1.The show was originally pitched with the title What's the Question? because of its unique formatting. However, when a network executive claimed there weren't enough "jeopardies" in the program, the name was changed.
2.Jeopardy first aired in 1964 with Art Fleming as the host.
3.Alex Trebek took over hosting duties when the daily syndicated version of the show debuted in 1984.
4.Both Jeopardy hosts died from pancreatic cancer. Fleming died from the disease in 1995 and Trebek died in 2020, nearly two years after he announced his stage 4 diagnosis.
5.The creator of Jeopardy, Merv Griffin, also created Wheel of Fortune.
6.Griffin also composed the Jeopardy theme music, titled "Think." He created the 30-second jingle in less than a minute as a lullaby to help his 5-year-old son fall asleep. Griffin told the New York Times he made anywhere from $70 million to $80 million from the tune!
7.Griffin died in 2007, and his tombstone reads, "I will not be right back after this message," a funny nod to his legendary game show history.
8.Trebek and Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak swapped hosting duties on their shows for April Fools' Day in 1997.
You can watch the full episode of Sajak hosting Jeopardy here:
And watch Trebek's full episode of Wheel of Fortune here:
9.Thousands apply every year to appear on the show, but only 400 people are chosen. With a 0.4% acceptance rate, it's easier to get accepted into an Ivy League school than to land a spot on the Jeopardy stage.
10.Each player films a "hometown howdy." These bite-size introductory videos air on local affiliate stations to promote the contestant's upcoming appearance.
12.Contestants and game boards are chosen at random to ensure there is no cheating.
13.Trebek rarely missed a beat, likely because he spent an hour and a half reading show scripts and mastering pronunciations before the show.
14.During commercial breaks, Trebek would answer questions from the audience, since he was not permitted to interact with the players.
15.Contestants never knew which of their personal stories Trebek would highlight during the episode.
16.Players are instructed to arrive at the studio with three outfits because the returning champion will be required to change before filming more games.
17.If you buzz too early, the game will lock you out for multiple seconds. Ken Jennings told Cracked the game is more about reflexes than speed because each contestant needs to wait for the question to be finished before jumping in with an answer.
18.The show prohibits contestants from bidding $69, because of its sexual connotations; $666, for its satanic meaning; and $14, $88, and $1,488 because of their white supremacist associations.
19.Fans can blame the pen and tablet behind each podium for the bad handwriting, which flashes onscreen during Final Jeopardy.
20.James Holzhauer holds the record for the highest single-game score recorded in Jeopardy history, winning $131,127.
21.And Patrick Pearce holds the record for the lowest single-game score of -$7,400.
22.Regardless of their score, losing contestants don’t ever owe money to the show. In fact, the second-place winner walks away with $2,000, and the third-place winner earns $1,000 for participating.
23.The show has earned four Guinness World Records: Announcer John Gilbert holds the record for the longest career as a game show announcer for a single show, Trebek has the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter, and the series has the most Emmy Award wins of any game show, in addition to holding the record for the longest-running quiz show of all time.
25.The Clue Crew, established in 2001, travels to locations around the world in order to provide exclusive visuals for entire categories or individual clues. Sarah Whitcomb Foss and Jimmy McGuire have recorded clues in 300 cities and 46 countries and on all seven continents.
26.And finally, there are eight writers for the show who produce 230 games a season. For those keeping score at home, that's 14,030 clues!
Share This Article
TV and Movies
Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.