State Capitals by Alphabet and Number of Letters

Here are two state capital lists without the states, inspired by the Final Jeopardy! question on March 29, 2016 that asked: “Of the 5 U.S. State capitals that begin with the letter “A”, the one that is farthest north.” That one was easy for most trivia buffs, even if they could only rattle off 4 of the “A” capitals off the top of their heads. All of the players in that game found it easy, too.

But how about which state capital is alphabetically first? That was a triple stumper in an 11/3/2010 match and a missed Daily Double in a 1/30/87 game.

The cluewriters got even trickier with this Final Jeopardy! from 4/5/2006 : “Alphabetically, they’re the first two state capitals named for presidents”

Here is a list showing how many state capitals start with each letter of the alphabet:

STATE CAPITALS
A (5) Albany, Annapolis, Atlanta, Augusta, Austin
B (4) Baton Rouge, Bismarck, Boise, Boston
C (6) Carson City, Charleston, Cheyenne, Columbia, Columbus, Concord
D (3) Denver, Des Moines, Dover
E (0)
F (1) Frankfort
G (0)
H (4) Harrisburg, Hartford, Helena, Honolulu
I (1) Indianapolis
J (3) Jackson, Jefferson City, Juneau
K (0)
L (3) Lansing, Lincoln, Little Rock
M (3) Madison, Montgomery, Montpelier
N (1) Nashville
O (2) Oklahoma City, Olympia
P (3) Phoenix, Pierre, Providence
Q (0)
R (2) Raleigh, Richmond
S (6) Sacramento, Saint Paul, Salem, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, Springfield
T (3) Tallahassee, Topeka, Trenton

This one is sorted by how many letters are in each state capital (not including spaces for 2-word capitals)

STATE CAPITALS – HOW MANY LETTERS
(3) 5-letters: Boise, Dover, Salem
(8) 6-letters: Albany, Austin, Boston, Denver, Helena, Juneau, Pierre, Topeka
(12) 7-letters: Atlanta, Augusta, Concord, Jackson, Lansing, Lincoln, Madison, Olympia, Phoenix, Raleigh, Santa Fe, Trenton
(7) 8-letters: Bismarck, Cheyenne, Columbia, Columbus, Hartford, Honolulu, Richmond
(5) 9-letters: Annapolis, Des Moines, Frankfort, Nashville, Saint Paul
(9) 10-letters: Baton Rouge, Carson City, Charleston, Harrisburg, Little Rock, Montgomery, Montpelier, Providence, Sacramento
(2) 11-letters: Springfield, Tallahassee
(3) 12-letters: Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City
(1) 13-letters: Jefferson City

Now we are sure to ace clues like this:

PLACES THAT END IN “IA” $600: One of the 2 U.S. state capitals that fit the category
IT HAS TO END WITH “U” $2000: The 2 U.S. state capitals that fit the category
STATE CAPITALS $1,000 (Daily Double): 2 of the 4 state capitals with the word “City” in their names

The Final Wager has a State Capitals Primer with additional pointers and clues, and Amazon has a bunch of stuff on state capital trivia.

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6 Responses

  1. Cece says:

    Great post (and an awful lot of work). If this page (plus dedication on my part, of course) doesn’t stop my getting tripped up on this subject, nothing will. :)

    I know it isn’t about state capitals but, incidentally, the FJ on that 1/30/87 game mentioned above also just tripped me up. Argh!

    • VJ says:

      Thanks Cece. When I saw that FJ on that game, I was so tired, I was like well, there’s 3 in A and there has to be another one so 4. LOL!

      btw, another thing they do with this category is the old state capitals. I’ll have to check into that sometime.

      • EricS says:

        Some might argue that Jackson was not, as it was named for him before he was POTUS.

        • Cece says:

          Good point. IIRC, the honor was due to Jackson being a big shot in the Battle of New Orleans, right?

          Btw, ain’t nobody gonna replace him on the $20 bill. I haven’t heard anything on the subject since VJ’s article about a year ago.

        • VJ says:

          Thanks to you both for bringing that up, esp the $20 bill debate. It led me to this interesting article on Woodrow Wilson and Andrew Jackson and mixed legacies

        • Cece says:

          An interesting article indeed. It doesn’t offer any easy conclusion (not to me, anyway). Complicated men in complicated times.