‘Jeopardy!’: Here’s How Much the Winner of National College Championship Takes Home

by Maggie Schneider

In her latest interview, Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik is sharing with fans more details about the National College Championship. Comparing the event to March Madness, she says that the first-place winner will be taking home a lot of dough.

36 college students will be competing for the $250,000 grand prize. The second, third, and fourth place winners will receive some cash as well. The second-place competitor will earn $100,000, third place will win $50,000 and fourth place will go home with $35,000.

How will the competition work? The Jeopardy! National College Championship will span over the course of nine, 1-hour long episodes. Each episode will contain two games. The twelve winners from the first six games will advance to the semi-finals. Three of the four semi-final winners will then advance to the final round of the championship.

Mayim Bialik is excited about this game’s categories. In her interview with Entertainment Weekly, she gives viewers a few hints.

“I can’t reveal a ton, but the categories are… I don’t want to say more age-appropriate, but there are things specifically about [the contestants’] era and generation, which was fun,” she says. “And the fact is, I normally am awed by any of our contestants, so to have people this young with brains like they have was just a whole different level of Jeopardy goodness.”

COVID Affected ‘Jeopardy!’ National College Championship

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way game shows are being filmed. Live studio audiences are limited and interactions between contestants are not like they used to be. However, Mayim Bialik says that these college contestants are keeping the experience fresh.

“Technically speaking, it’s pretty much the same format, but for those [contestants] that advanced, I got to know them a little bit more, which was cool,” she says. “I always have a good time [on the show], but it was really special to be able to interact with them on breaks. I think one day we had to wait for something technical, and we did a little Q&A, where I let them ask me questions. It kind of felt like being at summer camp.”

She goes on to talk about the camaraderie between the contestants.

“I mean, obviously, because of COVID, interaction was still a little bit difficult, but their camaraderie with each other is very different than we see in our adult contestants, as it were. It’s not that our adult contestants don’t have good camaraderie, but there’s something really sweet about young people hanging out together while having this competition that felt different. I got to see them socializing the way my teenagers do.”

The Jeopardy! National College Championship begins tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Don’t miss it!