As any regular viewer of Jeopardy! can tell you, the average game usually isn‘t complete without at least one instance of leaning forward, shouting “Bet more, you dummy!” at the screen, and then turning to whomever you’re watching the show with after the contestant gets it right and smugly reminding them, “I told them to bet more.” Now, there’s a trove of data to back up your suspicion that women on the show almost never bet enough compared to their male counterparts. A new study commissioned by Casino.org looks at the past 33 seasons of the show (starting when Alex Trebek began the latest reboot of the series in 1984) and breaks down the ratio of correctly answered questions, which dollar values are toughest to win, the toughest categories, and more. But leading the data points is the gender gap in wagers: Despite nearly identical percentages of correctly answered questions, women wager less money and a significantly smaller ratio of their score in Final Jeopardy, leading to final scores in which women trail men by close to half the average winnings, $8,333 to $13,955.
But there are other unexpected tidbits of information nestled among the number crunching. For instance, while sports in all its varieties appears often enough, it’s actually the most common category, just edging out “Potpourri” to take the top spot. (Weirdly, “U.S. Cities” actually comes in below “Transportation” in terms of frequency, even though it never feels like that when you’re going insane trying to remember the most populous town in Montana.) And the toughest categories are “The Nobel Prize,” “Vice Presidents,” and “Africa,” all tied for getting 0.5 correct responses for every 1 wrong answer.
Also, your profession provides a decent indicator of how much money you’ll net yourself, relative to other jobs. The biggest earners are actually administrative assistants, followed closely by software engineers and students. Last place? Doctors, which goes some small way toward making the rest of us feel better about deciding against med school. You can peruse all the findings here, though none of it will affirm your sneaking suspicion that you could beat all those jerks if someone would just give you half a chance already, you wouldn’t be distracted by the cameras and studio audience or blank out under the pressure, honest.