‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings, Champ Mattea Roach Reveal Show’s Forbidden Wagers

by Caitlin Berard

With millions upon millions of dedicated viewers, despite being a near-nightly show, just about everyone has at least a vague understanding of Jeopardy! gameplay. The show features a quiz competition in which competitors are presented with a clue in the form of an answer and must phrase their response in the form of a question.

When it comes to the Daily Double and Final Jeopardy!, however, things get a little more interesting. During these segments of the show, Jeopardy! contestants place a wager on their answer. If they’re correct, the amount of the wager is added to his or her score. Provide an incorrect response or fail to respond, and they lose the same amount.

Jeopardy! contestants may wager any amount of their earnings to that point, as long as they avoid those forbidden from the show. Yes, certain numbers are banned from being mentioned on Jeopardy!, even if done so innocently.

In a recent thread on Twitter, Jeopardy! champion Mattea Roach revealed that $420 is one of these numbers, as it’s widely accepted as a reference to cannabis. “You’re not allowed to wager $420 on Jeopardy,” Roach wrote. “But you ARE allowed to SAY ‘420’ if it’s the correct response to a clue in the “Number Words” category. Legal in both Canada and California!”

Ken Jennings Talks Other Forbidden Wagers on ‘Jeopardy!’

Before Ken Jennings was a Jeopardy! host, he was a record-breaking contestant (and still holds that record today). As he has experience on both sides of the podium, he’s well-versed in the rules of the game. And back in 2019, the Jeopardy! legend revealed even more of the show’s forbidden wagers.

It all started with a Twitter joke about James Holzhauers’ phenomenal run on Jeopardy!, during which he made more than $2 million with his sharp wit and no holds barred approach to wagers.

In the comments under the joke, Ken Jennings revealed that $69 is another forbidden wager on Jeopardy!. “This is officially forbidden on Jeopardy now, as of last year,” Jennings wrote. “Not even joking.”

This one isn’t really a surprise – the last thing they want is Jeopardy! Twitter flooding with “nice” tweets during every episode.

In addition to $420 and $69, $666, $14, $88, and $1488 are also forbidden wagers on Jeopardy!. The amount of $666 is banned for its connection to the devil, and all three final wagers – $14, $88, and $1488 – are banned for their association with the 14 words white supremacist slogan.