‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Once Noted the Differences Between ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans

by Halle Ames

Everyone knows there is no comparing Wheel of Fortune fans to their Jeopardy! counterparts. Alex Trebek once noted the major differences between them.

Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are two iconic game shows, but that’s about the only thing the two have in common. It’s like comparing an apple to broccoli. You just cannot do it. Additionally, fans from each show are highly dedicated to their favorite.

Even Alex Trebek, the beloved host for Jeopardy!, knew that there were significant differences between Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

Wheel of Fortune vs. Jeopardy!

In a 2014 interview with Vulture, Alex Trebek breaks down why one is favored over the other and why.

“There’s a lot more excitement with Wheel of Fortune because luck plays a much greater role — there’s the spin of the wheel,” explained Trebek. “On Jeopardy!, it’s all what you know. People relate more positively to the element of luck. They’re a little intimidated by Jeopardy!.”

Furthermore, Trebek is asked about his relationship with the other legendary game show host, Pat Sajak. From one icon to another, you would think Trebek and Sajak would be very good friends, however, that’s not exactly the case.

“Look, we’re friends, but we don’t socialize,” notes Trebek. “We’ve never discussed politics. I know where he stands. I don’t think he knows where I stand. We game-show hosts are in the same business, but we all handle our jobs differently. The danger for viewers when they look at game-show hosts is to regard them in a narrow way.”

As for being a successful player on Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek said that was all about what going on in the old noggin.

“How strong do you think the correlation is between intelligence and trivia knowledge?” asked Vulture writer David Marchese.

“That depends how you define “trivia knowledge,” stated Trebek.

“The ability to retain and recall facts,” responded Marchese.

“Well, bright people are able to do that better than most,” said Trebek. “So, yes, I think there’s a strong correlation.”

Alex Trebek Reveals How the Show ‘Developed’ Him

However, Alex Trebek knows that Jeopardy! isn’t the end-all-be-all in his life. He does credit the game show for growing him as a person, though.

“The meaning I get from my job is that it has provided me with opportunities to explore the world geographically, socially, and philanthropically. Doing that has allowed me to develop as a human.”

Unfortunately, Alex Trebek died in November of 2020 after a nearly 18 month battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old and spent more than 36 years behind the podium as the beloved host of Jeopardy!.