Final Jeopardy: Famous Americans

The Final Jeopardy question (9/26/2014), in the category “Famous Americans” was:

In 1936 at age 79, he published an article in Esquire Magazine in which he described how to pick a jury.

3-day champ Catherine Hardee had a great day yesterday. She brought her Jeopardy! winnings up to $58,801. Today she takes on the last two players of the week: Alan Lange, from Sarasota, FL; and Tod Macofsky, from West Hollywood, CA.

Round 1: Catherine found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “General Science” under the $600 clue before the first break. She was already in the lead with $6,000, $4,400 ahead of Tod in second place. She bet $2,000 and she was RIGHT.

An abnormal fear of water; it’s also another name for rabies. show

Catherine finished in the lead with $9,800. Tod was second with $4,200 and Alan was last with $4,000.

Round 2: Alan found the first Daily Double in “& the Category of Geography” under the $800 clue — the second clue he picked. He was in second place with $4,400, $5,400 less than Catherine’s lead. He bet $3,500 and he was RIGHT.

The greatest north-south distance of this South American country is 2,731 miles; east-west, 2,684. show

Alan found the last Daily Double in “Texas Hold ‘Em” under the $1,600 clue. In the lead with $15,900, he had $1,700 more than Catherine in second place. With only 5 clues left after this, he bet $1,000 and he was RIGHT.

In 1966 an appeals court reversed the murder conviction of this Dallas inmate, but he died in January 1967. show

It was a tight finish. Alan was in the lead with $18,900 and Catherine was right behind him with $18,200. Tod was in third place with $6,600.

ALL of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


Clarence Darrow was famous for representing child killers Leopold and Loeb and John T. Scopes in the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, and other notable cases. His article “How to Pick a Jury” was published in the May 1936 issue of Esquire. Largely based on the prospective juror’s religion and/or ethnicity, today it’s like a blueprint of how NOT to pick a jury, but as this “Who is Clarence Darrow” page says: “He was, like us all, a product of his times. For him, it was a time of class conflict so intense as to border on class warfare. It was a time during which the Radical Left– anarchists, socialists, communists– were at the peak of their influence. It was a time of Jim Crow, of lynchings, a time during which the Klu Klux Klan called the shots in parts of our country. It was a time of unprecedented xenophobia. It was a time of whirl and social change– a time when the modernist notion of asking whether a behavior pleased one’s own intellect began to challenge the Victorian way of asking whether the behavior was approved of by society.”

Tod bet $5,900. He finished with $12,500.

Catherine bet it all and finished with $36,400.

Alan bet $17,500 and he finished with $36,400 too. So Alan and Catherine are co-champions and Catherine finishes the week out with a 4-day total of $95,201. Two impressive players.

FJ Results 9-26-14

It’s the first tie of the season — not year. Arthur Chu bet to tie in 4 of his matches but the only tie was in the 2nd game on 1/29/14, and there was quite a bit of speculation about how much his “bet to tie” penchant would influence future players.

During the chat, Catherine said she planned on spending some of her winnings on a trip to incredibly, breathtakingly beautiful New Zealand and might take the Lord of the Rings tour. (We’d be interested in that, too, if the tour included Viggo Mortensen). Alan, who is an actuary, related how he came by a handwritten congratulatory note on his marriage written by Muhammad Ali. His parents were on route to the festivities and the Champ was on the plane.

2 years ago:: ALL of the players got this FJ in “Toys & Games”

When Milton Bradley released this home game in 1966, competitors accused it of selling “sex in a box”. show

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14 Responses

  1. erth says:

    At first, I thought it was gratuitously kind of Alan, or perhaps insulting in that he relished the chance to play against Catherine again. I also thought he may regret it on Monday because Catherine is a strong player. But then I considered that Alan is an actuary who would be wed to his game theory regardless of his assessment of the individual players. I think this was a brilliant bet. Think about it– Alan now has the advantage of knowing exactly how Catherine will wager in FJ on Monday: If she is in second place going into FJ, she will definitely bet everything with the expectation that Alan (if he’s in the lead) will play for a tie again. And if Catherine is in the lead going into FJ and Alan is in second, there is a strong chance she will reciprocate and play for a tie with Alan. I guess we’ll see on Monday.

  2. Paco says:

    Will someone explain the strategy of betting to tie?

    It just seemed like Alan was being nice to Catherine.

    • Eric S says:

      To be sure, it does seem like a nice thing to do. I, personally, was speaking from a purely strategical point of view. Strategically, it is probably best to offer a tie to a less-talented player (maybe who got a huge DD or hit a lucky category): I think that may have been AChu’s motive (although she was pretty and he may have had some explaining to do at home). It may also make sense if you fear an upcoming opponent and want to postpone their arrival.
      All of that is less important than kindness, of course.

    • VJ says:

      I’m pretty sure the last time we saw someone playing for the tie was this past July — Campbell Warner played 3 games (July 8-10) and each time, he played for a tie.

      In the last game, he commented on that post that he did it intentionally and “figured that was the best shot at keeping my winnings and moving on to the next game.”

    • Eric S says:

      Campbell! Yes, that was an unusual scenario.
      So, say the leader has 20,000 and second has 10,000 then the leader should bet zero! That is, to bet (risk) even 1 might mean losing the game, whereas staying put (betting zero) insures a return. Of course, regardless of the category, the person in second should bet it all!

      • Eric S says:

        This case is sort of an example of betting to tie, although perhaps more of a lesson in solid game theory.

        • john blahuta says:

          and remember the one game where the leader had excactly twice as much as the lady in second and she did NOT bety it all???? was about june or so……

      • VJ says:

        yeah that was the 7-8-14 game. Campbell had $22K going into FJ and second place had $11K

        • john blahuta says:

          yes, that was the game, exactly.thanks,vj, how do you keep track of all those things?????

        • VJ says:

          I actually forgot about the $22K / $11K game. I just remembered that Campbell mentioned why he bet to tie in the comments. Eric remembered that game and I looked it up.

          Over the summer, I apparently forgot I had a “co-champ” tag but found it when I decided that I would put in a “bet to tie” tag to make these games easier to find. Both will be good since every co-champ game isn’t bet to tie, and every bet to tie game doesn’t result in co-champs.

      • john blahuta says:


  3. Eric S says:

    I think that was very dumb on Alan’s part: she is way too good of a player for him to want to play again.