Given just how difficult it is to get on a show like “Jeopardy!” getting that “You’re on the show” call must be beyond exciting.
The process of getting on the show is a lot harder than it may seem. There are about 70,000 people who take the online test every year, give or take. Then there are only 3,000 people who are brought in for regional auditions. After that, 400 lucky people are getting the call that they made it to the “Jeopardy!” stage.
‘Jeopardy!’ Acceptance Phone Call
It’s partially luck, but it’s also a mixture of other factors. The first way in which contestants dwindle is based on their score on the online test. However, once a possible contestant reaches the regional stage, the show looks for personalities that will make the show fresh and exciting.
One “Jeopardy!” contestant talked about the excitement of finding out he was on the show.
“It was really just any ordinary day, and when I saw that the number calling me was from Los Angeles, I decided to pick it up out of curiosity. Within a matter of minutes, a Jeopardy producer was on the phone telling me they wanted me to appear on the show. The immediacy of everything took me by surprise,” Hari Parameswaran said to the Xenia Daily Gazette.
Parameswaran said he had tried on many occasions to get onto the trivia show. Eventually, he passed the online test and was invited for what would normally be the in-person audition. In this case, however, the auditions are being held on Zoom due to COVID-19.
The call is perhaps the most mysterious part of it all. The show’s producers can call between zero and 18 months of that audition. So potential contestants could be waiting by the phone for over a year hoping to hear from “Jeopardy!”
Being A Contestant On The Show
Parameswaran was on the show when Anderson Cooper was the guest host, but he filmed in LA back in March. He is only 19 years old and is an electrical engineering major at Georgia Tech. He was tied for the lead before losing it all except for $1,000 in Final Jeopardy. Regardless of the outcome, Parameswaran said it was really a life-changing experience.
“Jeopardy was a family staple at dinner time ever since I was young, and it was a joy to finally be able to experience the show first-hand, including getting to meet the behind-the-scenes people and the Clue Crew,” Parameswaran said.
In order to be considered for “Jeopardy!” a possible contestant must take the “Jeopardy Anytime Test.” The test is available here and can be taken at any point in time. The site even offers test prep for people prior to taking the real “Jeopardy!” test to get on the show. However, you can only submit one of the Anytime Tests per year.
It can be a grueling and repetitive process, but the money and the experience can be worthwhile. Some contestants have walked away with a truly life-changing sum of money.