Final Jeopardy: U.S. State Geography

The Final Jeopardy question (6/29/2016) in the category “U.S. State Geography” was:

Of the contiguous states, these 2 coastal states have elevation changes within them of more than 14,000 feet.

3x champ Harris Stutman has won $63,500 so far. In Game 4, he takes on these two players: Christie O’Shaughnessy, from Princeton, NJ; and Addie Kluemper, from Peachtree City, GA. 

Round 1 Categories: Vodka Country of Origin – The Gold Burglars – Historic Oopsies – Alleys – Multiple Meanings – “Lost” & “Found”

Christie found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Alley” under the $600 clue. There were still 6 clues after it. She was in the lead with $3,800, $1,800 more than Addie in second place. She bet $1,600 and she was RIGHT.

This song publishing area of Manhattan gets is name from the slang term for the cheap pianos publishers used. show

Christie finished in the lead with $6,400. Harris and Addie were tied in second place with $2,000 each.

Round 2 Categories: Time for Space – Libraries – Sri Lanka – Autobiographies – All “Cap”s – Lost & Found

Harris found the first Daily Double in “Autobiographies” under the $1,200 clue on very first pick of the round. Of course, the scores were the same as above. He bet $1,600 and took a guess with “Lives.” That was WRONG.

We must reveal that Rousseau & St. Augustine both wrote autobiographies with this plural title. show

Addie found the last Daily Double in “Time for Space” under the $2,000 clue. There were 3 clues left after it. She was in third place with $5,600 now, $8,400 behind Christie’s lead. She bet $2,000 and said “planet-like rock” as her time was expiring. That was WRONG.

Designated one of these objects like Pluto, distant Haumea spins so fast on its axis that it’s twice as tall as it is wide. show

Christie finished in the lead with $14,000. Harris was next with $7,200 and Addie was in third place with $3,600.

TWO of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


Easy Science for Kids has a list of the 10 Tallest Mountains in the Continental United States: The tallest, Mount Whitney, is in California. Mount Rainier, 5th tallest, is in Washington. The other three (Mts Elbert, Massive & Harvard) are all in Colorado, not a coastal state. There are a bunch of fun facts on the page, plus a question that might make you chuckle: “Who cares how tall mountains are?” The answer isn’t trivia buffs.

Addie had California and was starting to write down Maine. That cost her $3,558 and left her with $42.

Harris got it right. He bet $7,000, finishing with $14,200.

Christie also got it. She bet $401 so she won the match with $14,401 and she is the new Jeopardy! champ.

Jeopardy 6-29-16: Harris Stutman, Addie Kluemper and Christie O'Shaugnessy

The rest of the AUTOBIOGRAPHIES category was played after Harris got the DD. Addie got the $400 clue and Harris got the $2000 one.

($400) “Walk This Way” is the title of an autobiography & a hit tune by this rock band.

($800) From the Latin for “not faithful”, this word is the title of Dutch Somali activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s 2006 memoir

($1600) “Born on the Fourth of July” is this Vietnam War vet’s memoir of his journey from soldier to antiwar activist.

($2000) Playwright Moss Hart titled his autobiography this, like the first part of a play

2 years ago: NONE of the players got this FJ in “U.S. Geography”

2 places called Point Udall, referred to as the USA’s easternmost & westernmost points, are in these 2 territories. show

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29 Responses

  1. Patty says:

    This was a very misleading use of the word contiguous. The definition of contiguous means touching, bordering, in sequence. California and Washington do not border or touch each other and they are definitely not in sequence with Oregon between them. 1, 2, 3 are in sequence, 1, 2, 3, 9 are not in the strictest sense in sequence. I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought this clue was misleading!!

  2. Mathwiz100 says:

    Well, I had no idea that this debate on “contiguous vs. continental” would occur, and to such a degree…
    So if I may, I would like to share an answer from Keith Williams, writer of “The Final Wager”:

    “I suppose the clue would have been slightly clearer with “Of the contiguous 48 states”, but I thought it was fine as written. Your friend’s reading would be correct had it said “these 2 contiguous coastal states”; using the term “continental” would include Alaska.”

  3. Susan Ikenberry says:

    That final question was misleading. The contestants only have a few seconds to understand what’s being asked, and it was easy to assume that it meant that the states had to touch each other….Luckily the outcome didn’t depend on the question, but the writers need to be more careful.

