n. the ratio of correct responses divided by possible correct responses for a player.
The numerator of the batting average is the total number of correct responses including the DDs and Final. The denominator is 58 (the number of non-DD clues in the game) plus the number of DDs the player uncovered. See also team batting average.
n. a wagering "rule of thumb" that suggests that a player with a leading score going into Final Jeopardy! should wager to cover a doubled score by his or her closest trailing opponent.
etymology In the second semifinal game of the 2004 Tournament of Champions, aired September 28, 2004, 4-time champion Anne Boyd led 7-time champion Tom Walsh $14,700 to $11,800 going into Final Jeopardy! (5-time champion Chris Miller had the lead with $16,200.) Both Tom and Anne named the correct response ("Who is Ferlinghetti?") but Anne wagered $0, failing to cover Tom, who finished with $1 more than her (thus winning the game from third place and advancing to the finals).
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, a trailing player's score as a fraction of the leader's score at or above which a different wagering scenario enters into play. Break points occur at all k/(k + 1), for integer k, e.g., one-half, two-thirds, three-quarters, four-fifths...
n. a wagering "rule of thumb" that suggests a player never bet to tie in Final Jeopardy! in tournament play, except if betting to win risks a loss that betting to tie would not risk.
etymology Named for Derek Bridges, who lost the 1996 Teen Tournament in the second final game to Amanda Goad on a tiebreaker clue. When the rule was named, it was thought that Bridges's score was high enough that he could have wagered for the win, but he chose to wager for a tie instead, prompting the decision of the tournament by sudden death. It has since been pointed out that, though Bridges had enough money that he could have wagered for the win, he actually wagered short of the tie, but, by coincidence, Amanda wagered short as well, such that their scores were tied by fluke.
n. a collection of five clues, related by subject matter or otherwise, (ostensibly) arranged in order of difficulty, and assigned a (frequently punny) title and, sometimes, special instructions, e.g., for clues in a category the title of which contains words or letters in quotation marks, the correct responses will themselves contain (or sometimes begin with) those words or letters.
n. a wagering "rule of thumb" that suggests a player not put a lock game at risk with an excessive wager, however tempting the category. Like Jeeks's Rule, Clavin's Rule can be extended to players seeking positions other than first place.
etymology In Episode 182 of Cheers, aired January 18, 1990, postal worker barfly Cliff Clavin (played by John Ratzenberger) became a contestant on (a ficticious game of) Jeopardy! and, to his delight, scored a blowout board composed of his favorite categories: STAMPS OF THE WORLD, BAR TRIVIA, BEER, MOTHERS & SONS, CIVIL SERVANTS, and CELIBACY. He had a lock game going into Final Jeopardy!, but wagered it all and blew it. (His now-infamous incorrect response to the clue "Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz and Lucille LeSueur" in the category MOVIES was, "Who are 3 people who've never been in my kitchen?" When told by host Alex Trebek [played by himself], "No, I'm sorry, that too is wrong," Clavin responded, "Be that as it may, Alex, those people have never been in my kitchen.")
n. a "question" posed to Jeopardy! contestants, descriptively phrased as the answer to the correct response. Clues have some dollar value associated with them, except in cases of Daily Doubles or Final Jeopardy! clues, which are wagered upon prior to the revealing of the clue. Clues are typically read by the host, but may sometimes be read by other celebrity readers, members of the Clue Crew, or the announcer.
At the start of the Jeopardy! Round, the returning champion, or the player at the leftmost lectern if there is no returning champion, selects the first clue; thereafter, for the rest of the round, the clues are selected by the last player to give a correct response. At the beginning of the Double Jeopardy! Round, the player with the lowest score selects the first clue.
n. the sum of the Coryat scores of all three players.
