Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions

tournament of past major winners in the game show Jeopardy!

The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions is a yearly tournament on the American television game show Jeopardy!. It features 15 players who have won the most games from the past season.[1] It started in 1964 when Art Fleming was host of the show; it is also played on the show with Alex Trebek as host until 2019, with Buzzy Cohen guest hosting the 2021 Tournament of Champions. Ken Jennings is now the host of the tournament starting with the 2022 Tournament of Champions. Winners of the College Championship (since 1989) and the Teachers Tournament (since 2011) also play in the Tournament of Champions.

Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions takes 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 players with the highest scores who did not win their quarterfinal game also move on as "wild card" players. If there is a tie at the end of a game, one final 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 players 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, which happens over two games and two days. Unlike the quarterfinals, if all three players have a score of zero, one final answer is given, with the first player to ring in with the correct question wins the game. This rule change was first implemented in 2013 to avoid a repeat of the November 2012 taping of the Teen Tournament which made it unfair for contestants who played in the semifinal before the zero loss. In each finals game, the players start with zero scores; after the second finals game, each player's score is added to their score from the first game, with the highest score being the winner, or "Grand Champion." The other two players win smaller cash prizes or their two-day total, whichever is higher.

In 2022 (Season 38) the tournament took a new format which expanded the field to 21 contestants. The top three seeded contestants will qualify for the semifinal rounds; the remaining 18 contestants will play six quarterfinal games, with no wild-card spots given. The six winners will advance to the semifinals and join the top three seeds. The winners of the semifinal matches will advance to the finals, which will consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of seven games, similar to the Greatest of All Time tournament (see below). The first finalist to win three games will win the tournament and the $250,000 top prize. The second-place and third-place prizes will be determined first by number of wins, then by number of second-place finishes, and finally by total score across all games played, and will win $100,000 and $50,000, respectively. [2]

From time to time, special Tournaments of Champions have been played. 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 players. The two players who made it to the finals would play against Ken Jennings for $2,000,000. In 2014, the show held a Battle of the Decades to commemorate the show's 30th anniversary. It was a 5-week tournament featuring 45 players; the field of contestants was broken up into three decades. The first three weeks featured players from their respective decades. Five winners from each decade advanced to the quarterfinals to compete for a $1,000,000 grand prize.

Prizes change

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
1986 $5,000
1987–1996 $10,000 $7,500
1998–2001 $15,000 $10,000 $2,500
2003–2004 $250,000 $50,000 $25,000 $10,000 $5,000
2006–present $100,000 $50,000

List of participants change

The following is a list of contestants and where they placed in the tournament. Prize amounts for the non-winning finalists who won more than the minimum guarantees are as indicated in parentheses.

Finalists Semifinalists Quarterfinalists
Art Fleming Era (1964–75)[3]
First annual (1964)
Winner: Terry Thompson[4]
Phyllis Gallo
John Murphy
Helen Beck
Rosemary Taubert
Pat McDermott
Madeline Von Koch
Sid Kramer
Ruth Lind
[No quarterfinals]
Second annual (1965)
Winner: Babs McClellan
Carolyn Benson
Bob Wilder
Lou Ehrlich
Pat Day
Doris Sullivan
Jim Cahill
Bob Law
Earle Codrington
[No quarterfinals]
Third annual (1966)
Winner: Burns Cameron[5]
Other finalists not recorded
Bob Bovard
Phyllis Grant
Tye Heckman
Leona Huerbach
Sarah Moore
Pat Rohan
John Schenck
Fran Winnick
[No quarterfinals]
Fourth annual (1967)
Winner: Anne Fried

