If You Want To Be A Contestant On ‘Jeopardy!,’ Here’s What To Do


Have you ever dreamed of being on a game show? Does the allure of cash prizes and luxurious giveaways spark your competitive side? If so, you’re not alone. Game shows have been a TV staple for decades, and just about everyone has thought about trying to solve the puzzle or spin the wheel. Here’s what it would take to appear on America’s favorite game show—Jeopardy!.

The Competition Begins Well Before The Cameras Start Rolling

Jeopardy! is the most popular game show of all time. Since 1964, contestants have battled for cash prizes based solely on their knowledge of obscure trivia. Think you’ve got what it takes? So do a lot of other people. To try your shot, it all begins with a test.

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If you go to the show’s website, you can find the Jeopardy! test. Luckily, the site also provides some helpful study tools. There’s an entire prep center dedicated to getting you ready for the audition process. After you’ve studied the tips and tricks and taken the practice tests, you’ll be ready to take your first step!

The test takes about 13 minutes, and it closely resembles the show. Prospective contestants will have to answer a slew of questions across 50 categories. But you’ll need to be quick—testers will only have 15 seconds to answer each. Of course, the questions are different every time, so cheating is virtually impossible.

You’ll Need A Bit Of Luck

Unfortunately, the website won’t tell you your score—but if you pass, you’ll be added to an applicant pool. Of course, there are thousands upon thousands of other applicants, and they can only screen so many. So, at random, the show selects eligible applicants to audition. Your spot in the pool will stay good for one year, so mark the calendar in case you need to take the test again.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, auditions have gone virtual as well, meaning you can go through almost the entire application process from the comfort of your own home. If you’re one of the lucky few to get an audition, you’ll be placed in a mock Jeopardy! game. Competing against two other people, you’ll get the chance to show off those trivia skills.

Following the mock game, you’ll sit for a mock interview, similar to what will air before Double Jeopardy on the real show. But before you boast about your quick wit, remember that the tests are meant to weed out anyone unqualified to play the game. The auditions are where executives are searching for people that are camera ready. So, have your story locked and loaded, and don’t be afraid to flaunt your big personality.

It’s More Waiting From There

Just like with the test-takers, there will be a large pool of eligible contestants that made it through the auditions. The show will then hold these names for 18 months, meaning if your application expires you’ll have to repeat the process all over again. But don’t be discouraged, Ken Jennings once said it’s ten times harder to get on Jeopardy! than it is to get into Yale. So, if you keep getting stuck at stage one, just know you’re not alone.

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If you are one of the lucky few to get a callback, then congratulations! Luck is on your side. You’ll have a month to prepare for your taping date, and then it will be time to make the trek to Culver City, California. And from then on, you know the rest. You’ll play against two other contestants for the chance to win big. To all prospective Jeopardy! contestants, we wish you luck!

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