Final Jeopardy: American Scientists

The Final Jeopardy question (5/30/2013) in the category “American Scientists” was:

In 1920, the N.Y. Times said he lacks the “knowledge ladled out daily in high schools”; on July 17, 1969, the paper apologized.

New champ Sam Hopkins defeated a 4x champ yesterday and won $19,201. Today he takes on these two players: Katrina Whitehead from Sandston, VA; and Les Chun from San Francisco, CA.

Sam found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “In the Capital City.” He was in second place with $1,800, $1,000 behind Les in the lead. He made it a true Daily Double and he was RIGHT.

Nov. 7, 1867: the future Marie Curie is born. show

Les finished in the lead with $5,800. Sam was second with $5,400 and Katrina was last with $2,800.

Sam found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “The Colombia Encyclopedia.” He was in the lead now with $8,600, $2,800 more than Les in second place. He bet $4,000 and he was RIGHT.

Under “E”: many Spanish explorers came to Colombia searching for this fabled City of Gold. show

Les found the last Daily Double in “Alphabetically First.” He was in second place with $15,000, $1,600 behind Sam’s lead. He bet $5,000 and it did give him a bit of a pause, but he was RIGHT.

Of the First Ladies’ first names. show

Les finished in the lead with $20,400. Sam was next with $19,000 and Katrina was in third place with $10,400.

NONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


“Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. A physicist of great insight, Goddard also had a unique genius for invention… By 1926, Goddard had constructed and successfully tested the first rocket using liquid fuel. Indeed, the flight of Goddard’s rocket on March 16, 1926, at Auburn, Mass., was as significant to history as that of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk. (NASA: Goddard Bio)

You can see the apology here: NY Times to NASA

Katrina wrote down “Scopes.” She lost her $10,100 bet and finished with $300.

Sam thought it was  “Kennedy.” He lost $6,600, finishing with $12,400.

Les wrote down “Oppenheimer.”  He bet $17,601 and that brought him down to $2,799.

So Sam was able to snag a second win by virtue of a modest wager. His 2-day total is $31,601.

How they pick these FJ! questions is certainly baffling. They are either ridiculously easy or incredibly hard.

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3 Responses

  1. VJ says:

    @aaaa – Interesting! I sometimes wonder if they recycle clues because sometimes the material seems awfully familiar. :-)

  2. aaaa says:

    That FJ! was essentially the same clue on the 9/8/1992 episode. Two of the three players got it right then.