Final Jeopardy: Fun & Games

The Final Jeopardy question (6/23/2015), in the category “Fun & Games” was:

A standard chessboard has this many perimeter squares.

New champ Sacha Samotin won $19,600 in yesterday’s game when he defeated a 5x champ. Today he takes on these two players: Matt Pressman, from Somerville, MA; and Donna Normington, from Mesa, AZ

Round 1: Matt found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Literary Characters” under the $800 clue. He was in the lead with $8,800, a big lead of $6,600 over Donna in second place. He bet $2,000 and he was RIGHT.

This literary character’s father works for Ebenezer Scrooge. show

Matt finished in the lead with $13,600. Donna was second with $2,600 and Sacha was last with $1,000.

Round 2: Matt found the first Daily Double in “U.S. Areas and Territories” under the $1,200 clue on the third pick of the round. He was in the lead with $14,800, $12,200 more than Donna in second place. He bet $4,000 and thought it was Guam. That was WRONG.

In 1988, Congress authorized a Natl. Park in this territory south of the Equator to preserve its rain forest. show

Sacha found the last Daily Double in “Alphanumerics” under the $1,600 clue. In third place with $5,800, he had $11,000 less than Matt’s lead. He made it a true Daily Double and thought it was H5N1. That was WRONG.

The first swine flu identified in 1930 was caused by this alphanumeric virus; in 2009 it was back. show

Matt finished with a runaway $18,800. Donna was next with $7,800. Sacha finished at zero so he was out of the game at this point. That wasn’t the only bad news: Donna got dinged for $4,000* after the break for saying stystolic instead of systolic. She was left with $3,800.

*$2K – 3-“Sy”llable Words: The higher number in 120/80 represents this type of blood pressure.

NEITHER of the contestants left in Final Jeopardy! got it right.


“8 to a side, less the 4 corners. 32 minus 4,” said Alex Trebek after the two answers were revealed. So there you have the quickest way to figure out the number of squares that make up in the perimeter of a chessboard. What else is there to add?

Donna wrote down 36 and then increased that to 48. She bet and lost everything.

Matt wrote down 36. He lost his $5,000 bet but still won the game with the remaining $13,800.

FJ Results: 6-23-15

Matt is a graduate student in history. During the chat, Trebek said he thought they could talk about their significant others today, as if that was a novel idea. Matt related how he met his wife on a back-packing trip where they were the worst two hikers in the group.

2 years ago:: Only ONE of the players got this FJ in “Movies & The Bible”

In this crime drama, a 1994 Oscar nominee for best picture, a character misquotes Ezekiel 25:17 twice. show

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16 Responses

  1. Dalton Higbee says:

    At least I’ve would’ve say this, but…. Go Patriots for Matt.

  2. Jayne says:

    I was wondering why Donna got dinged for $4000. I thought it was a $2000 question.

  3. Nullifidian says:

    I was amazed that everyone, even the history student, was stuck on Sun Yat-sen. On the whole, this was a frustrating game for me. I kept on shouting out the answers to the missed DDs and triple-stumpers. I also noticed the “stystolic” mispronunciation when it happened and wondered if it was going to count against Donna.

    But the icing on the cake is the complete failure of either contestant to get what is by far the easiest FJ question I’ve ever seen. How is it that you can find two people on the same episode of a show like this who don’t know that chess is played on an 8×8 board?

  4. Cece says:

    The Im-pasta category was funny to me ’cause a while ago my bf said most words in Italian sound like a pasta name.

    Too bad the DD didn’t work out for Sacha – he tried hard. Matt was a good player, so congrats!

  5. jacob ska says:

    We had severe thunderstorms here.

    J! interrupted by meteorologists which blocked me from seeing the first part of Jeopardy.

    What I did see was okay. Sacha did what he had to do. Too bad it didn’t work out for him.

    @vj, I did see the ts on Shelley. I knew you were speechless. LOL

    Congrats to Matt. What a runaway game! Fantastic.

    • VJ says:

      @Jacob, I would actually have been quite surprised if any of them knew it.

      “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

      My favorite moment of this match was the look on Matt’s face after he got Tiny Tim right. LOL! I would love to know what he was thinking. Since you missed that, I will look for a clip.

      • jacob ska says:

        @vj, someone uploaded the game to youtube and I just watched it. Saw Matt’s reaction.

        Btw, just realized my zero prediction panned out on the chess clue. No one said anything and it slipped my mind dealing with the storm during Jeopardy.

        • VJ says:

          wow that was fast. I couldn’t find last Tuesday’s game till last night.

          Yep, you were right on zero, much to my shock.

        • Eric S says:

          Sorry Jacob, didn’t mean to slight you (I had to look back: didn’t see it yesterday)! Good call.

        • jacob ska says:

          @Eric, not slighted. Didn’t realize myself until watching youtube video today and it clicked. I think all of us were caught up in shock last night.

  6. TR says:

    Oh. My. God. HOW? Of course, I didn’t think this gimme could possibly be a FJ, or that anyone could miss it if it was, so I’m 0-2 in that regard.

    • DT says:

      For someone so critical, I noticed on CoD that you wrote how easy this question is, but you never gave your answer.

      • VJ says:

        Well, nobody ever gives the answer outright on the Spoiler Talk thread, DT. Possible wrong answers, yes, but the actual answer, no.

  7. Eric S says:

    I’m laughing so hard it hurts. I’m sure Sasha knew it! At least he got yesterday’s math question correct. Of course, 36 is the anti-answer: 64 (single piece) squares less the 6X6 inside squares left out yields the correct response. So close, and yet so far away.