‘Jeopardy!’: Mayim Bialik Tells Fans to Get Their Brackets Ready Ahead of College Championship Tournament

by Matthew Memrick

We’re about a month out from the Jeopardy! College Championship Tournament, but host Mayim Bialik urges fans to get their brackets ready in her latest Twitter post.

C’mon on. Chop, chop.

There are 36 contestants scheduled for the nine-day competition. They’re out for $250,000 and something else.

Bialik adds this upcoming competition is about “even bigger bragging rights” because “the stakes are high.”

The primetime show starts Tuesday, Feb. 8.

According to TV Insider, the contest pauses on Feb. 11 before restarting from Feb. 15 through Feb. 18. The final show will go on Feb. 22.  

A History of ‘Jeopardy!’ College Championships

This ‘Jeopardy!’ contest has staying power, returning to Season 5 more than 30 years ago.

Last year’s college winner Nibir Sarma came from Minnesota. Loyola’s Pam Mueller came away with the most significant winnings for a college student, $215,535, during Season 17. North Texas student Monica Thieu won $205,000 in Season 28. Over the years, some won trophies, cars, jackets, and a personal gaming system with Jeopardy! Wii game. 

The competition started during the 1988-1989 season with three seasons of no contests (seasons 31, 35, and 37). They had the rounds during the traditional sweeps rating periods in November, February, and May except for 2018 and 2020. Iconic host Alex Trebek had brain surgery in 2018, while April 2020 conflicted with the Greatest of All Time Tournament.

Show producers went to Daytona Beach, Fla., and Palm Springs, Calif., for contestants for that first 1989 competition. 

Steve Martin Invited To ‘Jeopardy!’ After Look-a-like Prof Wins

When Sam Buttrey recently won the first-ever “Jeopardy!” professor’s tournament, the professor drew comparisons to an entertainment legend.

First of all, Buttrey is an associate professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Second, he’s coming back to the game show’s Tournament of Champions in the future. So, he’s close enough to Hollywood to turn heads, right?

But most importantly, the 74-year-old contestant won $100,000 on the show. When the game show Tweeted its congratulations to the professor, it threw out four photos of the winner during his time on the show.

Steve Martin picked up on it. And the witty entertainer Martin dropped a joking revelation that he was splitting Buttrey’s winnings. It was all in a funny manner, of course.

The “Jeopardy!” Twitter account rolled with Martin’s post, saying, “We would love to have you on Jeopardy! anytime, in any capacity!” 

Martin better hurry, though. Though he’s 76 and not slowing down, his busy schedule could be a possible problem. Last month, he got back to work on his Hulu show, “Only Murders In The Building.” So we’ll have to look forward to that one day.

The prof will go head to head against contestants Matt Amodio, Jonathan Fisher, and current 13-game champion Amy Schneider for that upcoming Tournament of Champions show.