Eleanor Endsley
Harry Murtha

Frank Gray
Sheila Gabriel
Rosemary Marnell
Libby Dyer
Gail Berry
Howard August
[No quarterfinals]
Fifth annual (1968)
Hutton "Red" Gibson
John Miller
Shep Shepherd
Fran Fisk
Bill Martin
Penny Costigen
Marcia Bikalis
Judy Gex
Sally Hickman
[No quarterfinals]
Sixth annual (1969)
Winner: Jay Wolpert
Elliot Shteir
Nick Rorick
Elliot Baritz
Jane Gschwend (biggest winner in NBC Jeopardy! history)
Ann Baker
Larry Schiller
Joan Nephew
John Gridley
Judy Rubin
Grant Willis
Jack Gurner
Mendy Snyder
Burt Sherman
Pat Dougiallo
Jay Hayes
Judy Reimer
Joan Lawrence
Seventh annual (1970)
Winner: Gene Cheatam
Mary Lee Fox
Barbara Franco
Dolores Henderson
Russ Poylo
Hunter Farnum
Steve Haufman
Helen Mabry
M. McNeil
[No quarterfinals]
Eighth annual (1971)
Winner: Rock Johnson
Riza Gross
Jan Churchwell
Peggy Rathert
Don Marms
Karolyn Battle
Jim Shannon
Michael Aronson
Joel Tuber
[No quarterfinals]
Ninth annual (1972)
Winner: Anne Marie Sutton
Jay Delehanty
Susan Smith
Paul Wilson
Lorraine Gorman
Donna Angle
Luanne Keller
Sheila November
Jay Delehanty
[No quarterfinals]
Tenth annual (1973)
Winner: Paula Ogren
Adeline Schulman
Dan Donohue
Carol Reeve
Reid Williamson
Connie Christensen
Phil Price
Louise Windgrad
Rosemary Travis
[No quarterfinals]
Eleventh annual (1974)
Winner: Denny Golden
Dave Hilliard
Pete Staley
Kathleen Lang
Andy Miller
Art Newell
Faye Ringel
Other semifinalists not recorded
[No quarterfinals]
1984 Version (1984-present)
Season 2 (November 11–22, 1985)
Winner: Jerry Frankel
1st runner-up: Bruce Fauman ($9,399)
2nd runner-up: Steve Rogitz ($5,100)
Ron Black
Paul Boymel (Season 1's biggest winner)
Liz Caccese
Larry Floyd
John Hnat
Ric Moser
Elise Beraru
SSGT Paul Croshier
Michael Day
John Genova
Paula Tupper
Nathan Walpow
Season 3 (November 10–21, 1986)
Winner: Chuck Forrest (Season 2's biggest winner)
1st runner-up: Paul Rouffa
2nd runner-up: Marvin Shinkman
Beryl Arbit
Donald Burgo
Gary Giardina
Lionel Goldbart
Gary Palmer
Jay Rosenberg
Harvey Becker
Jared Eisenstat
Danny Green
Mark Leinwand
Eric Schoeck
Guy Tonti
Season 4 (November 9–20, 1987)
Winner: Bob Verini
1st runner-up: David Traini ($16,000)
2nd runner-up: Eugene Finerman ($11,600)
Eric Berman
Richard Cordray
Michael Galvin
Doug Molitor
John Ryan (Season 3's biggest winner)
Roger Storm
Keith Bell
Jonathan Fellows
Frank Hughes
John Podhoretz
Zeke Sevilla, Jr.
Keith Walker
Season 5 (November 7–18, 1988)
Winner: Mark Lowenthal
1st runner-up: Bruce Naegeli (Season 4's biggest winner, $18,799)
2nd runner-up: Sandra Gore ($13,000)
Roy Holliday
Peggy Kennedy
Richard Perez-Pena
Steven Popper
Michael Rankins
Kate Waits
Michael Block
Barbara-Anne Eddy
Leah Greenwald
Stephen Lebowitz
Bruce Seymour
Ron Trigueiro
Season 6 (November 6–17, 1989)
Winner: Tom Cubbage (won Season 5's College Championship)
1st runner-up: Rich Lerner ($15,500)
2nd runner-up: Brian Wangsgard (Season 5's biggest winner)
Bruce Cox
Peggi Malys
Mark McDermott
Eric Newhouse
Ouida Rellstab
Cigus Vanni
Cathy Boggs
Jeff Richmond
Joel Sacks
Chris Shea
Yael Sofaer
Jim Tompkins-MacLaine
Season 7 (November 5–16, 1990)
Winner: Bob Blake
