Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Jeopardy! jeopardised

This is fun!

I picked this up this nugget from Ed Surge. It’s amazing what ingenuity people go to in order to get something. And this seems like it paid off nicely!

You can read part of the story here.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Episode 912: How Uncle Jamie Broke Jeopardy[/perfectpullquote]

Well, the story is as follows. James Holzhauer, a professional gambler has come up with a system to win the American quiz show Jeopardy! Not just win, but earn himself more than $2.4 million from winning 32 games in a row.

Well, he met his match from another contestant Emma Boettcher, a librarian from the University of Chicago,  who’d researched the difficulty of questions on Jeopardy! based on using a computer to examine a large number of these and their answers.

Guess what?

She won! She beat Holzauer at his own game, as it were, and earned herself over forty six thousand dollars from her research. What might have been a piece of interesting research useful in setting tests turned out to be a real money spinner.

Her analysis identified several easy to remember variables from the show’s questions, such as the length of the question, whether it has any audio visual media and the question’s noun and verb phrases, have a strong relationship to its difficulty.

So there you go. Next time down at the pub you too can win.

But on a more serious note, it goes to show, as Tim keeps pointing out, that given the right incentives, people will find a way to game any system.

So is Jeopardy! Broke? No. Great publicity for the show. Now they’ll reverse engineer questions using the above insights to make it hard to use the system.

But wait! Someone is bound to get around to cracking the new code. It’s just how people work.



Visit Tony’s fiction writing website by clicking here. And then go buy his latest e-book on Amazon, The Sorcerer’s Lackey.

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