Final Jeopardy: Numbers

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35 Responses

  1. Dalton Higbee says:

    I didn’t expect Colin Gleeson to lead through most of the St. Patrick’s Day game. Kristin Sausville set the record number of wins by a married couple, with Justin Sausville, which I was lucky and little bit upset.

  2. Leena says:

    I love the look on Kristin’s face. Just a back-off on the math, if you thought I was “off topic”.

  3. Steve says:

    The correct answer should be 37. It’s prime, as are 3 and 7.

  4. john blahuta says:

    sad, how soon many forget the most basic things they learned in school. if you tell your math teacher that 1 is a prime # : big fat “F”.

  5. john blahuta says:

    told you guys that “1” will throw a wrench in!!
    even kristin almost slipped up. would not have mattered though, even had she been wrong she would have won by $2 due to her and colin’s bets.
    had colin stayed put…. BUT you know the saying about ifs, whens and buts…
    had he been right then his bet would have been correct. but as mentioned in the spoiler talk, 1 can be confusing.

    when i saw the #s, (have not seen the show yet) i thought colin would run away with it. the last dd did him in.

    • jacob ska says:

      What happened to your “13” prediction? No contestant came up with that number. What was your rationale?

  6. jacob ska says:

    @elijah, excellent explanation.

    @Diane, there are over 10,000, prime #s and still counting. If you want to blame someone, blame Euclid.

    • elijahjt says:

      There are an infinite number of prime numbers. And the proof of that is my favorite proof:

      If there were instead a finite number of prime numbers, you could take them all and multiply them together (2×3×5×7×11…). Call the product N.

      Now take N+1. Is it divisible by 2? No, because N is divisible by 2, so N+1 can’t be. What about 3? No, because N is divisible by 3, so N+1 can’t be. In fact N+1 can’t be divisible by any of the prime numbers, because N is supposedly divisible by all of them. So it must itself be prime. QED: there are an infinite number of prime numbers.

      • jacob ska says:

        Very true and still counting because new ones appear continually hence my terminology “ad infinitum.”

        You’re correct on all counts. No pun intended.

      • john blahuta says:


        too bad colin got it wrong, he dominated the game. the last dd was his undoing.
        and see my remarks about 1 below again, still a lot of people consider 1 a prime #… :(:(

        • elijahjt says:

          I’m not sure how to interpret your first sentence. Yes, we were talking about how someone might think 1 is prime, and that did indeed happen.

        • john blahuta says:

          …hopefully they’ll be able to deduce…

          that’s what i meant and that’s exactly what cost colin the game after dominating it. often we give the players too much credit, thinking “they can’t make THAT mistake, being through all the tests etc” when they do exactly that!!

      • Mark says:

        One clarification on that proof. N+1 itself does not have to be prime, but rather it necessarily has a prime factorization in which none of the primes are in that finite list comprising N (in which case you are still “generating” prime numbers and cannot have a finite set of them).

        The first example of this is 1+(2*3*5*7*11*13) = 30031 = 59*509. 30031 isn’t actually prime, but still none of its prime factors are among those first six that you assume to be “all” of them.

  7. AtlantaHoopla says:

    Hey Diane! Because “1” is not a prime number, that’s also why 13 and 17 were not correct. Wikipedia has a good page on prime numbers :-)

  8. D says:

    Why is 22 not the correct answer?

    • VJ says:

      What is 11 X 2?

    • jacob ska says:

      Because 22 can be divided by 2. A prime number can only be divided by 1 or itself and must be greater than 1. 22 is a multiplier of 2×11. “2” is the only even prime #. All other prime #s are odd #s.

      E.g., 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, ad infinitum.

  9. aaaa says:

    Kristin recognized the two-thirds game, which IIRC she made it a two thirds game on the last clue of DJ!

  10. Diane says:

    Somebody help me with tonight’s final Jeopardy answer! Eleven is a two digit number in which both digits are prime and it is less than 23, (as are 13 and 17) Why is the correct response 23?

    • jacob ska says:

      “1” is not a prime number. Basic math.

      • john blahuta says:

        as i said in the spoiler talk, in the 19th century 1 was by most mathematicians still considered a prime #.
        the old greek were wiser, they did often regard 1 not even as a number, any number….it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that 1 was not recognized as prre, and even then some scientists disputed that, in vain of course.

      • john blahuta says:

        since 1 to the “nth” power is still one.
        as simple as that.
        over a hundred years ago, most of the best mathematicians still thought differently…

    • Marilyn Ahrenhoerster says:

      One is not a prime number.

      • Susan says:

        OK. My math skills are declining. What makes a number a whole number then?

        • jacob ska says:

          A whole number has no fractions, no decimal points, and no minuses. E.g., 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ad infinitum.

        • elijahjt says:

          Assuming you mean a prime number… omitting 1 is basically part of the definition at this point: something along the lines of “numbers greater than 1 divisible only by itself and 1”. (Depending on how you understand “and” in this context, you might say 1 is not even divisible by itself *and* 1 because itself and 1 are the same thing.)

          We have to omit 1 because its value presents issues mathematically. For example, if you say to factor 10 into primes, we would generally say “2 × 5”. That is, in fact, the only correct answer to that question (ok, or “5 × 2”). But if we were to say that 1 is a prime number, we’d have to accept “1 × 2 × 5” and “1 × 1 × 2 × 5”, etc. — there would be infinitely correct answers. One just doesn’t *work* as a prime number, so it’s not considered prime.

    • Susan says:

      I have the same question!

      • rhonda says:

        I’m glad that I’m not the only one whose math skills are declining and who was confused by the question.

    • Diane says:

      Thanks everyone for straightening me out. John has made me feel better with the explanation that until the beginning of the 20th century mathematicians considered 1 prime. That was when I was last in math class!

    • Blake says:

      DIane, it is 23 because to qualify as a prime number, the number has to have two factors, itself and one, however one has one factor, one. Hope it helps.