Jeopardy! Perfect Game

UPDATE: I got my numbers wrong.  I didn’t remember to “carry the one” so to speak.  Thankfully commenter Andy Saunders (who hangs with Ken Jennings!) stopped by to correct the numbers and answer my final Jeopardy question.

Here’s my nerdy trivia for the day.

I just figured out what the maximum dollar amount one could win playing Jeopardy!

It’s $352,800 $566,400 in one game.

The first round can max at $35,600 but it has to work like this:

  • One person gets every question right, no one else gets anything correct
  • The Daily Double in the first round has to be under one of the $200 clues and found last
  • The contestant wagers everything on the Daily Double

The second round (Double Jeopardy) is a little trickier, but it can max at $140,800 if it goes like this:

  • One person gets every question right, no one else gets anything correct
  • The two Daily Doubles in the second round have to be under two of the $400 clues and found as the last two clues
  • The contestant wagers everything on each Daily Double

If this “perfect game” were to happen, there would only be one person playing Final Jeopardy and they would have $176,400 $283,200. If that contestant wagered everything and got it correct they would finish with $352,800 $566,400.

Only trouble with this scenario is I’m not sure if they would allow only one person to play Final Jeopardy alone or not.

PS> In case you were wondering, the record for highest one-day total is $75,000 by Ken Jennings.

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  • Watch *me* on Jeopardy!, Wednesday night! Really.

  • Actually, it’s even higher than that.

    For the first round, your calculations are correct.

    However, remember that the player starts the second round with money earned in the first. Therefore, when they reach the two Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy!, they will have $35,200 + $35,600 = $70,800. Double that twice and you’ll have $283,200 going into Final Jeopardy! — double it again in Final for $566,400.

    Also, to answer your other question: Final Jeopardy! can take place with only one player. One example of this taking place is at

    Andy Saunders

  • rob

    @Andy Saunders : d’oh! I knew I’d mess it up. I was so concentrating on figuring out how to get Double Jeopardy figured out I forgot to add in the first round. I’ll correct it in the post. Thanks.

    And thanks for the link to my question. Crazy.

    Oh, and nice choice on your blog template. 😉

  • Rob, what Andy did not mention is that Daily Doubles rarely show up under the $200 clue. For example, here are the statistics for the last season from the aforementioned volunteer-compiled Jeopardy! Archive:

  • rob

    @Jack : yes, it is rare for a dd to be under the smallest money clue. but for the max scenario, it has to be.

  • So if I ever go on Jeopardy and the clue is “$566,400” under the category “PERFECT”. I will know to answer “What is…”.

  • rob

    @Tim Wilson : we watched you tonight. good game!

  • Thanks, Rob. It was a total blast! I’d recommend that anyone who’s interested at least try.

  • Pingback: Gilligan on Data by Tim Wilson » Being Tim Wilson: Data Management, 2,142.7, and My Gilligan Moniker()

  • Haley Hymers

    I feel like this could be incorrect because can't the Daily Doubles be under the highest possible amount, the $1000 slot?