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Jeopardy history
March 17, 2007 3:28 AM   Subscribe

Jeopardy history. This early hint came to pass last night; For the first time after 23 years, all 3 contestants in an episode of Jeopardy came to an exact tie.
posted by Silky Slim (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
What is "Is this something I'd need a TV to know about", Alex?

(and remember, all comments in this thread must be in the form of a stupid question)
posted by wendell at 4:21 AM on March 17, 2007


Was that pretty cool?
posted by sluglicker at 4:45 AM on March 17, 2007


What is, more accurately, "the SECOND time it's happened, but the first time the three had an amount other than zero?"
posted by evilcolonel at 4:50 AM on March 17, 2007


(and remember, all comments in this thread must be in the form of a stupid question)

Statement! One/love.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:11 AM on March 17, 2007


"What would this thread be without IMG tags?"
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:12 AM on March 17, 2007


So... umm.... video or anything?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:33 AM on March 17, 2007


Also.... how dumb was the last guy to not add an extra dollar to his bet? If he was wrong he would have lost anyway because he would have dropped below $8,000, so why no ensure he would get more than his opponents no matter what?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:39 AM on March 17, 2007


Here's the video, which is really not that exciting. I thought Trebek would explode or something.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:41 AM on March 17, 2007


Does anyone else advocate another backup question to break the tie?
posted by EastCoastBias at 5:48 AM on March 17, 2007


What is, this isn't actually such a statistical anomaly after all since Jeopardy contestants are more likely to accumulate money in $100 and $1000 increments?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:57 AM on March 17, 2007


If he was wrong he would have lost anyway because he would have dropped below $8,000, so why no ensure he would get more than his opponents no matter what?

What is "since you can bet $0 in Final Jeopardy, his bet was the minimum he could bet to ensure that if they all got the question wrong he would still win (in a game like that for his highest likelihood of winning, he will either have to be right or everyone will have to be wrong); it's actually a really interesting strategy considering that all three contestants are awarded the prize money in the case of a tie; it will be interesting to see if this becomes more commonplace in close games"?
posted by pokermonk at 6:21 AM on March 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yeah, XQUZYPHYR, it seemed weird that the last guy didn't bet more. In fact it seemed a bit pat, as if he bet $2600 just in case the others bet everything and won, so there would be a three-way tie. That was probably a good guess since they were both tied for second, and game theory suggests you should bet it all in that situation. I was also underwhelmed by Alex's reaction, but they do wrap the show up rather quickly. Maybe before the next show on Monday, he'll be a bit more excited.
posted by bluefly at 6:23 AM on March 17, 2007


Also.... how dumb was the last guy to not add an extra dollar to his bet? If he was wrong he would have lost anyway because he would have dropped below $8,000, so why no ensure he would get more than his opponents no matter what?

My guess is he did it on purpose. With the amount he wagered, if either of his opponents tied him, they would both get the money and come back for the next show. Since both doubled, all three get the money and come back.

Seems like a very nice thing for him to do.
posted by Bort at 6:27 AM on March 17, 2007


The guy in the lead was grinning like the cat who ate the canary while the answers of the other two were being revealed, so I think he was deliberately angling for a two- or three-way tie -- and why not? He had to know the other two had bet it all, and regardless of whether he ends up with $16,000 in a tie or $16,001 as the sole winner, he gets his money. By bidding the lower amount he gets to make one or two other people very happy at no cost to himself.

In fact, you could argue that he benefits from this strategy, as he gets to compete again against people that he may be confident he can beat.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 6:32 AM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


I agree with Doofus (I don't think I've ever said that before...it's just so odd). The guy is apparently a puzzle wiz and a computer science professor. He clearly knew what he was doing when he made that bet. There might be a three-fold argument: one, he was doing the other guys a really nice favor by tying instead of winning outright (since 2nd place gets $2500 and 3rd place gets $1000); two, he was ensuring that he knew who his competition would be for the next time (dude has now won over $60K; he's clearly not dumb); and three, his name and face will always be in the Jeopardy record books for being a part of the three way tie. Pretty ingenious.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:37 AM on March 17, 2007


If you really want to geek out on this (My name is Horace, and I'm a recovering Jeopardy! addict) here's the discussion thread on the Jeopardy message board.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:00 AM on March 17, 2007


I remember the "Washington" episode with three famous politicians. Pat Schroeder won with $1. After that I think politicians have decided to not go on Jeopardy. Instead they've decided that other groups, like teachers, should take proficiency tests. In other words, an awkward segue into: require politicians to pass tests as part of employment.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:09 AM on March 17, 2007


Also to add, that statistician is full of crap. This isn't three random numbers. The contestants are plotting according to what they think the others will wager.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:12 AM on March 17, 2007


I bet Weiss was gaming to do something that Ken Jenkins never did. He wanted that tie and did what he could to get it.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:12 AM on March 17, 2007


[this is good?]
posted by brundlefly at 7:14 AM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


The statistician is especially full of crap given that the guy in the lead obviously did it on purpose. The real statistical equation would be closer to P = (P of leader and two tied followers with at least half of leaders total * P that the leader is altruistic/cocky/stupid/fame-seeking/other-emotional-states-depending-on-your-opinion-about-his-actions).
posted by jacquilynne at 7:30 AM on March 17, 2007


Instead they've decided that other groups, like teachers, should take proficiency tests. In other words, an awkward segue into: require politicians to pass tests as part of employment.

