So You Want to Be a Contestant on Jeopardy?

Jeopardy contestants are the gladiators of the game show world, but rather than fight with weapons, they compete with knowledge. Since the show first originated in 1964, we have admired these titans of trivia. And yet, how often have we, watching at home, patted ourselves on the back for answering a few Jeopardy clues and thought to ourselves, “I know a lot of this stuff. Bet I could be on Jeopardy too.”


A friend of mine once auditioned for Jeopardy. This is a very book-smart, college educated woman who is well-versed in current events. She loves the game, never misses an episode, can play along at home and answer many of the category clues with aplomb. She was confident she had a shot at being selected as a contestant. After all, she is pretty darn smart.

She wasn’t smart enough.

So, what’s the audition process like?

“it was TOUGH,” she sighed.

How tough? Well, only 15 percent of perspective contestants pass the initial test. Needless to say, my friend was not one of them.

There are three parts to the Jeopardy audition process. First, you must pass a test encompassing 50 questions in 50 categories. This test is not for the faint of heart. You have only15 minutes to complete it. The subjects can include literature, history, biographies, business and pop culture. You can’t really prepare for this either know your stuff or you don’t, although it certainly won’t hurt your chances if you review some of the material beforehand, especially in those categories that you know are your weakest.

If you pass the test, the next hurdle is participating in a mock game. The contestant coordinators will be accessing your ability to remain calm under pressure, quick on your feet, and articulate, no small feat considering you may be scrutinized by millions of T.V. viewers.

The final step in the audition is a brief personal interview. The entire process takes approximately one and a half hours.

If you’re lucky enough to make the cut, you’ll be placed in a “contestant pool.” However, there is no guarantee that you’ll be asked to participate on Jeopardy, and you may have to wait up to a year to be contacted, if you’re chosen at all.

So, if you’re 18 years or older and absolutely sure you’re Jeopardy material, here’s the lowdown:

If you live in or plan to visit California , you can audition for the show at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City. You can call (310) 244-5367 for more information. You can also write to:

Jeopardy Contestants,
Sony Pictures Studios
10202 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA. 90232

Jeopardy also holds regional auditions throughout the U.S.on a regular basis. You can register for a local audition at the official Jeopardy web site.

Who knows? You may be taking your first step in attaining television game shows’ highest could be the next Jeopardy champion.

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