Final Jeopardy: The Civil War

The Final Jeopardy question (5/17/2013) in the category “The Civil War” was:

The last of the southern states to secede from the Union, it borders six of them.

Now we really are down to the nitty gritty, and it’s the last match of the 2013 Jeopardy! College Tournament. Jim Coury won $8,600 in yesterday’s match; Trevor Walker won $11,000; and Kristen Jolley won $10,000. Those amounts will be added to what the three finalists win today to determine the winners of $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000.

Jim found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “The Work of the Clinton Foundation,” with clues read by former President, Bill Clinton. He was in the lead with $5,400, $1,800 more than Kristen in second place. He made one of his bold moves with a true Daily Double and he was RIGHT.

We’ve supplied affordable fertilizer and better quality seed to local farmers, improving crops yields and crop prices to help this country emerge from the civil war & genocide of the 1990s. show

Jim finished in the lead with $10,800. Kristen was second with $3,600 and Trevor was last with $3,000.

Jim found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “Science Fiction.” He had the lead with $15,600, $8,600 more than Trevor in second place. He bet $5,000 and thought it was “I, Robot.” That was WRONG.

This 1954 Richard Matheson novel has inspired such films as “The Last Man on Earth” & a 2007 Will Smith movie. show

Kristen found the last Daily Double in “Biblical Geography.” She was now in second place with $7,600, $3,000 less than Jim’s lead. She bet $3,000, and thought it was Galilee. That was WRONG.

When conquered in 586 B.C., the Jewish people were resettled along the Khabur River, hundreds of miles from their home, hence the verse, “By the rivers of” this place, “we wept when we remembered Zion.” show

Jim finished in the lead with $14,200. Kristen was next with $8,600 and Trevor was in third place with $8,200.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


None of the 11 states that seceded from the Union did so on the same day. Seven states (S. Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas) seceded (in that order) before the official start of the Civil War (4/12/1861). After the war began, Virginia seceded on 4/17/1861. Arkansas followed suit on 5/6/1861. The last two states to secede were North Carolina (5/20/1861) and Tennessee (6/8/1861). That info is found here.

The second part of the clue was very important as well: Tennessee is actually bordered by 8 states: Kentucky and Virginia (north); Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi (south); North Carolina (east); and Arkansas and Missouri (west), but only 6 of its neighboring states seceded from the Union. Georgia and Mississippi come closest to Tennessee’s total, each bordering 5 of the Confederate states.

Trevor wrote down “North Carolin,” running out of time before he could put in the final a. It was wrong anyhow. He lost $3,601, finishing with $4,599 today. Adding his $11,000 from yesterday brought him up to $15,599.

Kristen picked “Georgia.” That cost her $4,199, She finished today with $4,401. Adding in her $10,000 from yesterday, her 2-day total came to $14,401.

Jim got it right and bet $11,789. He won this match with $25,989. His $8,600 from yesterday brought him up to $34,589, and made him the champ and $100,000 richer.

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2 Responses

  1. VJ says:

    Here is something that I didn’t know yesterday — some sources actually consider North Carolina to be the last state to secede. Why the secession dates vary is explained here. Jeopardy! was going by the ratification dates. Obviously, North Carolina doesn’t fit the second part of the clue, but it still would have been better if the clue had read “One of the last southern states to secede.”

  2. john blahuta says:

    unusual high bet by jim. the highest anyone of his opponents could go was trevor:8.200×2=16.400 + 11.000=27.400.
    Kristen:8.600 x2 = 17.200 + 10.000=27.200

    jim had 8.600 from yesterday, + 14.200 from today = 22.800. so he needed to bet only 4.601 in order to win (provided he was right. if he would have been wrong it would have been a moot point.)
    I still wonder , if they give contestants calculators before they place their fj bet..??