$54,000 is the largest possible Coryat score in a game. The Combined Coryat will equal this when all clues are uncovered, no player gives an incorrect response (including on DDs), there are no Triple Stumpers, and no clue's value is awarded twice (due, for example, to a ruling reversal on an incorrect response).
n. for the purposes of statistics compiled on the J! Archive's Miscellaneous Statistics page, a game in which the score of the trailing third-place player is within two-thirds of the score of the leading first-place player going into the Final Jeopardy! Round. In a competitive game, each player has a chance of winning without needing any other player to over-wager or to select the disadvantageous option in Stratton's Dilemma.
n. a player's score if all wagering is disregarded. In the Coryat score, there is no penalty for forced incorrect responses on Daily Doubles, but correct responses on Daily Doubles earn only the natural values of the clues, and any gain or loss from the Final Jeopardy! Round is ignored.
pronunciation KOR-ee-at SCORE
etymology Named for Season 12 2-game champion Karl Coryat, who conceived of a scorekeeping method that would allow Jeopardy! hopefuls playing along at home to gauge their scores against the contestants playing on the show.
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, the scenario in which the score of the player in second place is between one-half and two-thirds of the score of the player in first place. Under this scenario, given rational wagers by the players, a win is possible for the second-place player only if the the first-place player misses Final Jeopardy! and the second-place player gets it right. Here, the first-place player should bet enough so as to have at least one dollar more than the second-place player if the second-place player bets it all, and the second-place player should bet it all, since he or she must give the correct response to win anyway, unless he or she has a lock for second place and would prefer to limit his or her wager to protect that position.
etymology Suggested by 1996 Tournament of Champions winner Michael Dupée in his book How To Get on Jeopardy! and Win!
n. a clue that has no set dollar value associated with it, but rather, is wagered upon prior to the revealing of the clue. One DD is hidden amongst the 30 clues in the Jeopardy! Round; two DDs are hidden on the game board in the Double Jeopardy! Round. The maximum wager on a Daily Double is a player's score at the time of hitting upon the Daily Double clue (also known as a True Daily Double), or, if the player's score is less than the largest value of the clues on the board, then the player may wager that largest value amount ($1000 for the Jeopardy! Round or $2000 for the Double Jeopardy! Round). The minimum wager on a Daily Double is $5, which was half the smallest clue value on the original version of Jeopardy! that premiered in 1964 with Art Fleming as host.
n. the second round of a game of Jeopardy!, with two Daily Doubles concealed on a game board of 6 categories of five clues each, valued at $400, $800, $1200, $1600, and $2000, played without interruption for a commercial break. Money accumulated during the Jeopardy! Round remains in play for the Double Jeopardy! Round; money accumulated during the Double Jeopardy! Round may be risked in the Final Jeopardy! Round. During the Double Jeopardy! Round, responses must be phrased in the form of a question; if they are not, they are immediately ruled incorrect, without prompting or waiting for further clarification.
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, the scenario in which the 1st-place player's score is equal to twice the difference between the scores of the 2nd- and 3rd-place players. Under this scenario, the 1st-place player should bet $0, because the 2nd-place contestant has reason to only bet to tie, since the bet to keep 3rd locked out is identical to the bet that would tie the leader if 2nd is correct.
etymology Named for 4-game champion Faith Love, who went 0 for 5 on Final Jeopardy! in her five games, November 25 through 29, 2002. In her 2nd game (#4197, aired 2002-11-26), the scores entering Final Jeopardy! were $10,400-$9,800-$4,600, with Faith in the lead, but instead of wagering $8,001 to cover a potential score doubling by the second place player, she famously bid $0 and won on the Triple Stumper. (Since the name "Faith Love" was coined, at least one antedating example of the use of this strategy has come to light, a 1994 Tournament of Champions semifinal in which Rachael Schwartz led Kurt Bray and Brian Moore $9,200-$8,600-$4,000 going into Final Jeopardy! and won by wagering $0. [Only Kurt Bray gave the correct response, but he wagered improperly, $100 short of the tie.])
notes Faith Love is less applicable when the 2nd-place player has less incentive to protect his or her position against the third-place player than to wager for the win. This becomes the case when the 2nd-place player's score is less than three-quarters of the leader's score (as, under that condition, the third-place player would be in a weak position). The wagering calculator thus only recommends Faith Love wagering when the 2nd-place player is within 3/4's of the leader's score and the 2nd-place player therefore has an incentive to keep from falling behind the 3rd-place player, who in such case does have a chance at winning.