1st runner-up: Larry McKnight
2nd runner-up: Steve Berman
Jeff Bandman
Andrew Bernknopf
Erik Larsen
Ofc. Frank Spangenberg (Season 6's biggest winner)
Eric Terzuolo
Jamie Weiss
Lisa Guay
Dan Katz
Richard Neale
George Soule
Michael Thayer
Elaine Zollner
Season 8 (November 4–15, 1991)
Winner: Jim Scott
1st runner-up: Steve Robin ($12,600)
2nd runner-up: Lou Pryor (won Season 7's Seniors Tournament, $9,700)
Mark Born (Season 7's biggest winner)
Leslie Frates
Scott Gillispie
Jonathan Jacobs
Lois Kurowski
Mark Pestronk
Sara Cox
Tom Halpern
Bruce Ikawa
John LeDonne
Andy Westney
Lynne Wexler
Season 9 (November 9–20, 1992)
Winner: Leszek Pawlowicz
1st runner-up: Bruce Simmons
2nd runner-up: Jerome Vered (Season 8's biggest winner)
India Cooper
Kirk Ditzler
Richard Kaplan
April McManus
Leonard Schmidt
Robert Slaven
Billy Baxter
Ofc. Frank Epstein
John Kelly, RET USAF
Steve Newman
Dave Willis
Phil Yellman
Season 10 (November 15–26, 1993)
Winner: Tom Nosek
1st runner-up: Bev Schwartzberg ($19,100)
2nd runner-up: Marilyn Kneeland (won Season 9's Seniors Tournament, $11,500)
Dennis Donohue
Phoebe Juel
Jack Mahoney
Leslie Miller
Ed Schiffer (Season 9's biggest winner)
Walt Senterfitt
Debby Arnold
Al Lin
Linda Sheppard
Diane Siegel
David Tiemann
Fraser Woodford
Season 11 (November 14–25, 1994)
Winner: Rachael Schwartz
1st runner-up: Jeff Stewart (won Season 10's College Championship, $20,800)
2nd runner-up: David Hillinck ($7,500)
Kurt Bray
Steve Chernicoff (Season 10's biggest winner)
John Cuthbertson
Jean Grewe
Brian Moore
Bill Pitassy
Amy Fine
Fred Frank
Matt Morris
Tom Nichols
Bart Thomas
David Venderbush
Season 12 (November 13–24, 1995)
Winner: Ryan Holznagel
1st runner-up: David Siegel (Season 11's biggest winner, $24,600)
2nd runner-up: Isaac Segal ($16,600)
Bruce Borchardt
Jonathan Groff
Paul Thompson (Season 12's biggest winner)
Jim Vercolen
Gordon Wean
Matt Zielenski
Aaron Klein
Len Krisak
Ben Lyon
John McKeon
Jim Morgan
Linda Roberts
Season 13 (November 18–29, 1996)
Winner: Michael Dupée
1st runner-up: Bob Scarpone ($11,000)
2nd runner-up: Michael Daunt ($8,200)
Bill Dickenson
Amanda Goad
Mary Hirschfeld
Bill Sloan
Beverly Spurs
Shane Whitlock
Bernie Cullen
David Cuneo
Brad Plovan
David Sampugnaro
Lucien Schmit
Barbara Walker
Season 14 (February 2–13, 1998)
Winner: Dan Melia (Season 14's biggest winner)
1st runner-up: Kim Worth (Season 13's biggest winner)
2nd runner-up: Bob Harris
Sahir Islam
Lyn Payne
Claudia Perry
Fred Ramen
Peter Scott
Grace Veach
Craig Barker
Josh Den Hartog
Paul Gutowski
Pam Mifflin
Arthur Phillips
Wes Ulm
Season 15 (February 8–19, 1999)
Winner: Dave Abbott
1st runner-up: J.J. Todor ($20,600)
2nd runner-up: Juliet Wiley
David Bagley (Season 15's biggest winner)
Dan Girard
Pat Healy
Lance Johnson
Andrew Maly
John Skelton
James Arey
Andrew Hutchings
Lara Robillard
Chris Ward
Carolyn White
Melizza Zygmunt
Season 16 (May 8–19, 2000) taped at the Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Winner: Robin Carroll
1st runner-up: Jeremy Bate
2nd runner-up: Steve Fried
Mike Blumenfeld
Carolyn Cracraft
Terry Currin
Chacko George
Michael Rooney
Eddie Timanus
Jack Archey
