Jeopardy Masters 2024 Quarterfinals Recap Conclusion

David B Morris
11 min readMay 17, 2024

Summation of the Last Two Nights and Takeaways Overall

Day 5: Queen Takes Matt (Out) And Mattea Roach Wins A Game

They Desperately Needed

In Game 1 Victoria, James and Matt faced off. Matt needed a win in today’s game just to stay alive. Instead he was manhandled by both Victoria and James from start to finish of the Jeopardy round.

Victoria was already ahead with 4200 points in the Jeopardy round when she found the Daily Double in & FAR AWAY. (And yes before that category was OVER THE HILLS). She did what she has done so often recently and bet everything:

“It can mean an island far removed from others in an archipelago as well as something atypical in any group.” It took her a moment to come up with: “What is an outlier?” and double her score.

The Jeopardy round ended with Victoria already very far ahead at 13,600 points, James next with 6200 and Matt in the red at -200.

James got to the first Daily Double in Double Jeopardy on the fourth clue of the round. He wagered the 7400 points he had in I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO READ:

“Miles Halter heads to boarding school in this Young Adult novel whose title refers to a girl, not a state.” James needed a moment to come up with Looking for Alaska and he was at 14,800 points to Victoria’s 17,200

He faltered a little after that and Victoria managed to get to 20,800 points before she found the other Daily Double in IF YOU BUILD IT to his 13,200. In the most daring risk so far this tournament, Victoria wagered everything she had:

“Trained in the Georgian Style, James Hoban won a contest and the commission to build this, beginning construction in 1792.” Victoria knew it was The White House.”

She was at 41,600 points. The round wasn’t even halfway over but no one had a chance to rest of the way. When Double Jeopardy ended, James bowed in respect at Victoria’s 46,000 points to his 19,600 and Matt’s 2200.

The Final Jeopardy category was AROUND THE WORLD. “Almost twice the size of Texas but with the population of Lubbock, this part of Australia rejected statehood in a 1998 referendum.” All three players knew the correct response: “What is the Northern Territory?” (It is mostly desert.) Matt bet nothing. James bet 11,914 points to go up to 31,514 and Victoria bet 4000 to finish with an even 50,000 points. In grand style Victoria had won her fourth game of Masters and gained 3 match points. James got another one.

Mattea won when they needed too.

In Game 2 Yogesh and Amy, the winners of Monday’s games, faced off against Mattea. A win for Amy would clinch her spot in the finals. Mattea desperately needed a win to stay alive. Their luck would turn out to be better than Matt’s had been.

The Jeopardy round started off with Amy and Yogesh at their best. Yogesh got off to an early lead with 3000 points but Amy got to the Daily Double in HAVING AN IN-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE. Amy had 1600 points and decided to bet everything to try and take the lead:

“Alphabetically the brain’s main lobes are frontal, occipital, parietal and this one responsible for learning and memory.” Amy knew it was the temporal lobe and she was at 3200 points. For the first time in the entire tournament Yogesh was not at his peak in the Jeopardy round. Amy built up her lead and despite a late surge by Yogesh, she never lost it, finishing the Jeopardy round with 6600 points to Yogesh’s 5200. Mattea had 2600 at the end of it.

In Double Jeopardy Mattea picked first and found the Daily Double on the first clue in GETTING TOUGH ON THE BORDERS. Acknowledging their desperate situation, they bet everything: “Estonia’s only land borders are with Russia and this country.” They knew it was Latvia and jumped into a tie with Yogesh for second.

For much of the first half of Double Jeopardy Yogesh was dominant yet again. He had built his lead to 16,400 points when Mattea found the other Daily Double in GERMAN WORDS. At the time they had 8800 points and again they acknowledged their desperation when they bet everything:

Nietzsche’s Zarathustra says that he ist der sin der erde, “is the meaning of the Earth.”

It took Mattea a long time before they answered: ‘What is the Übermensch?” It was correct and Mattea was in the lead for the first time in the game with 17,600.

Yogesh gave another brilliant performance: 20 correct responses and only two incorrect ones to Mattea’s 14 correct ones and 1 incorrect one. But the two Daily Doubles were enough to provide Mattea with a lead that they never relinquished and at the end of Double Jeopardy Mattea was ahead for the first time at the end of a game in this year’s tournament with 20,400 points to Yogesh’s 17,200 and Amy’s 9800.

The Final Jeopardy category was a tricky one: ANAGRAMS. The clue was the toughest so far in this tournament, and it clearly baffled all three players: “One is a procedure foundational to computer science; the other was made in large part obsolete by computers.” None of them could come up with the correct response; Amy and Yogesh could barely come up with a single word. The correct response was: “What are algorithm and logarithm?” It came down to wagers.

