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Behind-The-Scenes Facts And Stories About 'Jeopardy!'

Updated November 9, 2020 11.2k votes 1.3k voters 104.3k views22 items

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Category: Behind the scenes of Jeopardy! for $200.

As one of the most successful quiz shows in history, Jeopardy! relies on a steady stream of trivia enthusiasts to come to Los Angeles and compete in front of a studio audience.

But how does Jeopardy! work behind the scenes? Where do Jeopardy! contestants stay? And what are Jeopardy! audience rules? The show has certain systems, traditions, and regulations in place to ensure that the game is fair and fun for contestants and audience members alike. From Alex Trebek's work routine to the show's intense audition process, Jeopardy! behind-the-scenes facts and stories pull back the curtain to reveal the surprising inner workings of the popular show.

  • 5

    The Initial Test To Qualify For 'Jeopardy!' Is Online, And You Never Learn Your Score

    The long process of auditioning to appear as a contestant on Jeopardy! begins with an online test. This test determines if a person has the appropriate knowledge to compete on the show. Jeopardy! advises that the 50-question test takes around 15-20 minutes to complete.

    Once a potential contestant finishes the exam, the system does not reveal the final score.

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  • 6

    Contestants Make 'Hometown Howdy' Promo Videos To Air On Their Local Stations

    Part of Jeopardy!'s charm is that it pulls contestants from across the country to come together and compete on a quiz show. 

    On a taping day, all contestants film a brief "hometown howdy" video. These videos are distributed to the station that covers the contestant's hometown viewing area for promotional purposes. 

    When contestants first arrive at the studio, they have time to rehearse their segment before being filmed.

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  • 7

    Contestants Are Told To Bring Three Outfits To Wear

    Jeopardy! films five shows in a single day. This means that contestants who win one game will have to change their clothes between shows to make it look like it's a different day of the week. As a result, contestants must bring three different outfits with them to compete (suggesting most people aren't expected to win any more than three times).

    When contestants win more than three times, they run out of outfits and will have to mix and match what they already have. Julia Collins - who, with 20 wins, is one of the most successful contestants in the show's history - admitted she got to the point where she'd "worn all my sweaters a few times."

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  • 8

    Alex Trebek Didn't Meet Contestants Until The Show Started Taping

    By many accounts, Trebek was "pleasant if a little distant" with contestants. He didn't interact with them until the show began taping. This is so he can't build a rapport with anyone and be accused of favoritism. 

    Trebek confessed that he loosened up a bit over the years in how he interacted with contestants. He made a point of talking with them at the end of a game.

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