‘Jeopardy!’ Producer Reveals Contestants Have to ‘Fly Themselves’ to LA, Pay for Own Hotels

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Jeopardy! brings a lot of different contestants on its show all the time and they all travel from many parts of the United States. Some people might wonder how they get out to the City of Angels, Los Angeles. Producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss offered up some details about this on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast. Foss talked about the process in the recent podcast that dropped on Monday.

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

Second Chance Tournament Underway on ‘Jeopardy!’

Fox News reported that some contestants get frustrated due to this policy. It is their belief that the show itself should pay up for travel accommodations. “I definitely think that the show should offer to pay for travel and lodging; many people would try out who otherwise wouldn’t,” Jessica Stephens, who is competing right now in the Second Chance Tournament, wrote on Reddit. “That step wouldn’t change the fact that many people will need to take off work, arrange for child/pet care, etc., but it would go a long way to allowing people who otherwise can’t afford the upfront costs of travel to be on the show.”

For the Second Chance Tournament, players who almost won but didn’t get enough to advance have a second chance. This is a two-week tournament and it started on October 17. Regular daily shows are not being shown during this time as the tournament is at center stage. Every week highlights three semifinal games. They are shown in their completion all the way to a two-day finale. The Tournament of Champions features both winners from this tournament each week. That episode airs right after the show.

Ken Jennings, Mayim Bialik Holding Things Down As Permanent Co-Hosts

Meanwhile, Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik are talking about the future of Jeopardy! Of course, they have been named co-hosts there. Both of them are now the permanent successors to Alex Trebek. “We miss Alex every day. But luckily, it still feels like ‘Jeopardy!'” Jennings said while being interviewed by Good Morning America. Jennings plans to be on there throughout the rest of the calendar year. Once his time comes to an end, then Bialik comes on over and gets behind the podium. She’s also keeping busy with the show thanks to Celebrity Jeopardy! on ABC.