Jeopardy!'s first sudden-death tie-breaker: Watch


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Two people got “What are the Channel Islands” wrong? I suppose I collect different bits of trivia.



I thought it was the correct answer, but started over thinking and tried to remember individual island names. “Nah, it can’t be that straightforward…”


Not sure when they added this rule, in the old days they would just bring both of them back.


hes like the british version of Calvin and Hobbes’ Dad.


I noticed this the other night. The actual story is that there’s (apparently) been a rules change. The way @Rusty_Blazenhoff wrote the item, it implies that there’s never been a tie before, which is not the case. The old rule was that both tied contestants would return to compete in the next episode. There was some kind of betting strategy where playing to tie was deemed to be favorable. Although I don’t understand the math behind the strategy, it was purposely done a few times that I saw. If I’m not mistaken, I believe I saw the much-vilified Arthur Chu do it.
Anyway, when this happened yesterday, I was all “what what WHAT?” but it seems obvious the producers decided they didn’t want the old rule anymore. Not sure if that’s to make the show more exciting, or to reign-in the prize pay-outs, or both, or neither.


I haven’t watched the show in a while, but I was formerly a nightly viewer (and recall many ties resulting in both players returning). Thanks for the explainer on the rules change.


That’s too much excitement for one day.


That is… really weird.

Leader had $15000, second had $11600. If second doubles up, she’d have $23200. So, it’s predictable that leader would wager enough to have more than $23200 if she gets it right. Usually they wager as little as possible to achieve that goal, in this case $8201. And that is, in fact, what she wagered.

Here’s where it gets weird. Second knows that if leader makes the expected bet and gets it wrong, she’ll have $6799. Standard strategy would be to bet enough to beat $15000 if you get it right, but little enough to beat $6799 if you get it wrong. This would be somewhere between $3401 and $4800. (In this case you’d also want to beat $8000, the score third would get if he doubled up, so you bet less than $3600… but let’s ignore that.) Instead she bets $4801, gets it wrong, and the tie occurs.

$4801 is a very specific amount! The only reason for it is if she’s trying for a tie in the event that they both get it wrong.

Under the old rules, where both would win $6799 and come back on the next show, this could be reasonable in two different ways. If you think the leader is weaker than an average Jeopardy! contestant, you might prefer to face her than a random contestant from the pool. (Probably a bad idea, contestants get stronger over time as they get experience with the buzzer, but not a crazy one.) Or maybe who you face next time doesn’t make much difference to you, and you’d rather that leader gets $6799 instead of $0, because you’re a nice person.

But under the new rules, you’re trading $6800 in the double-wrong case for a coinflip for $6799, with no benefit. It makes no sense.

Maybe she forgot about the rule change? Or maybe she worked out the $4800 bet, then decided to add a safety margin, had a brainfart under the pressure, and added $1 instead of subtracting $1. She looked shocked when Alex announced the tie, so it’s probably that.


It doesn’t come in to play very often, but if the final round of Family Feud ends in a tie all participants have to engage in ritual armed combat.


OK, she tweeted about it, it was definitely that.

“What I was TRYING to do is wager to win if she got it wrong. The number I worked with was $4800. Then when I wrote down my wager, I tacked on the dollar. Why? I do not know. I will never know.”


An acquaintance of mine was in the first (only?) three-way tie in Jeopardy. Alex Trebek answers audience questions where the commercial breaks would go. I’m told somebody asked if there had ever been a three-way tie, and Alex said he didn’t think so. That was just before the contestants made their final wagers.

Two were tied for second and each bet everything. The leader, having heard the audience question thought it was interesting, and bid to tie rather than win (on the assumption that the others would bid everything and that everyone would get the answer correct).

All three got to play another day, and, if I recall, the champ prevailed on that rematch.


Idiots. Those prizes are rightfully mine.


Inka dinka doo.


no, yabba dabba doo!


You forgot to mention that the goal is to kill Steve Harvey. First family to do it wins.


Well, that all very cogent analysis of Jeopardy’s ties and such but it was much more pleasing to me when the video was over and I clicked the link to Will Farrell as Trebek on SNL. Arrr, your mother Alex.


And Tyler too!


Jeopardy is like a super-easy version of University Challenge. I thought I was good at trivia until I started watching that show. Phew!