Final Jeopardy: 19th Century Vice Presidents

The Final Jeopardy question (12/31/2013), in the category “19th Century Vice Presidents” was:

Woodrow Wilson said this man had enough genius to be immortal & “unschooled passion enough to have made him infamous.”

Current champ Jerry Slowik has a 3-day total of $71,900 and a decent win in this game gets him a spot on the TOC list. On New Year’s Eve, he is up against: Reggie Austin, from Culver City, CA; and Alyson Murray, from Boston, MA.

Reggie found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “My Name is My Brand” under the $1,000 clue. He was in second place with $2,800, $800 less than Alyson’s lead. He made it a true Daily Double and thought it was (Andrew) Carnegie. That was WRONG.

The copper products company founded by this man in 1801 is still around today, but in Rome, NY, NOT Boston. show

Alyson finished in the lead with $3,600. Jerry was second with $1,400. Reggie was back to square one.

Jerry found the first Daily Double in “The 15th Century” under the $1,600 clue. He was in the lead with $9,800, $3,400 more than Alyson in second place. He bet $2,200 and he was RIGHT.

Losing the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 in Poland led to the end of the military power of these giants. show

Alyson found the last Daily Double in “Hans Christian Andersen,” under the $1,600 clue. In second place with $8,400, she had $10,000 less than Jerry’s lead. She bet $5,000 and she was RIGHT.

Her grandmother told her that when she was 15, she could rise out of the sea & sit on the rocks in the moonlight. show

Jerry finished in the lead with $16,400, no runaway this time. Alyson was not far behind with $13,400 and Reggie was in third place with $2,800.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


Aaron Burr was the 3rd Vice-President of the USA, 1st in the 19th century, not counting Thomas Jefferson’s last year as John Adam’s VP. After Jefferson and Burr tied in the 1800 election, the House of Representatives chose Jefferson as President, leaving Burr the VP post. This led to an amendment of the Constitution to prevent such a situation from recurring.

Burr is easily the most infamous 19th century vice-president. He was indicted for murder in both New Jersey and New York while still VP, after killing Alexander Hamilton in their Weehawken, NJ duel on July 11, 1804. These charges never made it to trial, but Burr still had many political enemies and Thomas Jefferson had him arrested in 1807, charged with conspiracy to commit treason. This time it went to trial and Burr was acquitted.

Reggie wrote down (James A.) Garfield, 20th President of the USA, never a VP. He lost his $2,795 bet and ended up with $5.00.

Alyson thought it was Theodore Roosevelt, 1st VP of the 20th century (under McKinley). She lost her $6,600 bet, finishing with $6,800.

Jerry got it right. His $10,500 bet brought him up to a winning $26,900 for this match. His 4-day total is $98,800.

Kudos to Jerry for getting FJ. May your New Year’s Eve be safe and fun. And, finally, here is the award-winning Aaron Burr “Got Milk?” commercial.

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4 Responses

  1. Alyson Murray says:

    And then there was the time I posted a snarky riposte on the WRONG BLOG, because I had too many windows open. Mea culpa. Probably I lost because I’m an idiot. Or a drunk, as I freely admitted to Alex.

    • vj says:

      uh, OK, Alyson, that explains it — I never criticize anybody’s bets because my own math skills leave a lot to be desired. I have been chased away from more blackjack tables than I care to remember.

  2. Alyson Murray says:

    You know, as a note…it’s an easy thing for you to criticize our bets, as an armchair contestant. When you’re under the lights, and you have to do that snap math in your head (especially after witnessing someone who was VERY good in rehearsal lose it all in a true daily double) you’re hurried, and rattled. I agree that I should have bet more, especially given that I was absolutely running that category (i chuckled a bit at your, “if she’s wrong, she’s done for.”) You talk about buzzer luck, and you’re right. Most of playing that game is buzzer luck…but for me, that category was not. I simply knew all the answers, and they did not. I never really considered that I might get the DD wrong…I just faltered at the math.

    That being said….I will NEVER forgive myself that final jeopardy round. I read it as a trick question, and of course it wasn’t…that freaking milk commercial has been haunting my nightmares ever since taping.

    Kudos to your blog, though. You put more effort into watching that show than I did into appearing on it.

  3. john blahuta says:

    ok, test # 4. let’s see if it works.
    quite impressive, herr specht……
    4 days, 3 runaways and almost 100 k….