Amy lost 7401 points to drop to 2399. Yogesh lost everything he had. Mattea lost 14,001 points. That left them with 6399, but that was enough to score a victory and three match points they desperately needed. For the first time in the tournament, Yogesh didn’t score a point in a Jeopardy game as Amy finished second.

LEADERBOARD AFTER DAY 5

Victoria Groce: 13 (Clinched Semi-Final Slot)

Yogesh Raut 10 (Clinched Semi-Final Slot)

James Holzhauer 6

Amy Schneider 5

Mattea Roach 5

Matt Amodio 1 (eliminated)

Day 6: The Deciding Game for the Last Two Slots in The Semis

Unlike last year when before the final match it had already been determined who the final four will be, the sixth and last set of quarterfinals were critical for the final two slots, considering the closeness of James, Mattea and Amy’s positions on the leaderboard at the end of Day 5

In the first game, the three men faced off. A win or a second place finish for James would clinch his spot in the semi-finals. Matt was essentially playing for some form of redemption — and in his final appearance he pretty much did so with what would be his best game of the entire quarterfinals.

He went down swinging.

He would get to the Daily Double early in the Jeopardy round in A WORD FROM THE BIBLICAL WOMAN. He bet the 1600 points he had:

“It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and thy wisdom.”

Matt thought it referred Esther to the Queen of Sheba and went to zero. He spent the rest of the Jeopardy round in third and finished with 1200 points to Yogesh’s 4200 and James’ 4800. James had made a remarkable comeback; at one point he’d been at -1800 points.

Then in Double Jeopardy Matt had his best stretch in the tournament. He got to the first Daily Double early in OUT IN THE WORLD and was at 4600 points in second place. With nothing to lose, he bet everything:

“This golden object was stolen by the Persians from India; Pahlavi Shahs used reproductions for their coronations.” Matt knew it was the Peacock throne and doubled his score to 9200 and in the lead for the first time in Double Jeopardy in this year’s Masters. He managed to hold it for much of the round helped by a streak of hot clues as well as a bunch of tough categories for all involved. Then James got to the other Daily Double in the category IN CONCEIVABLE. (Each response was made up of letters in the word ‘conceivable’. He had 6800 and though he admitted he was uncomfortable with the category (it hadn’t gone well for any of the other players to that point) he still bet everything:

“Rejoice, sinners! The Latin for ‘indolence’ or ‘grace’ gives us this adjective meaning easily pardoned.”

It took him a moment to come up with: “What is venial?” and he retook the lead with 13,600.

At the end of Double Jeopardy the scores were very close: James lead with 16,400 points, Matt was next with 12,400 and for the first time in the entire tournament, Yogesh finished Double Jeopardy in last, albeit with a respectable 10,200 points.

The Final Jeopardy category was MILITARY PEOPLE: “In April 2020 Chief Master Sergeant Roger Towberman became the first enlisted member of this.”

Yogesh’s response was revealed first. “What is the Officer’s Club?” It was wrong and he lost everything. Matt was next. His response was: “What is Space Force?” He bet everything to go to 24,800. James also wrote down: “What is Space Force?” and he had played for the win, wagering 8615. James went to 25,015, received three match points and guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals.

It was a moral victory for Matt, but nothing more. He became the first player to leave and received $50,000 for sixth place.

In Game 2 Victoria and Mattea were up against Amy. If either Amy or Mattea won, they would clinch a spot in the semi-finals. If Victoria won, second place was vital for either one.

The Jeopardy round started fairly evenly until Victoria found the Daily Double in SCIENCE FICTION. She bet the 1400 points she had:

“In novels by Dan Simmons, the planet Hyperion has a capital named for this poet who wrote an epic about the sun god Hyperion.”

She knew that it was Keats, doubled her score and went up to $2800. She maintained her lead throughout the round and finished with 7000 points to Amy’s 3800 and Mattea’s 3600.

Double Jeopardy began with Mattea finding the first Daily Double on the first clue in DOWN IN THE VALLEY. They bet everything with a chance to take the lead and the clue was filled with irony:

“This valley a bit over 100 miles from Pittsburgh gets its name from ‘one mountain’ in a Native American language.” Mattea paused a long time before guessing: “What is Susquehanna?” It was the Nittany Valley.

Mattea said after losing everything: “I needed Victoria to beam me a response. The next set of clues didn’t go well for anybody. When Victoria found the other Daily Double in PREHISTORIC CREATURES, she had 11,400 to Amy’s 4200. Mattea was still at zero.

