When Arthur Chu began his reign as Jeopardy! champion, it was not without some controversy. Yes, there were rumblings amongst the die hard viewers who preferred the orderly structure of going sequentially down a category. But suddenly in comes this punk kid and his (somewhat) new-fangled way of jumping around the board that threw everything off. As has been discussed elsewhere (including right here), it was all part of Chu’s sinister plan to ferret out the Daily Doubles. But where are on the board are those oft desired Daily Doubles, usually ? Thanks to math, nerdy record-keeping, and statistical forecasting, the world now knows the answer.
FlowingData (a.k.a. Nathan Yau) has released the following chart that shows the places future contestants should focus on in their Ahab-like quest for the Daily Double. Using the fan site J! Archive (which has most clues for the first 14 seasons, and then every clue for every season after that), Yau was able to discern the placement of Daily Doubles through Jeopardy!’s 31 seasons and therefore the statistical probability of where to find them. Those interested can see the model play out by visiting the website. Once again math either helps elevate the game or sucks the fun out of it, but in either case it provides prospective Jeopardy! contestants with some tools for getting more money—assuming they can answer correctly.