Jeopardy! History Wiki

Welcome to the Jeopardy! History Wiki[]

A Wiki about the history of "America's #1 Favorite Game Show", Jeopardy!


Since its creation in 1964, Jeopardy! has been used in everyday life situations among Americans, thus the show received the trademark "America's #1 Favorite Game Show".


  • At the start of each episode, for the first 16 seasons of the syndicated run, the three contestants walked onto the set. Beginning in Season 17, the three contestants stayed at their podiums. The returning champion is closest to the host while the two challengers are next to the champ.
  • At the start of the game, for the first 24 seasons, the dollar amounts pop in one-by-one with ascending and descending musical beeps. In Season 25, the dollar amounts are already present. From Season 26 to the present, the dollar amounts pop in a five at a time (one of each amount) with a six-chime signal. After that, the contestants are faced with six categories selected at random.
  • The champ is instructed to select any category and any dollar amount. The contestants then listen to the clue of that category.
  • After it is fully readout, the first player to buzz-in has the right to respond. The contestant must phrase the response in the form of a question otherwise it won't work. In the first round, if a player forgets their phrasing they will get a reminder. However, in Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy!, there are no reminders, and improper phrasing is the same as an incorrect response; however, players may correct themselves before time runs out.
  • If the player is right, that same player wins the amount wagered and gets to pick either the same category or a different category. If the player is wrong, that same player loses the amount wagered until a different player comes up with the correct response. If not, the host gives the correct response and the player who gave the last correct response or the player who started the round makes the next selection.
  • The player can select the same category but a different dollar amount or any clue of a different category. Players do not have to go from top to bottom to clear a category. The lower the money amount, the easier the clue. The higher the money amount, the more difficult the clue is. The sequence repeats until there are no more categories and dollar amounts left or until the time is up.
  • During gameplay, if any player reveals a Daily Double, that player can wager whatever they have in their bank. If the player has less than the highest amount on the board (e.g. $1,000 for round 1 or $2,000 for round 2) then that player is allowed to wager up to that much amount of money. After the player decides on a wager, the clue is fully read. After it is fully read, the player has to give a response before time expires. If the player is right, that same player wins the amount they've wagered. If not, the value gets deducted. There is only 1 Daily Double in round 1 and 2 Daily Doubles in round 2.
  • After the two rounds are played, any player(s) that have some money remaining on the positive side is allowed to play Final Jeopardy!. Any player(s) that finished on the negative side or a score of zero is eliminated from the game but will pick up a $1,000 consolation cash prize (and a $2,000 consolation cash prize if a single-player Final Jeopardy! is played, which was previously used for nonzero two-way ties prior to 2014; this is determined by scores; whoever has the bigger deficit gets the $1,000 for 3rd place, and the smaller deficit gets $2,000 for 2nd place). If no players have a positive score, Final Jeopardy! will be cancelled, and three new players play on the next show.
  • In the Final Jeopardy! segment, the category is revealed, the players get 2 minutes to decide (in secret) how much they like to wager. Players do not have to wager anything but if you want to have the highest score at the end of the game, wager big. The player with the lowest score goes first while the player in 1st place goes last. If the runner-ups have the same score, the 2nd place prize goes to the player who was leading at the end of the previous round. After that, the players are presented with a clue that relates to the category. Then, they get 30 seconds to write out (in secret) their response. Warning: The response must be phrased in the form of a question otherwise, you won't score. If the player does phrase their response in the form of a question and is wrong, the player loses what they have wagered. If the player does phrase their response in the form of a question and is right, the player will score more money. At the end of the game, the player with the highest total wins the game and comes back to play on the next show. If all three players have a score of zero (or two if one did not make it) at the end of Final Jeopardy, no one wins and three new players come to play on the next show. In the case of either a two-way tie or a three-way tie for first place, the Tiebreaker Round is then played to determine only one champion. The player who rang in with the correct answer wins the game. Originally, if two or all three players tied for first place, they each won the game, and, in addition to being declared co-champions (now a rare occurrence, only used for champions who were unable to return), they each came back to play on the next show.
  • For the first 19 seasons, the contestants are allowed to win up to five games and their limit in winnings are up to $75,000, then $100,000, and last, $200,000. Once, the contestant win five games, they are declared retired undefeated and guaranteed a spot in the Tournament of Champions. The contestants who exceeded the limited winnings will donate the extra portion to their chosen charities. From November 26, 2001 (the day the clue values were doubled) to the end of Season 19, the winnings cap with excess donated to charity was disestablished, but the five-time limit remained. Beginning in Season 20 (2003-04), the five-game limit was disestablished and any Jeopardy! contestant can stay on as long as he or she keeps winning, and keep all money earned. The five-game win guarantee to the Tournament of Champions still applies.

Taking Part In Jeopardy![]

  • You must be at least 18 years of age (except for Jep!, where it's the complete opposite, and the teen tournament, where you can be any teen numbered age; i.e. 13-17; once you hit 18, you no longer qualify for the Teen Online Test and must take the Adult Online Test)
  • You must take a test to qualify as a contestant.
  • Your hometown has to be anywhere in North America.
  • Be sure to bring photo ID just like on any game show so the staff knows it's your real face.

Spin-off Shows[]

Annual Tournaments[]

Special Events[]

Special Tournaments[]


International Versions[]


Sony Pictures Studios

Closing Credits