Red, White and Who?

Week’s Final Jeopardies stay in America, for better and worse

Published April 28, 2024

Welcome back to my weekly rundown from the world of Jeopardy!

Marko Saric entered this week’s games as a 2-day champion, hoping to continue his winning ways.

Each heading contains a link to my daily write-up over at The Jeopardy! Fan

Monday, Apr. 22

Defending champion Marko looked very strong early, as he picked up $12,800 on the first board of clues and looked to be cruising to a third straight victory. However, as has happened so often in Season 40, Double Jeopardy told a different story. Ontario’s Nam Nguyen got in on 84% of his buzzes in Double Jeopardy, got 16 correct, and very nearly ended up with a runaway of his own. Unfortunately for fellow challenger Elly Trickett, she’d forgotten to put her glasses on for the first half of the game; her mistakes compounded from there, and she wasn’t around for Final Jeopardy.

The other two got to play a clue in 20th Century Authors: Best known for a novel, she wrote at least 6 full-length plays & collaborated with Moms Mabley on a 1931 Broadway revue. The novel she was best known for was Their Eyes Were Watching God; the author was Zora Neale Hurston. Neither Marko nor Nam could come up with her, though, which made Nam the new champion at $26,999.

Tuesday, Apr. 23

Nam’s title defense started well; in the Jeopardy round, he had $8,600 to Lianne Schaffer’s $2,600 and Mark Lashley’s $1,800. But though he kept up his great buzzer work, Nam was hesitant on the second board’s Daily Doubles. After missing one on the United Negro College Fund–a difficult subject for a player from Canada, which doesn’t have HBCUs–he bet just $2,000 on the third. This left him just shy of a lock game.

The Final Jeopardy clue, in Business: In the 1850s the .925 sterling silver standard was instituted by this company, the first American one to do so. In perhaps another case of “harder for a Canadian,” both American challengers came up with Tiffany while Nam picked Wells Fargo instead. With $17,601, Mark made Nam a one-day champion.

Wednesday, Apr. 24

All three players were evenly matched in the Jeopardy round: Mark sat third due after a Daily Double miss, but his $4,600 was only $1,400 behind leader Amy Hummel. Paul Drake sat in a strong second.

While the Daily Double struggles continued on the second board—Mark’s momentum was halted by another miss, and Amy dropped $4,000 late on the last one—Amy had an advantage on the buzzer. Getting in on 11 of 15 attempts, she picked up 10 correct responses and held a sizable lead over Paul going into Final Jeopardy.

Historic Transports was the category: Decorated with an illustration of the Montgolfiers’ craft, the smoking room aboard this could be accessed only via an airlock. This one played easy, with all three realizing the irony of a smoking room on the hydrogen-powered Hindenburg. Amy’s victory was good for $18,900.

Thursday, Apr. 25

With ABC’s NFL draft coverage interfering in some markets, challenger Tyler Jarvis started out Thursday strong, picking up the first-round Daily Double en route to a $400 lead over Amy. But both challengers struggled in Double Jeopardy, both with buzzing in and getting correct responses when they had a chance to. Amy dominated with 92% on her buzzer attempts, getting 13 correct in a round that saw nine Triple Stumpers and four unplayed clues. This gave her a runaway win over second-place Tyler, and Justin Brandt in a distant third.

Final Jeopardy was in Statues: The 42-foot-high statue of Athena in this state capital is the tallest indoor statue in the United States. The players needed to know and remember that Nashville, Tenn. has an exact replica of the Parthenon … and they didn’t. Good thing for Amy that she already had it sewn up: her $18,795 gave her a two-day total of $37,695.

Friday, Apr. 26

Draft coverage was even more disruptive on Friday, meaning that many viewers missed an excellent game. For the first three-quarters of the game, it was a close battle between champ Amy and challenger Dan Byrne, with seven lead changes in the first 17 clues of Double Jeopardy alone. But Amy pulled away late, beating Dan 7-1 over the final stretch to come close to a runaway. Matt Mawhinney briefly made some noise on a Daily Double, but otherwise stayed well behind the others.

The week’s last clue was in U.S. Geography: At 14,410’, it’s one of North America’s highest volcanoes; a Puyallup name for it can be translated to “bring the water.” Both contending players came up with Washington’s Mt. Rainier (also known as Tacoma/Tahoma) as Amy won her third game in a row. Her $20,500 brought her three-day total to $58,195, and we’ll see her again Monday.

Coming up next week:

  • In addition to the five regular games in their normal time slot, Season 2 of Jeopardy! Masters begins Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. (7 Central) on ABC.

Andy Saunders covers Jeopardy! daily as site administrator for The Jeopardy! Fan. He is also a founding archivist of The J! Archive. His weekly recap appears at Questionist every Sunday.

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