How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

This is where all of the games are discussed.

Moderators: alietr, econgator, dhkendall, trainman

Post Reply
User avatar
Robert K S
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 1194
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Robert K S » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:15 pm

We've had several correction suggestions submitted to the Archive pointing out that in the Wednesday, December 10, 2014 game (Show #6958, Archived, discussion thread), Mindy has been awarded 3rd place by the Archive logic while Travis has been awarded 2nd place, but their lectern displays showed the opposite, with Mindy getting $2,000 and Travis getting the $1,000 consolation. A representative submission reads:

"The script that assigns 2nd/3rd place in the event of a tie needs to be changed. The Archive has it so that if there is a tie going into FJ! it's broken by whoever most recently had the lead - which as we learned from the display on the show in this game is incorrect. The correct second tiebreaker (if the scores both going into and out of FJ! are the same) is whoever had the higher score at the end of the first (J!) round gets 2nd place (in this game Mindy and not Travis got the extra grand)."

We need some clarity on this.

Let's set the stage by noting that the issue in question is rare and only arises when (1) two players are tied both (1a) before and (1b) after Final Jeopardy!, (2) the players do not end up as co-champions, and (3) the tie between the two players would be resolved differently by different methods. The issue also is usually not important in tournament play, although it is conceivable that a 2nd vs. 3rd finish could be important between tying non-winners in a tournament quarterfinal game if they are straddling the wildcard cusp between them.

When I first wrote the prize assignment script in 2004, I took a guess--informed from what I had heard from past contestants, and probably some posts to the old Sony Board--and programmed it to resolve such ties by the "J! Round" method--i.e., by looking at who had the highest score at the end of the J! Round.

Then in 2009 I got on the show. I recognized that getting on the show was my chance to resolve many burning questions, this very question included. So I asked contestant coordinator Corina Nusu how ties were handled in this very situation. Corina told me--although admittedly without referring to any written documentation first--that ties were resolved by rewinding the game clue-by-clue until there is no tie.

After I came home from my taping, I modified the prize assignment logic with this new information.

This leaves us with several options:

(1) Wednesday's lectern displays were just a mistake, and the prizes were actually awarded a different way (can anyone contact those contestants to check)?
(2) Wednesday's displays were correct, but the rules have changed since Corina gave me the information that informed the Archive logic (if so, when)?
(3) Wednesday's lectern displays were correct, and the rules for awarding the runner-up statuses have never changed, but Corina gave me wrong information.

Games in which two players are tied both before and after Final Jeopardy! and do not end up as co-champions are rarer than one would expect, given that the traditional optimum wagering advice for two tied players is to wager all or nothing but never anything in between. I think the last time this happened was back in Season 17, in Kevin Keach game 4. Even in that game, Jeremy would win over Dan for 2nd place by either computation method. The time before that was in Season 13, when returning champ Michael Collin (a piano salesman from Barrington, Illinois) and Rokshana Thanadar (a graduate student from Suffolk, Virginia) were only tied because they both rang in on the last clue of the DJ! Round with opposite results. By the "rewind clue-by-clue" computation method, Michael goes home with the Mexico vacation instead of the lousy pile of CDs, but by the "look at the end-of-J!-Round scores" method, the two are STILL tied!--and we're left to require yet another resolution rule. (Do we then rewind the J! Round to break the tie? Or do we go back and rewind the DJ! Round to break the tie?) It would be nice to be able to contact those players and find out which prize they got, and if there was any tousle or disagreement. Or maybe they both got trips. Another time it happened was in Show #3190, but that was a triple loss, leaving it further unclear who was distributed what prize. (There are no other instances in the Archive, but, of course, Archive records are far from complete.)

To those who are about to tape: it would be very kind if you could ask about this and get some sort of firm answer. It is, of course, a rare event, but it would be nice to get this one pinned down.

User avatar
lieph82
Watches Jeopardy! Way Too Much
Posts: 1053
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:48 am

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by lieph82 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:27 pm

I don't know any more than you do, but I know I've read in multiple places that these ties are resolved by assigning 2nd place to whoever had the lead after the J! round, and then if that's still a tie, whoever had the lead after the first commercial break.

User avatar
Winchell Factor
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 510
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Winchell Factor » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:33 pm

Robert, I just did tape on 11/11/14. Maggie addressed this question in the briefing for contestants in the green room. According to Maggie, who obviously was speaking to us after this episode had taped, in case of a tie for second, the second place prize money goes to the player who was leading heading into Final Jeopardy (i.e., at the end of Double J). If the two players were tied going into FJ, then the second place prize money is awarded to the player who was leading going into DJ (i.e., at the end of the J round). If the two players were tied after both J & DJ, according to Maggie, there's a rule for that, but she couldn't remember what it was, and didn't really anticipate ever needing it.

User avatar
gnash
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 1352
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:24 am

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by gnash » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:59 pm

Robert, I was told the same thing you were told. So it appears that the rule has changed sometime in the last 5 years.

User avatar
econgator
Let's Go Mets!
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:32 am

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by econgator » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:08 pm

Winchell Factor wrote:If the two players were tied after both J & DJ, according to Maggie, there's a rule for that, but she couldn't remember what it was, and didn't really anticipate ever needing it.
If that happens, they just give Ohio State the money.

darlingt
Just Starting Out on JBoard
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:37 pm

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by darlingt » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:42 pm

Hi there. Travis Darling, one of the contestants in question here. This was specifically addressed by Maggie in the green room prior to our taping, and introduced to us as a new rule that went into effect this season (31). We were told that in the event of a tie at the end of the show, the contestants would be ranked according to who had the lead at the end of the DJ! round. In the event that both players were tied at the end of the DJ! round (as happened to me and Mindy), the contestants would be ranked according to who had the lead at the end of the J! round. Since that was Mindy, she took second place and I took third; the podia were correct and the archive is wrong.

