Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

I'll take 'The End of Men' for 800, Alex

Jeopardy contestant Julia Collins is making news for being the most successful woman in the game's history, at nine wins and counting before Monday night. Only three players have won more: Arthur Chu, who had 11 wins this year; Dave Madden, who won 19 games in 2005; and, of course, Ken Jennings, the current record holder with his 74-game win streak in 2004.

How have women fared compared with men in the game's history overall? Is there a gender pay gap in Jeopardy winnings similar to the pay gap seen in the workforce?

For answers I turned to j-archive.com, a "Jeopardy" fan site that maintains records of nearly every episode that's aired in the Alex Trebek era of the show. I scraped the site for the winners and winnings of each show for the past 10 years. I ran the names through genderize.io to determine the likely gender of each winner. After tossing out records with names showing a gender certainty of less than 85 percent, and records that the scraper couldn't parse due to irregularities on the j-archive site, I ended up with a sample of a little over 1,800 Jeopardy matches. The conclusion: Women are winning more often than they used to.

In 2004, 14 percent of Jeopardy winners were female. But so far this year, women are winning more than 50 percent of the time. Aside from Collins, contestants Sandie Baker and Sarah McNitt have also gone on five-plus game winning streaks this season.

The historical disparity between male and female win frequencies can partially be explained by the fact that women are less likely to appear on Jeopardy in general. Only 40 percent of contestants are female, according to a recent Slate analysis.

There's also been some speculation that Jeopardy questions are biased toward men. Seven out of nine of the show's writers are male, as are four of the five researchers.

The yearly percentages do jump around quite a bit. Last year, for instance, women won only 23 percent of the time. But overall the numbers are trending upward. It will be interesting to see whether the strong showing by women in the first half of this season will continue. No pressure, Julia.

The statistics also show that, this year, female Jeopardy champions are winning 89 cents on the dollar compared to men. This gender pay gap — measured in terms of average winnings per game — is slightly smaller than the gap in the general labor force, where women earn 84 cents on the male dollar, according to Pew Research Center estimates.

In recent years the Jeopardy gap has been as small as a few cents, and in 2012 women and men achieved complete pay parity. The gap has narrowed quite a bit in the past decade. In 2004, women earned only 58 cents on the male dollar. But Jennings is at least partly responsible for the 2004 gap: Men's earnings were especially high then, mostly because Jennings had 11 $50,000-plus games that year.

Roger Craig's average winnings per game of $38,367 is still the highest among champions who have won more than five games in their career. Larissa Kelly has the second-highest average earnings, at $37,100. Collins is in the bottom-middle of the champion pack on that measure with her average of about $21,000 per game.

Overall, Jeopardy is becoming a more equal playing field between men and women. As girls continue to outperform boys in school, and women continue to graduate from college at higher rates than men, I'd expect this trend to continue in the coming years. If we are headed for the end of men in the economy overall, don't be surprised to see this reflected in your favorite game show, as well.

Comments
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA — Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didn’t start to come together six years ag...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
USF wins doubleheader to stay alive in AAC tourney

USF wins doubleheader to stay alive in AAC tourney

Its American Athletic Conference tournament hopes flat-lining, USF's baseball team has spent the past 30 or so hours reviving itself with plain ol' CPR.Clutch Pitching and Resolve.Needing back-to-back wins on a humid Clearwater day to remain alive, t...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
One day after fatal accident, Tampa moves to lower speed limit on Bayshore Blvd

One day after fatal accident, Tampa moves to lower speed limit on Bayshore Blvd

TAMPA — Tampa officials said Thursday they are reducing the speed limit on Bayshore Boulevard, one day after a mother was struck and killed by a speeding car while pushing her 21-month-old daughter across the city’s signature street.Starting Friday, ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
A white supremacist killed her twin. Why did she forgive him?

A white supremacist killed her twin. Why did she forgive him?

As a fifth-grader, Aleesha Mance wrote an essay about her sister’s killer, explaining how peer pressure and drugs led the 17-year-old to make a deadly choice. In high school, she searched for his name online. She read news articles about a tee...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman who was raped as a teenager is awarded $1 billion in damages

Woman who was raped as a teenager is awarded $1 billion in damages

Hope Cheston was 14 when, outside a friend’s birthday party in October 2012 in Jonesboro, Georgia, an armed security guard at an apartment complex raped her on a picnic table.For years, she thought she’d be forgotten like countless other sexual assau...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NOAA: Scientists predict 10 to 16 named storms this hurricane season

NOAA: Scientists predict 10 to 16 named storms this hurricane season

Scientists are in consensus: The 2018 hurricane season could be an active one.On Thursday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its 2018 Atlantic hurricane seasonal outlook. It’s calling for between 10 and 16 named storms, five...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Regardless of the reason, the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit to address Pyonyang’s nuclear program is hardly the worst possible outcome of this high-stakes diplomatic gamble. President Donald Trump was unprepared, North Korea’s Kim Jong ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rivals: Only four cities produce more blue-chip recruits than Tampa

Rivals: Only four cities produce more blue-chip recruits than Tampa

Only four cities in the country have produced more four- or five-star prospects in the Rivals era than Tampa.That's according to a little number-crunching from Rivals' Mike Farrell.Tampa has produced 48 blue-chip prospects since the site began in 200...
Updated: 1 hour ago