What Is the Most Valuable State on Jeopardy!?

Arts, entertainment, and more.
May 9 2014 7:44 AM

What Is the Most Valuable State on Jeopardy!?

The dollar value of American locales, as determined by Alex Trebek and co.

Last week, I wrote about the fun and the pitfalls of viral maps, a feature that included 88 super-simple maps of my own creation. As a follow-up, I’m writing up short items on some of those maps, walking through how I created them and how they succumb (and hopefully overcome) the shortfalls of viral cartography.

As part of my initial story, I included this map about the game show Jeopardy!


Data source: Reddit user trexmatt via a data scrape of J! Archive. Map by Ben Blatt/Slate.

The map relies on data gathered by Reddit user trexmatt that is maintained by the fan website J! Archive. This data set includes more than 200,000 questions and answers, of which 4,790 contain a state name (not necessarily in reference to the actual state) in the answer. The frequency of appearances ranges from 306 for Washington to a mere 30 for North Dakota.


You won’t learn too much from the map above, other than the fact that contestants who answered “West Virginia” probably won more money than those who answered “Florida.” (Please note that clue values have shifted over time, so while $200 was never a top prize, it has not always been the bum amount it represents today.)

Before making the map of clue values, I tried creating a map that showed which category each state was likeliest to appear under. The result is below. But I’ll warn you that the data here is kind of crummy. One issue is the large variety of categories and how infrequently they are repeated. Georgia appears in the answer to 128 different categories—including Early America, Potpourri, and Could It Be … Satan?—of which 114 were unique. It appeared in “G”eography more than any other category, but this only happened three times.


Data source: Reddit user trexmatt via a data scrape of J! Archive. Map by Ben Blatt/Slate.

See more of Slate’s maps.


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.


It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Use Facebook to Reconnect With Old Friends, Share Photos, and Serve People With Legal Papers

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?