User avatar
Robert K S
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 1194
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Robert K S » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:19 pm

darlingt wrote:...and introduced to us as a new rule that went into effect this season (31).
Thanks for chiming in! Can you clarify which rule was new to Season 31?

darlingt
Just Starting Out on JBoard
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:37 pm

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by darlingt » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:41 pm

Robert K S wrote:
darlingt wrote:...and introduced to us as a new rule that went into effect this season (31).
Thanks for chiming in! Can you clarify which rule was new to Season 31?
Unfortunately not. The wording was something along the lines of "these are the new rules for this season regarding tiebreakers: [infodump]" I don't recall Maggie or any of the other contestant coordinators saying what the old rules were.

User avatar
Robert K S
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 1194
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Robert K S » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:46 am

Maybe the only new part of the rule was that ties between winners would be resolved with tiebreaker rounds, rather than by awarding co-championships? Do you recall Maggie mentioning that? BTW, congrats on your appearance!

User avatar
Winchell Factor
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 510
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Winchell Factor » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:16 pm

I'm not Travis, of course, but I don't, Robert. My recollection matches Travis' description: an announcement of a new rule that there would be no more ties on J!, followed by an explanation of how ties for 1st would be broken, and then an explanation of how ties for 2nd would be broken.

User avatar
gnash
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 1352
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:24 am

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by gnash » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:23 pm

The tiebreaker for first went in effect mid-season, didn't it? That would make it doubtful that it was the only part new "for this season".

User avatar
Winchell Factor
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 510
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Winchell Factor » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:33 pm

The "no ties for first" rule clearly went into effect mid-season, gnash. Season 31 started with an unusually large number of ties.

I have no clue about the rules on ties for second, though. Plenty of speculation without any real foundation, but no actual knowledge.

User avatar
Robert K S
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 1194
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Robert K S » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:25 am

Rokshana just responded to the Facebook message I sent three years ago: "I got the Mexico vacation...I think we both did." ARGH--because at present the Archive logic assigns her the CDs, and losing champ Michael the vacation. She was in the extremely rare situation where nonwinning players were tied before and after Final, and at the end of both other rounds. (I think this might be the only instance of this happenstance in the Archive.) Making it weirder, Michael would win the trip by all three of the "rewind J! Round", the "rewind DJ! Round", and the "after first break" resolution methods. So there's absolutely no reason to stiff him with the CDs other than a coin toss. At least we can say pretty definitively that the "look to the score after the first break" resolution method proposed upthread is bunk.

GoodStrategy
Loyal Jeopardista
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:59 pm

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by GoodStrategy » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:08 am

With this thread now revived, I thought I'd ask about how a tie between the runners-up would be broken at the end of a two-day final. AFAIK it's happened only once - in the 1992 College Championship. The Archive assigns the 1st-runner-up title to Stephanie (who had both the higher first-day total and the higher total going into the second FJ! over Nick, the other runner-up); however in this game it's only a matter of semantics because both runners-up were over the minimum guarantee for 2nd place and thus won their totals. In a modern tournament it'd be much more likely to have relevance with the higher minimum guarantees now in place ($50K/$100K in the ToC, $25K/$50K for the "lesser tournaments").

I've asked about this before (I believe back on the old Sony forum) and no one appeared to be sure.

User avatar
Robert K S
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 1194
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Robert K S » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:24 am

Robert K S wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:25 am
Rokshana just responded to the Facebook message I sent three years ago: "I got the Mexico vacation...I think we both did." ARGH--because at present the Archive logic assigns her the CDs, and losing champ Michael the vacation. She was in the extremely rare situation where nonwinning players were tied before and after Final, and at the end of both other rounds. (I think this might be the only instance of this happenstance in the Archive.) Making it weirder, Michael would win the trip by all three of the "rewind J! Round", the "rewind DJ! Round", and the "after first break" resolution methods. So there's absolutely no reason to stiff him with the CDs other than a coin toss. At least we can say pretty definitively that the "look to the score after the first break" resolution method proposed upthread is bunk.
And now I've heard back from Michael, who confirmed they both received the Mexico trip.

Bob78164
Jeopardy! Champion
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:52 pm

Re: How are ties resolved for 2nd vs. 3rd?

Post by Bob78164 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:25 pm

darlingt wrote:
Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:42 pm
Hi there. Travis Darling, one of the contestants in question here. This was specifically addressed by Maggie in the green room prior to our taping, and introduced to us as a new rule that went into effect this season (31). We were told that in the event of a tie at the end of the show, the contestants would be ranked according to who had the lead at the end of the DJ! round. In the event that both players were tied at the end of the DJ! round (as happened to me and Mindy), the contestants would be ranked according to who had the lead at the end of the J! round. Since that was Mindy, she took second place and I took third; the podia were correct and the archive is wrong.
This is what we were told in the Green Room when I taped in 2004. --Bob

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acthomas, bapedDep, Bing [Bot], clprez, dinghammer, econgator, ElendilPickle, mujason, ouachiouat, Raffles and 11 guests