Final Jeopardy: Ancient Times

Today’s Final Jeopardy question (5/26/2015), in the category “Ancient Times” was:

Aristotle said that an ancient Athenian law made uprooting one of these trees punishable by death.

3x champ Choyon Manjrekar is now up to $56,700 in winnings. Today his opponents are: Dan Feitel, originally from Gillette, NJ; and Lenny Porges, from Tucson, AZ.

Round 1: Choyon found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Familiar Numbers” under the $800 clue. He was in the lead with $4,400, $1,400 more than Dan in second place. He bet $1,200 and thought it was 1,000. That was WRONG. (And he was probably mortified when he realized why the number should have been familiar).

In 2015, Magna Carta marks this number anniversary. show

Choyon finished in the lead with $3,200. Dan was second with $3,000 and Lenny was last with $800.

Round 2: Dan found the first Daily Double in “1960s Quotations” under the $2,000 clue. He was in the lead with $11,400, $3,000 more than Lenny in second place. He bet $2,000 and he was RIGHT.

In 1962 she wrote: As crude a weapon as the caveman’s club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life.” . show

Choyon found the last Daily Double in “The Armed Forces Reserves” under the $1,600 clue. In third place with $2,400, he had $11,400 less than Dan’s lead. He bet $2,200 and thought it was “The Halls of Montezuma.” That was WRONG.

The Navy Reserve has its own motto: “Ready Now, Anytime, Anywhere” but still uses this Navy anthem. show

Dan finished in the lead with $13,800. Lenny was next with $7,600 and Choyon was in third place with $200.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


“According to legend all Athens olive trees were born from the first tree that the goddess Athena had caused to sprout on the Acropolis during the dispute with the god Poseidon in order to gain control of the city. Anyone who dared to fell even a single sacred olive tree, direct descendants of Athena, would be sentenced to death or, later on, to exile and confiscation of goods. Solon, one of the Seven Wise Men of ancient Greece, had given the city a code of laws that enhanced the role of the Athens olive growers. According to these laws it was absolutely forbidden to cut down the olive trees, except for the service of a sanctuary or of the community, and in any case no more than two trees a year….” (Museo dell’Olivo: The Greek Period)

Choyon thought it was a cypress tree. He only bet $7 so he finished with $193.

Lenny thought it was an elm. That cost him $7,000 and he finished with $600.

Dan got it right. He bet $13,799 and won the match with $27,599. Congrats to Dan. He is the new Jeopardy champ.

FJ Results: 5-26-15

During the chat, Dan talked about his love of trying out new sandwiches. He said after trying a new one made with intestines in Istanbul, he told his tour guide that it would be better with cheese. “That’s disgusting,” she replied.

2 years ago:: ALL of the players got this FJ in “American Military Men”:

In April 1951 he told Congress, “in war there can be no substitute for victory.” show

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18 Responses

  1. Cece says:

    Amusing chat tonight. Dan played well,congrats!

    I was surprise by Dan’s FJ wager though — I don’t remember ever seen a contestant risk not winning the game after having a runway. Gutsy move!

    • Eric S says:

      It wasn’t quite a runaway, but you’re right that he did open the door for Choyon if Lenny went all-in. My only guess is that we really loved the category, but yes, in game theory terms (again success is measured only in terms of winning the game) his bet was far from optimal.

      • Cece says:

        You’re right, for some reason I was thinking Lenny finished at $6,600 (3-day weekend fatigue…). :)

  2. doris s says:

    Should have stuck with one, but we DO have a new champ. Gutsy FJ wager.Must have felt confident with the FJ category. Congratulations!!

    • William Weyser says:

      My reaction to Dan’s wager was “Yes, maybe you like Ancient Times, and maybe it’s your strong suit, but you never want to let a player back into contention who’s already eliminated, it’s basically the same thing as a Cliff Clavin.”

      • doris s says:

        It was, but if Lenny would have been right HE would have won had Dan been wrong. The “normal” bet by Dan should have been 1.401, but….well, it worked. There is a saying “Luck comes to those who deserve it…”
        Dan was maybe feeling his oats but I would not make that a permanent habit. Otherwise he won’t be around for very long.

  3. jacob ska says:

    Wasn’t thrilled that the “Armed Forces Reserves” category was left for last by the contestants.

    Altogether now!

    U. S. Navy “anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh….”
    U. S. Marines “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli….”

    These are people that defend our country. Can’t we get their anthems correct or at least part of the songs?

    • jacob ska says:

      Btw, congrats Dan. A good level-headed contestant. As cool as a cucumber!

    • VJ says:

      I was remembering how we had to learn and sing all the anthems when I was in grammar school and I still know them, so let me add —

      Army: “Over hill, over dale, as we hit the dusty trail, and those Caissons go rolling along…”

      • jacob ska says:

        Don’t forget U. S. Air Force “off we go into the wild blue yonder….”

        Btw, another missed clue. Truman formed its Reserves in 1948. No one got it correct. :( :(

        • Nullifidian says:

          But according to Tom Lehrer the Air Force theme song is “Up in the Air, Junior Birdman” (a line from his intro to “It Makes a Fellow Proud to be a Soldier”).

        • jacob ska says:

          VJ, could you link the USAF youtube video of its official theme song “off we go into the wild blue yonder” here? Thanks.

      • jacob ska says:

        @vj, you’re right. We had to learn them in elementary school.

      • doris s says:

        What about the USAF?”Off we go into the wild blue yonder…”?
        And let’s not forget the USCG “From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone…”

  4. VJ says:

    Jeopardy! was preempted down here today because the governor and mayor held a press conference about all the flooding. But I was able to listen to the show over the phone thanks to my son. (You’re the best, sonnyboy).

    Sorry about any mistakes but if you know what they are, I’ll fix them. :)