n. a pessimistic adage (in a similar vein to Murphy's Law) stating that the likelihood of supplying the correct response to a Daily Double or to the Final Jeopardy! clue is inversely proportional to the percentage of money wagered on such a clue.
etymology Originated by Season 22 4-game champion and 2006 Tournament of Champions winner Michael Falk.
n. a Daily Double wager that risks less than the clue's natural value.
etymology Coined by Season 27 player Samer Ismail on 2005-10-17.
n. the third round of a game of Jeopardy!, with one category consisting of one clue upon which players may risk any or all of the money accumulated during the previous rounds. During regular play, the player with the highest total at the end of the Final Jeopardy! Round comes back in the following game to defend as the returning champion. (Prior to a rule change that went into effect after the 2014 Tournament of Champions, in the case of a tie after Final Jeopardy! in regular play, all tying players were awarded their winnings and returned and co-champions players return. Starting with #6946, aired 2014-11-24, however, ties were abolished and resulted in a Tiebreaker Round to select the champion among post-Final tied players, as had previously been done only in tournament play. No public announcement was made of the rule change at the time. Both before and after this rule change, in the case that no player finished Final Jeopardy! with any money [i.e., $0-$0-$0], all three players lost and three new players were introduced in the next game.) The Final Jeopardy! category is announced before the last commercial break; during this break, the players are given time to calculate their wagers, which they then make prior to the revealing of the clue after returning from the commercial break. Players with $0 or less at the end of the Double Jeopardy! Round do not return to play Final Jeopardy!
2. n. the scenario that exists at or above the four-fifths break point.
3. n. the "rule of thumb" that describes rational wagering for a trailing player whose score is at or above the four-fifths break point.
The four-fifths scenario is a special case of the two-thirds scenario in which a trailing player with a score at least four-fifths the score of the leading player going into Final Jeopardy! safely can, and therefore should, wager to beat the leader's maximum safe bet of the difference between scores with a bet of twice the difference between the two scores, without losing the double stumper against a shut-out bet by the leader. According to the Four-fifths Rule, the trailing player should wager between (2*(leader's score - own score) + $1) (venusian) and 3*(own score) - 2*(leader's score) (martian).
1. n. a clue-selection strategy, employed during the Jeopardy! Round or the Double Jeopardy! Round, in which the next clue is selected from a randomly-chosen category different from the category of the last clue, potentially giving an advantage to the player with control of the board by confusing his or her opponents.
2. v. to switch categories by such a strategy.
etymology Named for 1986 Tournament of Champions winner and Million Dollar Masters semifinalist Chuck Forrest, who employed the technique to win $72,800 (in pre-doubled clue value dollars) over five games in Season 2. According to Michael Dupée's book How To Get on Jeopardy! and Win!, Forrest called the strategy the "Rubin bounce" for his classmate at the University of Michigan Law School, who suggested it.
etymology In game #3661, aired July 3, 2000, returning champion Jeeks Rajagopal found herself in just such a situation, with all three players at $5,200. Glen Savory and Mike Fazioli both wagered everything to tie for first place with $10,400 apiece, but Jeeks wagered only $5,000. She finished with $10,200, spoiling a chance for a first-ever three-way tie game. (Glen was eventually defeated in his fourth game by Doug Lach, for whom Lach Trash is named.)
n. the first round of a game of Jeopardy!, with one Daily Double concealed on a game board of 6 categories of five clues each, valued at $200, $400, $600, $800, and $1000, and interrupted at the time midpoint for a commercial break and contestant interviews.
n. in a round or game of Jeopardy!, Triple Stumpers for which the correct responses are known by a Jeopardy! viewer playing along from home; also, the total dollar-value score associated with such Triple Stumpers.
pronunciation LASH TRASH
etymology "Lach" from Doug Lach, Jeopardy! Season 16 5-time champion and $85,400+ winner, who commented on the (now-defunct) official Jeopardy! Message Board that his definition of a bad game was one that could be won on Triple Stumpers alone; "Trash" from trash; coined by Mark Barrett in his November 28, 2002 recap of Faith Love's second game (which, coincidentally, is also the origin of the Faith Love scenario).
