Jeopardy! History Wiki
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Host
Alex Trebek
Announcer
Johnny Gilbert
Photo
530243b19285a image.jpg
Packager
Sony Pictures Television Studios

Summary[]

The Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades is a 5-week tournament airing throughout the 30th season to celebrate 30 years of the syndicated version. 15 contestants face-off from each decade of Jeopardy! to advance to the quarterfinals. The 5 winners from each decade face off in the quarterfinals. From there the regular tournament format developed by Alex Trebek is used for the 15 quarterfinalists.

Prize[]

Preliminaries Quarterfinalists Semifinalists Finalists (minimum guarantees)
2nd runner-up 1st runner-up Winner
$5,000 $10,000 $25,000 $50,000 $100,000 $1,000,000

Fan Favorite Round[]

The first part of the tournament began on September 30, 2013. 14 people who were pre-selected to appear in each decade (the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s) were announced. 5 people competed for the 15th spot in each decade over the course of 3 weeks. Voting took place on the Jeopardy! website, Facebook, and Twitter. The 5 nominees for the 1980s were:

  • Andrew Westney (1991 Teen Tournament winner)
  • Diane Siegel (1993 ToC invitee)
  • Eugene Finerman (1987 ToC finalist, Super Jeopardy! semifinalist)
  • Michael Rankins (1988 ToC semifinalist)
  • Leah Greenwald (1988 ToC invitee)

The second week of voting took place the following week, with the nominees being kept secret until the voting began. They were:

  • Shane Whitlock (1996 College Champion and ToC semifinalist)
  • Brian Weikle (2003 ToC finalist, the biggest winner of season 19)
  • Michael Daunt (1997 International Tournament winner, 1996 ToC finalist)
  • Catherine (Fred) Ramen (1998 ToC semifinalist)
  • Melizza Zygmunt (1999 ToC invitee)

The final week of voting for the 2000s took place the next week. The nominees were:

  • Tom Nissley (2011 ToC finalist, the biggest winner of season 27)
  • Erin McLean (Fall 2010 College Champion, 2011 ToC semifinalist)
  • Ryan Chaffee (2010 ToC invitee)
  • Kara Spak (2011 ToC semifinalist)
  • Joey Beachum (2008 College Champion, 2010 ToC invitee)

The results were announced on December 3, 2013. Andrew Westney, Shane Whitlock, and Tom Nissley claimed the 15th and final spot for each respective decade, while each decade's alternate was Diane Siegel, Brian Weikle, and Erin McLean.

The other 14 contestants for the 1980s and the early 1990s were:

  • India Cooper (1992 ToC and Million Dollar Masters semifinalist)
  • Chuck Forrest (1986 ToC winner, Million Dollar Masters semifinalist, the biggest winner of season 2, creator of the Forrest Bounce strategy)
  • Jim Scott (1991 ToC winner, youngest player to win their ToC at 22)
  • Leslie Frates (10th Anniversary Tournament finalist, 1992 ToC semifinalist)
  • Leszek Pawlowicz (1992 ToC winner, had never lost prior to the UToC)
  • Richard Cordray (1987 ToC semifinalist)
  • Tom Nosek (1993 ToC winner, 10th Anniversary Tournament finalist)
  • Leslie Shannon (Miller) (1993 ToC and Million Dollar Masters semifinalist)
  • Phoebe Juel (1993 College Champion and ToC semifinalist)
  • Mark Lowenthal (1988 ToC winner)
  • Frank Spangenberg (10th Anniversary Tournament winner, 1990 ToC and UToC semifinalist, the biggest winner of season 6, held 5-day earnings record for 29 years)
  • Tom Cubbage (1989 ToC and College Championship winner, only College Champion to also win the ToC)
  • Jerome Vered (1992 ToC and Ultimate ToC finalist, the biggest winner of season 8)
  • Bob Verini (1987 ToC winner, Super Jeopardy! and Million Dollar Masters finalist)

Among notable past contestants from this decade that weren't in the field: 1990 ToC winner Bob Blake (who declined due to a scheduling conflict), 1989 Teen Tournament winner and Million Dollar Masters finalist Eric Newhouse, Super Jeopardy! winner Bruce Seymour, Million Dollar Masters and 1988 TOC invitee Kate Waits, and any competitors from the inaugural 1985 ToC (including winner Jerry Frankel, who passed away in 1987). Barbara Lowe was also disqualified due to legal issues.

