As many of you are aware, I am a huge fan of the game show Jeopardy, in addition to being a former champion. The last time there was a major press push for Jeopardy was when they held their Ultimate Tournament of Champions, and before that was the 74-game winning streak of Ken Jennings. The call is being made again for everyone to watch on Friday night for a special, historic moment.
Jeopardy has posted a teaser clip on their website, with very little actual information, but lots of suspense. They did say that it's the first time it's ever happened, which help us do some deducing with possible and impossible scenarios.
We know that it can't be that everyone finishes with zero. This has happened three times in the syndicated version, including the second episode of season one. In addition, as much as it surprises me, there are plenty of people that go on the show with horrible wagering strategy that it wouldn't surprise me for it to happen again.
It's also very unlikely that we have the miracle game of $566,400, in which one person gets every question, hits all of the daily doubles at the end of the round, and they reside in the $200 spaces, and they wager everything on the daily doubles AND final jeopardy. Even if they got all the way to the last daily doubles in the last round - you'd have to have an extremely cocky person that would be willing to risk everything and pass up the guaranteed win, even if they have a 100% conversion rate up to this point. Is it possible? Yes - I just don't see it happening.
Now, there are two possible happenings. The first is that we have a shutout, in which only one person makes it to Final Jeopardy. This is quite plausible, Ken Jennings actually had one game in which he could have shut out both contestants - the final question, one of his opponents rang in to get out of the red. I don't think this is the big news though. Why? Jeff Ritter, senior publicist for Jeopardy, made a reference to talking to a Game Theory expert, who said that it (Friday's historic event) may never happen again. That's not the kind of thing a game theory expert would examine.
What do I think is going to happen? I think we're going to have our first three-way non-zero tie. This has never happened in the show before, and it's the kind of thing that would be easier to look at in game theory.
In any outcome, I'll be recording the episode on my Mythbox. If there's any interest, let me know and I'll see if I can either get a torrent going somewhere, or transfer the file in another manner. Enjoy!