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, the scenario in which the score of the player in second place is less than one-half the score of the player in first place. Under this scenario, the leader is assured a victory so long as he or she does not wager more than (leader's score - 2*(second place score)), or (leader's score - 2*(second place score) - $1) to prevent the possibility of a tie.
To overwager in a lock scenario violates Clavin's Rule.
aka a runaway (the term host Alex Trebek used on the show).
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, the scenario in which the score of the player in second place is exactly one-half the score of the player in first place. Under this scenario, the leader is assured a victory or a tie victory so long as he or she wagers $0; the second-place player should go for the tie and wager everything.
aka Dawson Crossin'.
etymology Named for Season 18 5-time champion and 2003 Tournament of Champions winner Mark Dawson, who first put the method to use in his 3rd regular-season game: "...it is a common practice when playing bar trivia. You write down each person's best guess, then start crossing them off. As I sometimes miss FJ's by seizing on a single answer and not letting go, I decided that for the ToC, I would make an effort to use this technique whenever there was any doubt." The variant "Dawson Crossin'" was coined by Doug Lach, for whom Lach Trash is named.
init. never heard of it.
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, the scenario in which two players are tied for the lead and the third player has less than one-half their scores. Under this scenario, the leaders must each independently decide whether the other will bet $0 or everything, and then bet likewise. Betting everything has the unfortunate outcome of a double loss in the case of a double stumper: $0 is never a winning score on Jeopardy! The third-place player should risk nothing in this scenario.
n. a fact that is sufficiently arcane so as to be beyond the realm of common knowledge. Cf. trash.
example "That Final Jeopardy! response, The Burghers of Calais, was pure trivia: either you knew it or you didn't."
n. Jeopardy! games not belonging to a special week (e.g., Celebrity Jeopardy!, Power Players Week, or Kids Week) or two-week tournament (e.g., the Tournament of Champions, the College Championship, or the Teen Tournament). During regular play, winning champions succeed losing champions (with one notable exception in Season 24). Prior to a rule change that went into effect at the beginning of the 20th Season [2003-2004], a champion could win a maximum of 5 games, whereupon he/she would retire and later return for the next Tournament of Champions.
n. a contestant's "answer" to a clue, phrased in the form of a question. A correct response results in the addition to a player's score the value of the clue (or, for Daily Doubles or Final Jeopardy! clues, the player's wager); an incorrect response results in the subtraction from the player's score the clue's value (or the wager). A clue may have multiple different acceptable correct responses or correct response variations, some of them unanticipated by the writers and judges. A successful challenge by a player to a response originally judged incorrect results in the awarding of the clue's cash value to that player's score, so that in some cases, a clue's value may be awarded to multiple players. Incorrect pronunciation (or spelling) is not penalized unless it adds (or deletes) a sound or syllable to (or from) the correct response.
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, a conjecture that betting only enough to stay ahead of a second-place player who is within two-thirds the score of the leader and who also wagers to keep the third-place player locked out gives the leader a better chance of winning than does making the shut-out bet. Shoretegic wagers presuppose a second-place player's aptitude to obey the Two-thirds Rule (though they may sometimes win even when the second-place player does not) and are in direct violation of Boyd's Rule.
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, for games that fit Shore's Conjecture, a wager on the part of the score leader equal to one dollar more than the difference between the first place player's score and twice the difference between the second and third place players' scores.
etymology Portmanteau of "Shore's Conjecture" and "strategy"; fitting because a shoretegic wager falls "short" of a wager to cover.