The mid-1990s and early 2000s contestants were:

  • Rachael Schwartz (1994 ToC winner, first woman and 4-day champion to win the ToC)
  • Babu Srinivasan (2001 ToC semifinalist, the biggest winner of season 17)
  • Eddie Timanus (2000 ToC semifinalist, first blind Jeopardy! contestant)
  • Dan Melia (1998 ToC winner, Ultimate ToC quarterfinalist)
  • Pam Mueller (Fall 2000 College Champion, 2001 ToC and Ultimate ToC semifinalist)
  • Fritz (Ryan) Holznagel (1995 ToC winner, 1996 International Tournament semifinalist)
  • Robin Carroll (2000 ToC and 2001 International Tournament winner, all-time cash winnings leader prior to Million Dollar Masters)
  • Bob Harris (1998 ToC finalist, Million Dollar Masters semifinalist)
  • Dave Abbott (1999 ToC winner, the biggest winner of season 14)
  • Claudia Perry (1998 ToC and Million Dollar Masters semifinalist)
  • Mark Dawson (2003 ToC winner)
  • Brad Rutter (2001 ToC, Million Dollar Masters, and Ultimate ToC winner; all-time cash winnings leader)
  • Jill Bunzendahl Chimka (2003 ToC semifinalist)
  • Mike Dupee (1996 ToC winner)

Among notable past contestants from this decade that weren't in the field: 1995 ToC finalist and the 1990s' third highest-earning regular play contestant David Siegel, and 1994 ToC and Ultimate ToC semifinalist John Cuthbertson.

The mid-2000s and early 2010s contestants were:

  • Colby Burnett (Fall 2012 Teachers Tournament and 2013 ToC winner, only Teacher’s Tournament winner to also win the ToC)
  • Celeste DiNucci (2007 ToC winner, the highest-earning female contestant at the time)
  • Vijay Balse (2010 ToC winner)
  • Stephanie Jass (2013 ToC semifinalist, longest-reigning female champion at the time)
  • Roger Craig (2011 ToC winner, highest single-day cash winnings record holder)
  • Larissa Kelly (2009 ToC finalist, the biggest winner of season 24)
  • Russ Schumacher (2004 ToC winner, only 4-day champion to be invited to the UToC)
  • Tom Kavanaugh (2006 ToC invitee)
  • Vinita Kailasanath (2001 College Champion, 2004 ToC semifinalist)
  • Keith Whitener (2013 ToC finalist)
  • Michael Falk (2006 ToC winner, only 3-day champion to do so)
  • Dan Pawson (2009 ToC winner, longest reigning champion of season 24)
  • Maria Wenglinsky (2006 ToC semifinalist)
  • Ken Jennings (Longest reigning and highest-earning contestant in regular games, Ultimate ToC finalist)

Among notable past contestants from this decade that weren't in the field: 2013 ToC semifinalist and season 28 biggest winner Jason Keller, 19 day champion, biggest winner of season 22, and 2006 ToC semifinalist David Madden (who declined due to his business relationship with the compliance company Jeopardy! hires to oversee fairness of the rules), and 2004 ToC and Ultimate ToC semifinalist Chris Miller.

2000s week contestant Vinita Kailasanath was placed in the 2000s week group, despite originally competing on Jeopardy! in 2001 (which was during the 1990s week's range), as she deferred her Tournament of Champions appearances until 2004.

