Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions is a yearly tournament on the American television game show Jeopardy!. It features the 15 contestants who have won the most games from the past season. It started in 1964 when Art Fleming hosted the show, and has been done since 1985 on the current version hosted by Alex Trebek.
Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions is played over two weeks. The first five games are the quarterfinals, with three new contestants each day. The winners of the five games move on to the semi-finals. The four losing contestants with the highest scores also move on as "wild card" players. If there is a tie at the end of a game, a Final Jeopardy!-type answer is given, and the first player to ring in with the correct response wins the game. If all three players have a score of zero, none of the contestants move on to the semi-finals, and another wild card spot is added. The next three games are the semi-final games. The three winners of the semi-finals move on to the finals. The last two games are the two-day finals. In both games, the contestants start with zero scores, and the contestants' final scores from the two days are added together to see who is the winner. The contestant with the highest score from the two days wins. The other two contestants win smaller cash prizes or their two-day total, whichever is higher.
From time to time, special versions of the Tournament of Champions have been held. In 2002, the show held a Million Dollar Masters tournament. This was a two-week tournament where the winner won $1,000,000. It was taped at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. In 2005, the show held an Ultimate Tournament of Champions. It was a 15-week tournament with 145 contestants. The two contestants who made it to the finals would play against Ken Jennings for $2,000,000.
|Year(s)||Finalists (guaranteed amounts)||Semifinalists||Quarterfinalists|
|Winner||Second place||Third place|
|1964–1974||All players kept their total cash scores||none|
|1985||$100,000||Kept their total cash scores||$5,000||$1,000|
- Eisenberg, Harry (1993). Inside "Jeopardy!": What Really Goes on at TV's Top Quiz Show. Salt Lake City, Utah: Northwest Publishing Inc. p. 75. ISBN 1-56901-177-X.
Alex put together the 2-week, 15-player format used on the current show. We had 15 undefeated 5-time champions the first season. In subsequent seasons we never had as many as 15 five-game winners so we added those four-game winners with the highest scores until we had the requisite 15 contestants for the Tournament.