Home ENTERTAINMENT How ‘Jeopardy!’ players lose money before they get a shot at winning any

How ‘Jeopardy!’ players lose money before they get a shot at winning any

by NYPost
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How ‘Jeopardy!’ players lose money before they get a shot at winning any

You win some, you lose some.

“Jeopardy!” bosses have revealed that contestants often must cover their own airfare to Culver City, Los Angeles, where the Sony Pictures Studios’ stage is located — but, under certain extraordinary circumstances, contestants can get their tickets purchased by the game show.

They explained how on a recent episode of the “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast. Producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss dished on contestants and winners’ transportation costs.

“Our contestants are asked to fly themselves out to Los Angeles for their first appearance,” Foss said. “If they end up being a returning champion, then we do provide travel for them on their return trips out here.”

“So, a lot of incentive to go on a super streak,” she added. “Maybe that’s — all the rising airfare costs — maybe that’s what led to all of our super streaks [last season].”

Foss then noted how there is a very tight window of time between when players get invited to appear on the show and when the episode airs.

THE CHASE - Rare to See a Baker Take Away That Little Dough  Ken Jennings returns this week as The Chaser as three new competitors step up to the board to see if they can outrun him. Will they be caught, or will they beat The Chaser? Find out on The Chase, SUNDAY, AUG. 15 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Raymond Liu/ABC via Getty Images)
Former “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings has been co-hosting the show since 2021.
ABC via Getty Images

She continued, “It can vary. We hope to let them know a month in advance, but sometimes it’s a shorter window.”

If certain contestants can’t make the trek to Hollywood, then the show “always has Los Angeles locals as an alternate.”

Trivia fan convention SporcleCon hosted a panel in Washington, DC, last month in which former champ Austin Rogers asserted that show producers should be paying for contestants’ hotel and airfare.

CULVER CITY, CA - JULY 14:  Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, (L) poses contestant Ken Jennings after his earnings from his record breaking streak on the gameshow surpassed 1 million dollars July 14, 2004 in Culver City, California.  (Photo by Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images)
“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek poses with contestant Ken Jennings on July 14, 2004 in Culver City, California.
Getty Images

“I am strongly in the camp they should increase consolation prizes [too],” said a panelist, whose name was not reported in the Sun’s “exclusive.” That panelist added, “If you don’t win, you pay for your hotel and airfare and you might only get $1,000 before tax, which is wild.”

The 2017 book “Focus On: 100 Most Popular Series on Sony Pictures Television” stated that consolation prizes have not increased their amount since 2002. Those packages range from $1,000 to $2,000.

According to the book written by Wikipedia contributors, between 1984 and 2002, “non-winning contestants received vacation packages and merchandise.” However, before 1984, all contestants had been gifted their earnings in cash.

Mayim Bialik
“Jeopardy!” hosts make between $25,000 to $75,000 a week.

The book also revealed how cash winnings were “changed in order to make the game more competitive, and avoid the problem of contestants who would stop participating in the game, or avoid wagering in Final Jeopardy!, rather than risk losing the money they had already.”

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter previously let on how much game-show hosts actually make, noting quiz masters make between $25,000 to $75,000 a week. And the late, great “Jeopardy!” emcee Alex Trebek cashed in a reported $10 million annually.

This story originally appeared on NY Post

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