Jeopardy! is an American television quiz show featuring trivia in history, literature, the arts, pop culture, science, sports, geography, wordplay, and other topics. The show has a unique answer-and-question format in which contestants are presented with clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form.
The show has enjoyed a decades-long broadcast history in the United States since its creation by Merv Griffin in 1964. It debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964, and the series was part of the network’s daytime lineup until January 3, 1975. On September 9, 1974, a weekly nighttime syndicated edition of Jeopardy! debuted; this series ran concurrently with the NBC series until its final episode and continued to air on local stations until September 5, 1975. A revival of the daytime series debuted on October 2, 1978 and ran until March 2, 1979. All three of these versions of Jeopardy! were hosted by Art Fleming, with Don Pardo serving as announcer for the original NBC series, and John Harlan announcing the 1978 revival.
On September 10, 1984, Jeopardy! returned to television as a daily syndicated series with Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer. This particular version of Jeopardy! has seen a multitude of international adaptations since its debut.
The current version of the show is produced by Sony Pictures Television (the successor company to original producer Merv Griffin Enterprises) and is distributed on television by CBS Television Distribution (the successor to original distributor King World Productions). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment owns the rights to distribute the program on DVD, though it has only released a five-episode collection featuring some of the most memorable episodes of the current run. Jeopardy!‘s 28th season premiered on September 19, 2011.
How can I try out for JEOPARDY! in Los Angeles?
We hold testing locally in Culver City, California throughout the year. All local audition spots are filled by applicants who have taken the Jeopardy! Online Test.
When is the next Online Test and how do I apply?
Upcoming Online Tests are announced on the Jeopardy! television show, and corresponding details and registration information can be found on jeopardy.com. Online tests are offered separately for each of the following age groups: Adults, College students, Teens 13 and 17 years old, and Kids between the ages of 10 and 12. Applicants select their preferred in-person audition city when they register to take the test.
Help! I’m a College Student, but I’m also eligible to take the Adult test. What do I do?
If you are eligible to compete as either an Adult on our regular shows, or as a College Student for the College Championship, you may take both, or either of the College and Adult tests within the same year.
Am I eligible to take the Online Test?
- Online tests may be offered more than once in any 12-month period, but Adults may only take the online test once a year.
- If you passed the online test and were invited to an “in person” interview, you will be in our active files for 18 months. If at the end of 18 months from the date of your in-person tryout, you have not been booked to appear on the show, you are eligible to take the online test again.
- If you attended an authorized Jeopardy! contestant event (i.e. Jeopardy! Challenge), passed a qualifying test, and participated in an “in person” interview, you must wait 18 months from the date of that in-person tryout before you are eligible to take the online test. If you did not pass the qualifying test, the regular online test rules apply.
- Any attempt to take the Online test during your period of ineligibility could result in disqualification.
How do I know if I passed the Online Test?
The Jeopardy! contestant department never reveals test scores. Only applicants who have passed the test will be invited to an audition. Invitations will be offered until all available appointments are filled. Depending on the number of available appointments, a random selection process may be implemented. If you are selected for an audition, you will be notified between two to six weeks in advance of your appointment. You will receive all the location details at that time. You may be invited to audition any time within a year of taking the online test
How does one become a contestant on JEOPARDY!?
The four basic steps to qualify as a contestant are:
- Qualify for an “in-person” audition by either passing the Online Test or attending another authorized Jeopardy! contestant event and passing the qualifying test.
- If you pass the online or other qualifying test and are invited to an “in-person” audition, you will then take another 50 question written test. Your application will be judged based on your “in-person” test score as well as your other test score.
- Everyone at the audition will play a short version of JEOPARDY! – Three at a time, just like on the actual show, complete with buzzers!
- Participate in a brief personality interview.
The in-person audition test presents 50 clues from 50 different categories in the familiar JEOPARDY! format. Each clue is read aloud and simultaneously projected as text on a screen. The material covers a wide range of categories and response time is limited. Once the test is over, the contestant coordinators will lead the group through a brief game-playing tutorial, after which everyone will take turns playing a mock version of the game. At the end of the mock game, each applicant will be asked to tell a little bit about themselves; likes, dislikes, career, family, hobbies, etc. The whole process takes approximately two hours. Please arrive early. Because of the strict format of the testing process, latecomers simply cannot be admitted. No exceptions! Only the test-takers will be permitted to enter the test site, guests are not allowed. Dress as you would to appear on the show.
There is no fee to take any of the tests, but please know that any costs you incur in connection with the test and audition (including but not limited to accommodations, meals, transportation, parking) must be at your own expense. We can assume no responsibility in that regard.
How will I know if I’ve been selected to compete on JEOPARDY!?
If you pass the test and play well in the mock game, you are put in the active file for 18 months from your test date. Being put in the active pool does not guarantee that you will be invited to appear on the show. If you are selected to compete on the show you will be contacted by our contestant coordinators with full details and booking instructions.
Help! I’m in the active pool of contestants, but I have a new address and/or phone number!
If you have taken and passed the test and are currently in the contestant pool you may send us new contact information at:
Please use this email address for Contestant Department information only. Refer to the Feedback form for all other communications.
We’ll update your files.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Applicants must be over 18 (except for the Teen Tournament, College Championship and the Kids’ shows). You are not eligible to be a contestant on Jeopardy! if you have appeared on any version of the show with Alex Trebek. You are not eligible to be a contestant on Jeopardy! if you have appeared on a game show/dating show/relationship show/reality show in the last year or three game shows/dating shows/relationship shows/reality shows in the last 10 years. You may not be eligible to play on Jeopardy! if you are employed by, related to, or within the last five years known anyone who works for Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Sony Pictures Television Inc., Quadra Productions, Inc., CBS Television Distribution, Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy! prize suppliers, or any TV station (including advertisers and related radio stations) broadcasting Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy!