# How much is a perfect Jeopardy! score?

### How much is a perfect Jeopardy! score?

Some sports and games have a notion of a "perfect score."  For example, a perfect score in bowling is 300 (twelve consecutive strikes;) a perfect score in golf would be 18 (18 holes-in-one.)

After watching Watson destroy Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter I began to wonder what a perfect score in Jeopardy! would be.

Assumptions:

• The player knows (or can guess) all the correct questions for the given answers.
• The player can consistently beat the other players to the buzzer.
• The player knows (or can guess) where all three Daily Doubles are.
• The Daily Double in the Jeopardy! round happens to be on a \$200 clue.
• The two Daily Doubles in the Double Jeopardy! round both happen to be on \$400 clues.
• The player is willing to "bet it all" at all four opportunities (the three Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy!).

Jeopardy! has three rounds:

1. The Jeopardy! round
The player starts this round with \$0.
There are six categories with five clues each: \$200, 400, 600, 800, 1000.  That's \$3000 for each category for a nominal total of \$18,000.
But wait - one of those clues is a Daily Double!  For maximum value we're assuming it's a \$200 clue.
The player gets all the normal clues correct and amasses \$17,800.
The player then "makes it a true daily double", gets it right, and doubles their total to \$35,600.
2. The Double Jeopardy! round
The player starts this round with \$35,600.  Again, there are six categories with five clues each.  But this time the values are \$400, 800, 1200, 1600, and \$2000.
That's \$6000 for each category for a nominal total of \$36,000.
But wait - two of those clues are Daily Doubles!  For maximum value we're assuming they're both \$400 clues.
The player gets all the normal clues correct and amasses an additional \$35,200.  They now have \$70,800.
The player then selects the first of the two Daily Doubles for this round, "makes it a true daily double", gets it right, and doubles their total to \$141,600.  (Jeopardy!, unlike some game shows, does not materialize winnings at the end of a round; there's just a single running total for each player throughout the episode.)
The player then selects the last Daily Double, "makes it a true daily double", gets it right, and doubles their total to \$283,200.
3. Final Jeopardy!
The player starts this round with \$283,200.
The player looks at the category, bets everything, looks at the answer, writes down the correct question, and doubles their total to \$566,400.

Conclusion: A perfect score for a single episode of Jeopardy! is \$566,400.

The actual record appears to be Roger Craig's win of \$77,000 on September 14 2010.

• Post
• Nicely done

• impressive..

• You've got one false assumption:

Assumption (3): It doesn't matter whether Player X knows where the Daily Double(s) is/are, which in theory Player X wouldn't. Even though most players go sequentially on a given topic, each player can choose any question on the 6x5 board. It's only necessary that Player X finds the Daily Double(s) last while clearing each board.

Your assumptions can thus be condensed:

1) Player X always hits the button first and answers the question correctly.

2) Player X happens to choose the Daily Double(s) last on the board.

3) The Daily Double(s) is/are always on the lowest payout row.

4) Player X always bets max when (s)he can.

Yes, the differences are subtle, but they evidently make a difference since possible cheating is no longer paramount.

Best of luck,

John

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