  4. Rick says:

    Contiguous means ” the 48 contiguous states” but I think that another state qualifies, Washington state meets the same criteria of the question…

  5. Eamonn Grant says:

    To the producers of Jeopardy:

    My idea of contiguous states are states having a common border with each other. Please explain your answer Washington and California. Since when did they become contiguous?

    Eamonn Grant

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I also thought this was really misleading. By continguous I assumed they were sharing a border and would have said Washington and Oregon. None of the contestants who got it wrong picked states that shared a border (Washington and Maine, for example) but I still thought this should have been worded differently.

  7. Bettijean Meyer says:

    Re: 6/29/16 – final jeopardy – Calif. and Washington are not contiguous states.

    • mimsy says:

      It makes one fervently wish they had said continental in the clue.

    • Dayne Williams says:

      Question: Of the contiguous states, these 2 coastal states have elevation changes within them of more than 14,000 feet.
      of….the operative word in the sentence….. meaning in sequence or adjacent to. or contiguous=together in sequence. So the question is in true form, but could be structured with much clarity.

    • David H says:


      I absolutely agree with this. This was very misleading.

      David H.

  8. Rob says:


  9. jacob ska says:

    I like Alex’s intro statement about Harris: Age & experience has paid off or him in the games. However, Harris looked tired today during the match. He had a good run though.

    Btw, apples (for Washington) & oranges (for California) is a trivia
    favorite for remembering elevation changes more than 14,000 feet within two coastal states Addie.

  10. William Bartsch says:

    Since when is Washington State contiguous to California?

    • Mathwiz100 says:

      The “contiguous states” are basically all of the U.S. states, minus Hawaii and Alaska.

    • jacob ska says:

      Contiguous means the 48 states plus Washington, DC & not necessarily neighboring states. Excludes Alaska & Hawaii.

    • VJ says:

      yeah, they use adjacent when they want states next to each other, or neighboring as Jacob pointed out

      • Cece says:

        This game kinda dragged…

        I never understood why they called it ‘contiguous states’, a confusing nomenclature at best (as evidenced by some of the comments on this thread). The genius who coined it couldn’t just leave ‘continental states’ alone, huh. :)

        • VJ says:

          I guess they decided on contiguous after Alaska entered the union because it is on the North American continent, although some still use continental to refer to the lower 48 (like the Kids Science article I linked to).

          Here’s an article, Contiguous vs. Continental, referring to sweepstakes rules that talks about the confusion

        • Cece says:

          Yes, the article explains the confusion— thanks, VJ. The conclusion I drew then, is that neither ‘continental’ nor ‘contiguous’ is a good word for it. :)

        • VJ says:

          LOL Cece, that was the best part of the article:

          “Many sweepstakes also bypass the confusing terms altogether, and simply state that Alaskan and Hawaiian residents are not eligible to enter.”

        • Cece says:

          And the funny part is, I didn’t get that far in the article. I read up to the last paragraph before “Why Do So Many Sweepstakes Restrict…?” I didn’t care to find out. :)

  11. VJ says:

    I liked Harris’ “Lives” answer to the DD, though — like they were cool cats and had 9 lives :)

    Here is a link to 12 more clues from this match

  12. Mathwiz100 says:

    Those daily doubles… did not work out in Harris’s favor, unfortunately. So does anyone think that his $63,500 could be enough to qualify for the ToC? I am going to say that it will be close, based on last year’s totals:

    After over a week of one or zero people being correct on FJ, it is nice to see 2.5 people solve this one, though (no comment on Maine).

    By the way, curiosity question: where do these pics next to our profiles come from? They are very… creative.

    • VJ says:

      No way to tell right now if Harris will get in the ToC. There are 4 more weeks left in the season. I’ll put him on the list later anyhow.

      Congrats on half your prediction being correct, even though I was hoping it wasn’t :)

      As for the avatars, they are auto-generated by wordpress

      • Mathwiz100 says:

        Thank you, VJ… also, thanks for embedding the link on that comment… is there a way for anyone to do that, or do you only have that ability?

        • VJ says:

          It goes to moderation if it has a link and I have to approve it, even my own links. Just trying to keep spammers off here.