Bwa ha ha ha! Yeah, heaven forbid teachers actually know something before attempting to impart knowledge into children.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:30 AM on March 17, 2007




*goes to the jeopardy message board on horace's post*

Wow, that is serious Geekdom if I've ever seen it.
posted by fizzix at 7:37 AM on March 17, 2007


In that Jeopardy thread, the guy who bet $2600 weighs in:
Hi, everybody. I was interested to see what kind of reaction my wager would get; you all have not disappointed me. :-)

So why did I do it? I knew that there had never been a 3-way tie before in the history of the show. (OntarioQuizzer is right that a kid had asked if there had ever been a 3-way tie before. I honestly don't remember hearing that question; maybe it registered subconsciously.) I saw the possibility to make Jeopardy history, and I took it. I've never had a philosophical objection to tie games, although I understand the strategic reasons why you shouldn't bet to tie. Making history seemed like a very special reason to bet to tie. Plus it's not every day you get to give away $32,000.

A story: This was the last show taped that day. As my family and friends and I were standing outside the studio absorbing the moment, the schoolteacher who brought the kids that day came up to me and said he wanted to thank me for teaching his kids such a lesson in sportsmanship and generosity. Two of the kids were standing there agog looking at me. It's a moment I'll always treasure and one that wouldn't have happened if I bet that extra $1.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 7:56 AM on March 17, 2007 [10 favorites]


Class act.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:03 AM on March 17, 2007


I had no idea there were so many Jeopardy-specific terms and acronyms.

Fascinating stuff.
posted by aerotive at 8:23 AM on March 17, 2007


Thanks for the thread. I used to see this show everyday and this thread reminds you of how exciting it can be.
posted by skepticallypleased at 8:46 AM on March 17, 2007


Fascinating. So the next question is: how many of us would have done the same thing in such a situation? How many of us would have even thought of such a thing? I suspect that I would have wagered the extra buck - the point is to win, after all - and I really don't think that I would have had enough time to ponder the "nice guy/3-way tie/15-minutes" angle.
posted by davidmsc at 9:11 AM on March 17, 2007


I like it better when he calls celebrities stupid to their face.

"I'll take anal bum cover for $7000..."
posted by miss lynnster at 9:20 AM on March 17, 2007


Duchovny wins for telling Redgrave the information she gave about her charity was wrong.
posted by emelenjr at 10:12 AM on March 17, 2007


RE "how many of us would have done the same thing in such a situation" - I would, and it is probably what I would have done if I thought I was better than the other two people - a tie for first doesn't give you any less money and you know the people you'll be playing next game. You have pretty much as long as you want (plus pen and paper) to come up with your final jeopardy wager, so assuming you have some aptitude for math you can run through the possibilities.
posted by true at 10:35 AM on March 17, 2007


"Plus it's not every day you get to give away $32,000."

Of some big corporation's money yet!

I must confess, class-act genius though I be, I probably would not have thought of that. I might have answered wrong deliberately because I thought an "opponent" needed the money more, but planning to tie takes too much calculation.
posted by davy at 11:11 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Alex is getting wackier and wackier with the patter. This kind of excitement is just what he needed. Ha-HA! Anyway, sad I missed this live. I usually eat my dinner to jeopardy.

*runs to jennings for comfort"
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:45 AM on March 17, 2007


A bit off topic, but my only Jeopardy! story entails a homeless guy watching through a door from the street, yelling "Who is Lavoisier! Who is Lavoirsier!" in answer to the final round. He was right, and they didn't get it.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:26 PM on March 17, 2007


What is, the event on Jeopardy that could make Trebek act like even more of a tool?
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:14 PM on March 17, 2007


Short anecdote: My mom tried out for Jeopardy once. She got to meet the man and said he was pretty much a complete asshole.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:15 PM on March 17, 2007


The correct answer is "naggers".
posted by Tube at 2:18 PM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Betcha Don Pardo is sorry he gave up his day job now.
posted by rob511 at 5:54 PM on March 17, 2007


Hey! At the end of Ken Jenning's March 13th post, he links to Metafilter.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:16 PM on March 17, 2007


Wow, this opens up an awesome Jeopardy hack:

Everyone tries to distribute the wealth equally. For Final Jeopardy, nobody gets it right -- but the top two earners bet, and lose, down to the predictable dollar amount of the guy with the least cash (who bets nothing).

Now, everyone gets paid, and everyone gets to come back, indefinitely.

I'd do it just for the "I Pwned Alex Trebek" T-Shirt :)
posted by effugas at 1:22 AM on March 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was fun to watch the first time. I'm sure if something weird happened for the first time in 23 years, I'd look like a tool as well.
posted by debit at 1:33 AM on March 18, 2007


Hey! At the end of Ken Jenning's March 13th post, he links to Metafilter.

Not only that, but it is an AskMe that I have often wondered about myself but had not seen. The interweb is a wonderful place!
posted by TedW at 8:57 AM on March 19, 2007


Ken, again, with the breakdown.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:23 PM on March 22, 2007


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