What do you call a buzzer that doesn't buzz? A signaling device, that's what! The signaling devices used by the three players in a game of Jeopardy! resemble oversized click-pens, attached to computers concealed inside the contestant lecterns by wire. After the host finishes reading the clue, an off-camera assistant triggers a set of lights that surround the game board, prompting the contestants to go ahead and squeeze their signaling buttons if they think they know the correct response. Pressing the signaling button too early results in a fraction-of-a-second lockout during which the other contestants have a chance to ring in.
n. a Triple Stumper for which no player attempts a response.
v. phrase to refrain from giving incorrect responses by guessing (as from nervousness or anxious desperation).
etymology Inadvertently coined by 2002 Back to School Week player Gracie Studdard (a twelve-year-old from Locust Grove, Georgia) in her August 2, 2003 post of advice to 2003 Back to School Week contestant Matt Bischoff (a twelve-year-old from Sicklerville, New Jersey): "When u get 2 Hollywood and ur about 2 film ur show, remember 2 STAY CLAM above all else. No matter what happens in the game, don't let urself get intimidated or nervous. I'ts just a game." 2002 champion Ronnie O'Rourke elaborated an hour later: "'Stay Clam' is actually excellent advice. If you're not sure you've got the correct response, keep your mouth shut. In other words, clam up."
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, the wagering scenario that exists when the minimum amount that the second-place player needs to wager to cover the third-place player's doubled score exceeds the maximum wager suggested by the Two-thirds Rule. In a Stratton's Dilemma game, the second-place player must decide whether to play for a win on a Triple Stumper (provided that the leader makes the shut-out bet) and risk being overtaken by the third-place player if he/she gets Final right, or wager to cover the third-place player at the expense of falling behind the leader's minimum shut-out wager on a Triple Stumper.
n. the ratio of correct responses by all players divided by possible correct responses in a game.
The numerator of a team batting average is the sum of the batting average numerators for all three players; the denominator of the team batting average for a game is always 63 (the total number of potential correct responses), even if clues are left unrevealed or players don't stick around for Final Jeopardy! Thus the team batting average can serve as a measure of game efficiency: games in which many clues are left unrevealed will have lower team batting averages.
n. for a given clue, the qualitative "measure" of the probability for arriving at a correct response based on information given in the clue or its category but peripheral to the clue's central hint, perhaps not by any logical process, but rather by an analogical association. Usually applied to Daily Doubles or Final Jeopardy! clues (as there is typically not enough time to "tease out" a correct response on a timed clue in the Jeopardy! or Double Jeopardy! rounds) and to clues for which the correct response is a common-knowledge word, name, title, phrase, etc. A clue for which a common-knowledge correct response may be readily analogically derived is said to have a high TOM; a clue/response pair with a very low TOM is said to be pure trivia.
etymology After a brief lifetime as "tease-out factor," the backronym Tease-Out Metric was coined from TOM, in honor of Season 19 3-time champion Tom Kelso, who originated the phrase in posts on the (now-defunct) official Jeopardy! Message Board when he mentioned that he was sometimes able to "tease-out" the correct responses on tough clues. The name "Tease-Out Metric" is something of a misnomer, as it is unquantifiable, variable from player to player, and has no defined scale associated with it, and is thus not really a metric at all.
n. pl. the producers, clue writers, and contestant coordinators of the Jeopardy! television show. May also include the Standards & Practices auditors who oversee all games to ensure fairness. The term is intended to be inclusive of all those who have a say in contestant selection and treatment.
2. n. the scenario that exists at or above the three-quarters break point (and below the four-fifths break point).
3. n. the "rule of thumb" that describes rational wagering for a trailing player whose score is at or above the three-quarters break point.
The three-quarters scenario is a special case of the two-thirds scenario in which a trailing player with a score at least three-quarters the score of the leading player going into Final Jeopardy! safely can, and therefore should, wager to cover a $0 bet by the leader. According to the Three-quarters Rule, the trailing player should wager between (leader's score - own score)--or, if affordable, (leader's score - own score + $1)--(venusian) and 3*(own score) - 2*(leader's score) (martian).
n. a single-clue, "sudden death" round played after Final Jeopardy! in the event of a tie during tournament play or special nontournament play, or, after show #6946, aired 2014-11-24, when a rule change went into effect (without public announcement at the time), during regular play. The first player to buzz in and provide a correct response wins the game.
