Jeopardy Math: What’s the most money that the a contestant can win on one show?

Here’s the solution to yesterday’s question.


Note: Refer back to yesterdays post if you need a refresher on the question and the Jeopardy game essentials

See Jeopardy Math: What’s the most money that a contestant can win on one show?


OK, let’s get started with the Jeopardy round’s gameboard:


For starters, assume that our contestant first-buzzes and correctly answers all of the gameboard’s questions.

Each category has questions totaling $3,000 … and there are 6 categories … so the gameboard has an “displayed total value” of $18,000.

That’s not the most that a contestant can win in that round because it doesn’t consider the impact of the hidden Daily Double square.


We hinted that you should assume that the Daily Double is positioned beneficially …  for the contestant.

What does that mean?

Well, we want our contestant to amass as much money as possible before scoring the Daily Double.

How does he do that?

By selecting the low value $200 questions last, and being lucky enough to have the Daily Double hidden under the last $200 question that he selects.

If all of that happens, then the contestant will have amassed $17,800 before selecting the last $200 question (which we’re assuming has the hidden daily double).

If he bets all $17,800 and answers correctly, then he goes into the Double Jeopardy round with $35,600 in winnings (2 x $17,800).


OK, onto the Double Jeopardy round.


Apply the same logic as in the Jeopardy round … but, remember that there are 2 Daily Doubles instead of one.

The Double Jeopardy round’s gameboard has an displayed total value of $36,000.

But, our contestant would want to pick strategically (saving the $400 questions for last) and be lucky enough to have the Daily Doubles hidden under the last two $400 questions that he selects.

If all that happens, when the contestant hits the first of the 2 Daily Doubles, he’ll have amassed $70,800 …  the $35,600 that he won in the Jeopardy round and the $35,200 that he would have won up to that point in the Double Jeopardy round ($36,000 less the two $400 questions still on the board.

By going all in and answering correctly, the contestants total jumps to $141,600.

When he gets the last question — with the 2nd Daily Double — he can bet the $141,600 … and double it to amass $283,200 rolling into Final Jeopardy.


Final Jeopardy is easy: all the contestant has to do is bet the $283,200 … answer correctly … and go home with daily winnings of $566,400

Note: Since he answered all questions (i.e. no other contestants answered any) our contestant would be the only player in Final Jeopardy.  So, he might want to go all in — except for $1 == to be sure that if he answers wrong, his total is still higher that his competitors’.

$566,400 is a lot more than Holzhauer’s record-setting $131,127 daily haul.


1) Because it requires a lot more than rolling a perfect game … always buzzing first and always answering correctly.

Holzhauer answers about 95% of his questions correctly

2) That is, it also requires a favorable gameboard with the Daily Doubles hidden under low value questions.

Note: Placement of the Daily Doubles is strictly under the control of the show’s producers!

#) And. it requires some luck, e.g.  picking the low value questions in exactly the right sequence so that the Daily Doubles come up last.

From that point, it’s simple arithmetic…



P,S,  Last night, Holzhauer won his 25th consecutive game and upped his haul to $1,939,027.  Next milestone in sight: $2 million in total winnings.  The Jeopardy record: $2.5 million.


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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