just $200 behind going into Double Jeopardy.

Statistics at the first break (15 clues):

Andrew 4 correct 1 incorrect
Amy 4 correct 1 incorrect
Sam 2 correct 0 incorrect

Today’s interviews:

Sam went skydiving for a friend’s bachelor party.
Andrew received feedback that he was “visibly aging” from his mother after his shows.
Amy was at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Andrew 8 correct 1 incorrect
Amy 9 correct 1 incorrect
Sam 7 correct 0 incorrect

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Andrew $3,800
Amy $3,800
Sam $3,600

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: 4 Weddings & A Funeral; Opera Characters; Compound Words; Cold Around The Globe; Heard In The Movie; Spelementary)

The hunting happened, and I am happy. Unfortunately, the Daily Doubles still worked out better for Andrew. Amy dropped $5,000 on hers, whereas Andrew pulled back significantly to Sam by doubling up through his! Sam had zero unforced errors today, though, and this led to our professor leading going into Final.

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Sam 18 correct 0 incorrect
Andrew 15 correct 3 incorrect
Amy 15 correct 4 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 12 (0 today).

Scores going into Final:

Sam $14,800
Andrew $13,200
Amy $2,400

Controversy certainly abounded as Sam’s response was not accepted, in spite of potential evidence that it maybe should have been. Andrew has been awarded a crucial second victory in the Tournament of Champions final.

Tonight’s results:

Amy $2,400 + $1,000 = $3,400 (Who are the Hebrews?)
Andrew $13,200 – $3,201 = $9,999 (Who are Philippiaes?) (2 wins)
Sam $14,800 – $11,601 = $3,199 (Who are the Romans?)

Andrew He, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the August 30, 2023 game.)

Other Miscellaneous Game Statistics:

Daily Double locations:

1) AMERICAN HISTORY $1000 (clue #11)
Andrew 400 +1000 (Amy 2000 Sam 200)
2) COMPOUND WORDS $2000 (clue #6)
Amy 5800 -5000 (Andrew 5000 Sam 5200)
3) 4 WEDDINGS & A FUNERAL $800 (clue #20, $5600 left on board)
Andrew 5800 +5800 (Amy 1600 Sam 12400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 114

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
Amy 1 2 3 4 5 1 3 5
Andrew 5 5*
Sam 4

DJ! Round:
Amy 3 5* 5 3 3
Andrew 4 4 5 3 2*
Sam 4 4 5 5 4 4 5 3 3 2†

† – selection in same category as Daily Double

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

Andrew 4.00
Amy 3.31
Sam 3.91

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 12 (0.25 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Andrew $8,200 Coryat, 15 correct, 3 incorrect, 28.07% in first on buzzer (16/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Amy $7,400 Coryat, 15 correct, 4 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer (17/57), 0/1 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Sam $14,800 Coryat, 18 correct, 0 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer (17/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $30,400
Lach Trash: $12,800 (on 11 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $10,800

Player Statistics:

Amy Schneider, career statistics:

1434 correct, 95 incorrect
67/82 on rebound attempts (on 178 rebound opportunities)
50.57% in first on buzzer (1321/2612)
69/80 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $214,200)
30/46 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $25,422

Andrew He, career statistics:

254 correct, 35 incorrect
15/17 on rebound attempts (on 38 rebound opportunities)
38.12% in first on buzzer (239/627)
17/22 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $87,800)
4/11 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,018

Sam Buttrey, career statistics:

211 correct, 20 incorrect
12/14 on rebound attempts (on 36 rebound opportunities)
39.18% in first on buzzer (201/513)
5/7 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $4,600)
5/9 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,667

Note: The above career statistics are as of the original air date of today’s game, November 16, 2022.

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

Amy 24.475%
Andrew 72.368%
Sam 3.157%

Chances of 4 games: 37.157%
Chances of 5 games: 38.069%
Chances of 6 games: 17.841%
Chances of 7 games: 6.933%

Andy’s Thoughts:

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Sam $14,800 Andrew $13,200 Amy $2,400)

Amy: If Sam covers Andrew and is incorrect, he falls to $3,199. Thus, you need to bet at least $801 to have the best chance of winning. (Actual bet: $1,000)

Andrew: Bet between $3,201 (covering Sam’s very small range) and $8,399 (thereby keeping Amy locked out). (Actual bet: $3,201)

Sam: Standard cover bet over Andrew is $11,601. (Actual bet: $11,601)

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7 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, August 30, 2023"

  1. Yep, it’s this game. It’s horribly frustrating to see the show refuse to take accountability; a simple “hey, we messed up” would probably be enough, but they can’t even do that.

    The worst part of this clue being in a ToC final, and especially in a non-runaway, is that almost every single possibility be unfair to at least one player. The show could’ve done what it did, and given Andrew the win, but that’s unfair to Sam. They could’ve reversed the ruling and given the win to just Sam after the fact, but that would be unfair to Andrew. They could have credited both players with a win, but that would be unfair to Amy. Finally, they could’ve just wiped this game and started fresh with a new one, but that would be unfair to all three contestants, because the energy they’ve just expended on the game is now non-existent. The only way to make this fair is to go back, reset the scores to what they were before Final, and have a different clue, but they didn’t do that.

    The show has been able to get away with these flawed clues or clues that aren’t uniquely pinned before, for one of two reasons. Either the game is a runaway, or the players who lose did not give one of the correct responses. However, this ticked off neither of those boxes, and you end up with this happening. It didn’t even become rendered moot by the outcome; Sam would’ve gotten second place and an extra $50,000 had his response been accepted, and Andrew would’ve come in third and lost $50,000. But unfortunately, it is what it is. I just hope a clue like this doesn’t show up in the next ToC, whenever that is.

  2. Jim Cardillo | August 30, 2023 at 5:35 pm |

    I agree with Andy. The show’s response is similar to those who “double down” when confronted with an error.

    Can part of the error be attributed to a change in Executive Producer between the 2021 clue and this one? I would think that if Harry Friedman were still EP, there would have been continuity in sourcing the authoritative guidance.

  3. I agree; Paul has a certain style – firstly, you know he’s the author because he tells us so. Hebrew – tho he may be the chief, is not the author of Hebrews.

  4. Nelson Tennison | August 30, 2023 at 8:33 pm |

    The author of Hebrews is anonymous and remains controversial. It was definitely not written by Paul. Not sure what letter written by Paul contains the most quotes from the Old Testament, but it very well may be Romans which is the longest letter that Paul wrote. If so, Sam would be correct.

  5. Since Jeopardy’s defense of their “correct response” is their OFFICIAL sources [policies? rules? fine print? whatever] about KJV (from a specific era), is it possible that Amy had studied enough (underscored by presumably also studying what Jeopardy’s official sources ARE) that she knew of the Romans/Hebrews controversy and felt she knew which side Jeopardy would have chosen?

    Has she said anything at all about it?

  6. I remember when this clue was first being broadcasted. I found myself leaning toward Romans because scholars generally agree that Paul did not write the Letter to the Hebrews. When they revealed Hebrews as the correct answer, I lost a lot of respect for the show.

  7. Thanks for your reminders, Andy, that it’s all in the past. Honestly, I was enjoying re-watching the game, but when the category for FJ was announced, I remembered it was THAT game and I just turned it off. I knew there was no point in getting mad about it all over again. 🙂

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