Lee Lassiter
Darlene Lieblich
Helen Petroff
Melissa Sexstone
Janet Wong
Season 18 (October 22–November 2, 2001)
Winner: Brad Rutter
1st runner-up: Tad Carithers
2nd runner-up: Rick Knutsen
Larry Cloud
Lan Djang
Mark Eckard
Ryan Moore
Pam Mueller
Babu Srinivasan (Season 17's biggest winner)
Michael Arnone
Michelle Clum
Bob Fleenor
Andrew Garen
Kevin Keach
Doug Lach (Season 16's biggest winner)
Season 19 (May 5–16, 2003)
Winner: Mark Dawson
1st runner-up: Brian Weikle (Season 19's biggest winner, $56,601)
2nd runner-up: Eric Floyd (Season 18's biggest winner)
Alan Bailey
Mark Brown
Jill Bunzendahl Chimka
Max Levaren
Trevor Norris
Travis Troyer
Kathy Cassity
Kyle Hale
Jackie Harrison
Mark Lee
Jason McCune
Ben Tritle
Season 21 (September 20–October 1, 2004)
Winner: Russ Schumacher
1st runner-up: Tom Walsh (Season 20's biggest winner)
2nd runner-up: Arthur Gandolfi
Seth Alcorn
Tom Baker
Anne Boyd
Vinita Kailasanath
Chris Miller
Steve Reynolds
John Beck
Sam Ott
Scott "Renzo" Renzoni
Sean Ryan
Jim Stalley
Keith Williams
Season 22 (May 8–19, 2006)
Winner: Michael Falk
1st runner-up: Vik Vaz
2nd runner-up: Bill MacDonald
David Madden (Season 22's biggest winner)
Kevin Marshall
Bob Mesko
Jason Richards
Aaron Thompson
Maria Wenglinsky
Kerry Breitenbach
Doug Dorst
Kermin Fleming
Tom Kavanaugh
Nico Martinez
David Rozenson
Season 24 (November 5–16, 2007)
Winner: Celeste DiNucci
1st runner-up: Doug Hicton
2nd runner-up: Cliff Galiher (won Season 23's College Championship)
Paul Glaser
Christian Haines
Chris Mazurek
Susan Mitchell
Jeff Spoeri
Craig Westphal
Mehrun Etebari (Season 23's biggest winner)
Cathy Lanctot
Andrew Rostan
Nick Swezey
Sara Terrell
Steve Unite
Season 25 (March 11–24, 2009) taped at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
Winner: Dan Pawson
1st runner-up: Larissa Kelly (Season 24's biggest winner)
2nd runner-up: Aaron Schroeder
Ben Bishop
Matt Kohlstedt
Cora Peck
Dave Simpson
Donna Vogel
Mark Wales
Carl Brandt
Deborah Fitzgerald
Lisa Klink
Tom Morris
Erik Nelson
Jim Stevens
Season 26 (May 10–21, 2010)
Winner: Vijay Balse
1st runner-up: Jason Zollinger (Season 26's biggest winner)
2nd runner-up: Stefan Goodreau
Dave Belote
Justin Bernbach (Season 25's biggest winner)
Terry Linwood
Liz Murphy
Andy Srinivasan
Nick Yozamp
Joey Beachum
Ryan Chaffee
Regina Robbins
Patrick Tucker
Christine Valada
Stephen Weingarten
Season 28 (November 2–15, 2011)
Winner: Roger Craig
1st runner-up: Tom Nissley (Season 27's biggest winner)
2nd runner-up: Buddy Wright
Erin McLean
Joon Pahk
Jay Rhee
Mark Runsvold
Justin Sausville
Kara Spak
John Krizel
Tom Kunzen
Paul Kursky
Brian Meacham
Christopher Short
Charles Temple
Season 29 (February 13–26, 2013) presented by Prudential
Winner: Colby Burnett (won Season 29's Teachers Tournament)
1st runner-up: Keith Whitener
2nd runner-up: Kristin Morgan
Stephanie Jass
Jason Keller (Season 28's biggest winner)
Dave Leach
Dan McShane
Paul Nelson
Jason Shore
David Gard
David Menchaca
Joel Pool
Ashok Poozhikunnel
Patrick Quinn
Monica Thieu
Season 31 (November 10–21, 2014)
Winner: Ben Ingram (Season 29's biggest winner)
1st runner-up: Arthur Chu