Qualifier Round[]

  • The matchups by order of ranking at the end of the game.
  • The five winners advanced to the quarterfinals. Losing players received $5,000, with the exception of Richard Cordray, who was ineligible to earn money due to his position in federal law.
Game Air Date Name Score Name Score Name Score Detail
1980's #1 February 3, 2014 India Cooper $2,000 Chuck Forrest $33,400 Jim Scott $6,200 #
1980's #2 February 4, 2014 Leslie Frates $3,999 Leszek Pawlowicz $28,000 Andrew Westney $27,200 #
1980's #3 February 5, 2014 Richard Cordray $5,200 Tom Nosek $7,201 Leslie Shannon $0 #
1980's #4 February 6, 2014 Frank Spangenberg $2,199 Mark Lowenthal $9,000 Phoebe Juel $7,900 #
1980's #5 February 7, 2014 Tom Cubbage $16,801 Jerome Vered $10,000 Bob Verini $1,999 #
1990's #1 March 3, 2014 Rachael Schwartz $7,900 Babu Srinivasan $0 Eddie Timanus $7,700 #
1990's #2 March 4, 2014 Fritz Holznagel $11,603 Dan Melia $7,000 Pam Mueller $17,000 #
1990's #3 March 5, 2014 Shane Whitlock $11,200 Bob Harris $0 Shane Whitlock $7,999 #
1990's #4 March 6, 2014 Dave Abbott $5,199 Mark Dawson $15,599 Claudia Perry $11,600 #
1990's #5 March 7, 2014 Jill Bunzendahl Chimka $0 Mike Dupée $28,300 Brad Rutter $30,600 (↑) #
2000's #1 March 31, 2014 Tom Nissley $13,400 Celeste DiNucci $14,801 Colby Burnett $16,201 #
2000's #2 April 1, 2014 Vijay Balse $17,600 Roger Craig $17,601 Stephanie Jass $15,600 #
2000's #3 April 2, 2014 Tom Kavanaugh $0 Larissa Kelly $14,799 Russ Schumacher $15,400 #
2000's #4 April 3, 2014 Michael Falk $2,400 Ken Jennings $23,600 (↑) Vinita Kailasanath $1,600 #
2000's #5 April 4, 2014 Dan Pawson $12,700 Maria Wenglinsky $3,100 Keith Whitener $1 #

Final rounds[]

  • The matchups for the quarterfinals were announced 15 days after taping as part of a press release by Jeopardy! on their Tumblr blog.
Game Air Date Name Score Name Score Name Score Detail
QF #1 May 5, 2014 Leszek Pawlowicz $15,000 Robin Carroll $0 Roger Craig $22,078 #
QF #2 May 6, 2014 Tom Nosek $2,400 Pam Mueller $14,798 Russ Schumacher $16,700 #
QF #3 May 7, 2014 Mark Lowenthal $300 Brad Rutter $32,400 (↑) Dan Pawson $399 #
QF #4 May 8, 2014 Tom Cubbage $19,500 Rachael Schwartz $7,600 Ken Jennings $40,000 (↑) #
QF #5 May 9, 2014 Chuck Forrest $11,900 Mark Dawson $8,600 Colby Burnett $11,000 #
SF #1 May 12, 2014 Chuck Forrest $26,200 Russ Schumacher $0 Ken Jennings $30,401 #
SF #2 May 13, 2014 Brad Rutter $32,800 (↑) Tom Cubbage $8,592 Leszek Pawlowicz $10,399 #
SF #3 May 14, 2014 Roger Craig $12,799 Pam Mueller $1,595 Colby Burnett $4,099 #
Final May 15, 2014 Brad Rutter $10,000 Ken Jennings $7,000 Roger Craig $0(-$800) #
November 20, 2015 $11,800 $599 $400 #
Total $21,800 $7,599 $4,000

Gallery[]

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