Archive for the ‘Jeopardy’ Category

Why did the (former) Jeopardy champion end his streak with a meager $1,399 wager?

June 4, 2019

Answer: Pure game theory … perfectly executed..

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Well, it finally ended.

James Holzhauer– the 34-year-old professional sports gambler — was dethroned by librarian Emma Boettcher.

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Boettcher was quick on the buzzer (and James seemed uncharacteristically late-triggered), she answered all of her questions correctly and she she had some luck — hitting both Daily Doubles in the double Jeopardy round.

Bottom line: she deserved to win.

A major conversation piece from the game was Holzhauer’s measly $1,399 wager in Final Jeopardy.

I can explain that…

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Jeopardy is taking a financial drubbing … or is it?

May 24, 2019

Let’s look at he economics of the current champ’s winning streak.

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Jeopardy wunderkind James Holzhauer extended his winning streak to 26 games and upped his total haul to $1,991,135.

Note: Last night, Holzhauer was off his game, but won in a nail-biter.  He was slow with the buzzer (despite a relatively easy set of questions) and faced a formidable competitor who would have mopped-up  ‘normal’  competitors..

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Today, let’s take another angle: Financially speaking, is Holzhauer’s winning streak good or bad for the Jeopardy show?

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

May 23, 2019

Here’s the solution to yesterday’s question.

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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?

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

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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.

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

May 22, 2019

You don’t need to be a Jeopardy fan to solve this math problem.  Try it!

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Current Jeopardy champ James Holzhauer – a professional gambler – has now won 24 consecutive games and amassed over $1,867,142 in winnings

See our prior post How a “professional sports gambler” is disrupting Jeopardy for a recap of his strategy

 

I was chatting with a friend who is a Jeopardy fan and former insurance industry exec.  The question on the table was whether Jeopardy has an insurance policy to cover a runaway winner like Holzhauer.  If yes, what’s the insurance risk?

Analytically, that led to today’s math problem: What’s the most that a contestant can win on one show?

For reference, Holzhauer has won more than $100,000 five times (so far) … his best day ($131,127) is an all time Jeopardy record. A typical Jeopardy winner hauls in about $25,000 per show.

Today, I’ll set-up the problem.  Again, you don’t have to be a Jeopardy fan or know the rules.  I’ll tell you all that you need to know to solve the problem.

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How a “professional sports gambler” is disrupting Jeopardy…

May 6, 2019

Current champ is smart and calculating. Is that cheating?
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Though I’m not particularly strong at trivia, I enjoy watching Jeopardy

In part as a daily test of whether I can hang in there with the contestants (Answer: not in most categories) … and, largely because – in my stint as a teacher – I became a student f how people think … how they store, combine, and retrieve information. Think: connect the dots.

The current Jeopardy champ — James Holzhauer– is a professional sports bettor … and, he’s  setting records.

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Holzhauer has won 22 straight games … that’s the 2nd most on the all-time list … the record is 74 by a “normal” guy named Ken Jennings … the average Jeopardy champ only wins 2 or 3 games..

Most impressive is that Holzhauer has already won over $1.6 million about 2/3s of the way towards Jenning’s haul of $2.5 million. Working the arithmetic, Holzhauer has been winning about $75,000 per day … which is more than double Jenning’s daily take.

How Holzhauer is doing it is raising eye-brows in the Jeopardy community. Part astonishment and part calls of “foul”.

So how exactly is Holzhauer doing it?

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