2nd runner-up: Julia Collins (Season 30's biggest winner)
Sandie Baker
Joshua Brakhage
Jared Hall
Mark Japinga
Terry O'Shea
Rebecca Rider
Jim Coury
Drew Horwood
Sarah McNitt
Andrew Moore
John Pearson
Rani Peffer
Season 32 (November 9–20, 2015)
Winner: Alex Jacob
1st runner-up: Matt Jackson (Season 32's biggest winner)
2nd runner-up: Kerry Greene
Brennan Bushee
Dan Feitel
Catherine Hardee
Andrew Haringer
John Schultz
Vaughn Winchell
Michael Bilow
Jennifer Giles
Scott Lord
Kristin Sausville
Greg Seroka (Season 31's biggest winner)
Elliot Yates
Season 34 (November 6–17, 2017) presented by Consumer Cellular
Winner: Austin "Buzzy" Cohen
1st runner-up: Alan Lin
2nd runner-up: Austin Rogers (Season 34's biggest winner)
Tim Aten
Lilly Chin
Andrew Pau
Lisa Schlitt
Jason Sterlacci
Pranjal Vachaspati
Hunter Appler
David Clemmons
Sam Deutsch
Jon Eisenman
Justin Vossler
Seth Wilson (Season 33's biggest winner)
Season 36 (November 4–15, 2019) presented by Consumer Cellular
Winner: James Holzhauer (Season 35's biggest winner)
1st runner-up: Emma Boettcher
2nd runner-up: Francois Barcomb (won Season 35's Teachers Tournament)
Gilbert Collins
Dhruv Gaur
Steven Grade
Kyle Jones
Rachel Lindgren
Lindsey Shultz
Eric R. Backes
Alan Dunn
Ryan Fenster
Anneke Garcia
Josh Hill
Rob Worman
Season 37 (May 17–28, 2021) presented by Consumer Cellular: Host: Austin "Buzzy" Cohen
Winner: Sam Kavanaugh
1st runner-up: Jennifer Quail
2nd runner-up: Veronica Vichit-Vadakan
Ryan Bilger
Karen Farrell
Ryan Hemmel
Nibir Sarma
Kevin Walsh
Jason Zuffranieri (Season 36's biggest winner)
Ben Henri
MacKenzie Jones
Steve Moulds
Sarah Jett Rayburn
Paul Trifiletti
Andy Wood
Season 39 (October 31-November 21, 2022) Host: Ken Jennings
Winner: Amy Schneider
1st runner-up: Andrew He
2nd runner-up: Sam Buttrey (won Season 38's Professors Tournament)
Eric Ahasic
Matt Amodio (Season 38's biggest winner)
John Focht
Maureen O'Neil
Tyler Rhode
Mattea Roach
Brian Chang (Season 37's biggest winner)
Jonathan Fisher
Jackie Kelly
Ryan Long
Zach Newkirk
Courtney Shah
Margaret Shelton
Jaskaran Singh
Jessica Stephens
Megan Wachspress
Rowan Ward
Christine Whelchel

References change

  1. 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.
  2. "2022 Tournament of Champions -". Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  3. Most episodes from the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy! do not survive, so there is no video record of these Tournament of Champions games; paper records indicating the players may be found in the NBC Master Books daily broadcast log, available on microfilm at the Library of Congress Motion Picture and Television Reading Room. A summary of those records may be found here. A listing of Jeopardy! Grand Champions, 1968–74, may be found in Fabe, Maxene (1979). TV Game Shows. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company. p. 13. ISBN 0-385-13052-X.
  4. "Swarthmore's 'Jeopardy!' Hall of Fame". July 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  5. "A Piece of "Jeopardy!" Trivia – Sony Pictures". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2020-01-02.

Other websites change