Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Explain this Scenario in Jeapardy and some more thoughts

In the last post I had the following scenario:

Larry, Moe, and Curly are on Jeopardy.

Going into Final Jeopardy:

Larry has $50,000, Moe has $10,000, Curly has $10,000

Larry bets $29,999, Moe bets $10,000, Curly bets $10,000

These bets are ALL RATIONAL and ALL MATTER independent of what the category is. For example, these bets make sense whether the category is THE THREE STOOGES or CIRCUIT LOWER BOUNDS.

Explain why this is.

EXPLANATION: You were probably thinking of ordinary Jeopardy where the winner gets whatever he gets, and the losers take-home is based ONLY on their rank (2000 for second place, 1000 for first place). Hence Larry's bet seems risky since he may lose 29,999 and Moe and Curly's bets seem irrelevant (or barely relelvent- they both want to finish in second)

BUT- these are Larry, Moe, Curly, The Three Stooges. This is CELEBRITY JEOPARDY! The rules for money are different. First place gets MAX of what he wins, and 50,000. So Larry has NOTHING TO LOSE by betting 29,999.  Second and Third place BOTH get MAX of what they win and 10,000. So Moe and Curly have NOTHING TO LOSE by betting 10,000. (I suspect they do this because the money goes to a charity chosen by the celebrity).

SIDE NOTE: I saw Celebrity Jeopardy and wanted to verify the above before posting. So I looked on the web for the rules for Celebrity Jeopardy. THEY WERE NO WHERE TO BE FOUND! A friend of mine finally found a very brief you-tube clip of Penn Jillette wining  Celeb Jeopardy and a VERY BRIEF look at the final scores and how much money everyone actually got. Thats how I verified what I thought were the rules for celebrity jeopardy.

IF I am looking up a theorem in Recursive Ramsey theory and can't find it on the web I am NOT surprised at all since that would be somewhat obscure (9 times out of 10 when I look up something in Ramsey Theory it points to one of the Ramsey Theory Websites that I maintain. Usually is there!). But the rules for final Jeopardy -- I would think that is not so obscure. Rather surprised it was not on the web.


  1. Maybe a warning would be welcome next time that your puzzle uses special rules for Jeopardy and non-americans should not waste their time on it.

  2. In Celebrity Jeopardy, it might be correct for Larry to bet it all, especially if the three of them all chose the same charity. It's clearly not correct for Larry to be less than 29,999, but it might well be correct to bet more, especially in the category THE THREE STOOGES.

    1. I've seen cases where the category title is rather far from the question so you might think you know it really well but you don't. I think I saw this:

      Category: Sports

      Question: How many sticks are in a pick-up-sticks set?

      Who would ask that? A bunch of wiseguys, eh?

    2. Air and Space Museum quiz question about the space program: "How much was the most expensive individual tile on the Space Shuttle?"