Victoria responded: “I think based on the rest of the category I want no part of this. I’ll bet 5 points.” “Therapods ate flesh; these giants such as apatosaurus and australotitan ate plants like giraffes do.” She knew it was sauropods and gained all of five points.

Essentially Double Jeopardy ended with everything where it was at the start. Victoria locked up the game with 21,005, Amy was next with 7800 and Mattea finished with 2800. Mattea’s response for Final Jeopardy (which I’ll get to) summed it up: “What an anticlimactic end to the quarters! Congrats Amy)

I could pass over the Final altogether since none of the players bet anything but for the record, here it is:

The category was SHORT STORIES: “Down — steadily down it crept — downward with its lateral velocity. To the right — to the left” is in this 1842 tale.” No one knew the correct response: “What is The Pit and the Pendulum?” For the record Amy and Victoria both knew it was an Edgar Allan Poe story but Amy thought it was ‘The Gold Bug’ and Victoria thought it was ‘The Tell-Tale Heart?” It didn’t matter in the results. Victoria won and got 3 match points, but more importantly Amy’s second place finish broke her tie with Mattea and put her into the semi-finals as well.

Mattea had fought nobly but ended up going home in fifth place with $75,000. Last year’s second and third place finishers are the first to go home this year. One assumes we will see them in the next Jeopardy Invitational Tournament.

FINAL LEADERBOARD

Victoria Groce: 16 Match Points

Yogesh Raut: 10 Match Points

James Holzhauer: 9 Match Points

Amy Schneider: 6 Match Points

Mattea Roach 5 Match Points (Eliminated)

Matt Amodio 2 Match Points (Eliminated)

Takeaways From Quarterfinals

*Matt is the only player in this year’s Masters who got every single Final Jeopardy correct to this point and Victoria has gotten the fewest correct Final Jeopardys with two. Yet Matt is going to finish in last place and Victoria finished first.

*Yogesh played brilliantly in the first three matches of the quarterfinals and has been performing with diminishing returns in the last three. While two of his first three wins were routs, in his last two games he played increasingly poorly compared to players he had trounced in his first three matches.

*Apparently losing the first game has humbled James Holzhauer slightly or maybe because his lack of dominance in this tournament has forced him to modify his approach to Final Jeopardy. Whatever the reason ‘the final boss’ didn’t write a single joke in any of his Final Jeopardy responses in the quarterfinals. Taking Final Jeopardy seriously works for him: he managed to get four of the six correct responses, tied with Amy for second for correct Final Jeopardys. Yogesh and Mattea are next with three apiece and Victoria, as I mentioned has only gotten two correct.

*Victoria went into all six of her games and finished in first place, the same as James did in last year’s Masters (save for his second appearance) in which he was tied with Matt for the lead) Four of her victories were runaway games. However while she was taking Final Jeopardy more seriously than he was last year her luck was only slightly better than his in Final Jeopardy, she only got two correct responses. (James got none in the quarterfinals but in four of his matches he was so far ahead he wrote joke responses. He didn’t get the three he tried to answer seriously correctly.)

*Even though there was one fewer quarterfinal match then last year, here’s a comparison between three of the previous attendees in regard to Final Jeopardy in the quarterfinals then and now (excluding James):

Amy got five Final Jeopardys right in 2023 and four correct in 2024.

Matt only got two correct Final Jeopardies (he wasn’t present for one of the matches) and six this year.

Mattea got four correct responses in Final Jeopardy last year and three this year.

The major difference was that Matt and Mattea managed to win when it counted and were frequently in the lead at the end of their games. Amy was never in the lead in any of her seven matches last year.

Well we know going in were in for a different set of Masters than last year as only one of the players who made it to the semi-finals last year will be around for this one. How will the semis turn out as all four players compete in four games that will have every single possible combination of three players? Last year James, who had cruised to victory in all but one of his quarterfinals, had a much harder fight in all three matches he appeared in, even though he managed to win all three games. He’s already lost three times to Victoria and Yogesh already.

Could the self-proclaimed Final Boss not even make it to the semi-finals? And how many of the two newcomers to this year’s Masters will end up competing in the finals? At least one will. Will both Yogesh and Victoria manage it?

And can Amy complete her complicated redemption arc by making it all the way to the finals this year? She’s already redeemed herself for last year’s performance; can she make it all the way in?

We’ll start finding out tomorrow. I’ll be back on Tuesday with all the details.

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David B Morris

After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.