What Happens When A ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Challenges An Answer


Fans of Jeopardy! are pretty familiar with all the rules and regulations that contestants have to follow, but one viewer’s question recently caused conversation on a Reddit thread: What happens when one contestant challenges another’s answer?

Former Champion Reveals What Happens When One Contestant Challenges Another

“Do contestants ever challenge each other?” a Reddit user questioned. “If the judges don’t notice that a response was erroneously ruled correct, do contestants ever bring it to their attention, or is that poor form? In yesterday’s game, I mentally flagged ‘vaccination passport,’ and if I were playing and the judges didn’t pick up on that, I would feel extremely awkward bringing it up. But it is a lot of money on the line.”

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A lot of people chimed in, but the best answer came from someone with plenty of experience to back their answer up: Jeopardy! champion Megan Wachspress. “I had one of my answers challenged by another contestant,” she replied. “It was done very respectfully during a break, the challenge was merited, and it turned out the judges had already flagged it.”

She continued, “The producers really encourage you to raise any concerns at any point when gameplay stops and in my experience everyone was very professional about it.” Someone asked a follow-up question: “What was the question and their argument if I might ask?”

“I included extraneous and incorrect information in my answer,” Wachspress explained. “Judges fixed it at the break, although unfortunately they couldn’t give anyone a chance at the rebound.”

Wachspress Praises ‘Shockingly Impressive’ Judges

“I just have to add my two cents, knowing how closely the hosts are scrutinized,” the former contestant went on. “If you think playing Jeopardy takes mental quickness and awareness, hosting – with the judges in your ear, listening for contestants’ responses, watching the lights to cue them (and having new names to learn every 45 minutes or so!), reading a sheet I have to assume has clues and/or correct responses on it, speaking naturally to and looking at contestants all at the same time – is like playing on steroids for the mental acuity and ability to process multiple streams of info it requires. It’s honestly shockingly impressive how infrequently the judges have to reverse a call in jeopardy and double jeopardy gameplay.”

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Challenging other contestants doesn’t happen often on the game show and it seems like it typically happens off-camera. However, die-hard Jeopardy! fans are glad to know what happens when it does! 

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