Tiebreaker Rounds are only known to have appeared eleven times:
n. in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy, the scenario in which two players are tied for the lead and the third player has at least one-half their scores. This scenario is similar to the prisoner's dilemma with the exception that $0 wagers by the leaders may result in the third place player overtaking them. Thus, the leaders must both wager everything, and the third place player should bet enough to beat a leader that wagers $0.
n. especially arcane pure trivia, usually pop culture- or sports-related, often of a subject matter in which such depth of knowledge ought to be embarrassing.
example "I correctly responded that Avril Lavigne's middle name is Ramona and that she was born in Napanee, Ontario. Don't ask me how I knew that trash!"
etymology A term from quizbowl for questions discarded from packets for their absurd obscurity or appeal to a too-specific knowledge set. Such trivia material evolved into a genre of its own and has spawned tournaments such as Testing Recall About Strange Happenings.
n. a clue for which no correct response is given by any player.
n. a Daily Double for which a player wagers his or her entire score, so that a correct response will double his/her score, but an incorrect reponse will reset it to zero.
2. n. the scenario that exists at or above the two-thirds break point (and below the three-quarters break point).
3. n. the "rule of thumb" that describes rational wagering for a trailing player whose score is at or above the two-thirds break point.
In the two-thirds scenario, a trailing player with a score at least two-thirds the score of the leading player going into Final Jeopardy! should wager between $0 (venusian) and 3*(own score) - 2*(leader's score) (martian), according to the Two-thirds Rule. Wagering more than this actually lowers the trailing player's odds of winning by reducing the number of favorable outcomes in the payoff matrix from 2/4 to 1/4. An interesting side-effect of the Two-thirds Rule is that a bet to cover by the leader renders inconsequential the trailing player's Final Jeopardy! response: whether the two-thirds trailing player gets right or misses Final Jeopardy!, he or she will win if the leader misses it (presuming that a third player is not a factor).
init. wild-ass guess.
adj. characteristic of the third-place player's position in Final Jeopardy! wagering strategy when the third-place player's score is less than the difference between the first place player's score and the second-place player's score at the end of the Double Jeopardy! Round. In such a case, the 3rd-place player cannot win the game if the leading players wager rationally.
init. what else could it be?
init. you either know it or you don't.
n. during the reveal of the Final Jeopardy! Round responses and wagers, a camera shot trained on a player with a trailing score going into the round to capture that player's reaction to a surprise win.
etymology Coined by Jordan Honan after its use to show Robert Slaven's reaction to his come-from-behind win in his Ultimate Tournament of Champions Round 2 game against Eugene Finerman and Michael Dupée, after Nancy Zerg, whose reaction to her come-from-behind win against Ken Jennings (#4657, aired 2004-11-30) was the first to be captured by a camera shot trained on her immediately following the reveal of Ken's wager in his losing game. In an epilogue to a rerun of this game aired on September 10, 2009, host Alex Trebek acknowledged the fan use of the term.
The following contestants have had their come-from-behind wins captured on ZergCam: Nancy Zerg, Grace Veach, Leah Greenwald, Lara Robillard, Scott Gillispie, Robert Slaven, Frank Spangenberg, Jerome Vered, Melissa Prepster (twice), Diane Mettam, Kevin Marshall (twice), Michael Falk, Kathleen Larkey, Gigi Gilman, Vik Vaz, Jim McMurtry, Dave Singleton, Ryan Friedman, Samantha Ross, Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton, Max Zarou, Srinivas Ayyagari, Robin Woods (twice), Kristina Caffrey, Larissa Kelly, Lowell Goodman, Amy Wilson, Ryan Fox, Monica Thieu, and Zack Terrill.
Special thanks to archivists Steve McClellan and Mark Barrett for their database advice and beta testing services, respectively, in summer 2021.
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