’Jeopardy!’: It’s Easier to Write a ‘New York Times’ Bestseller Than Make It on the Show

by Kayla Zadel

We know the questions are hard on “Jeopardy!” but apparently what’s even harder, is getting onto the show. The statistics are staggering.

According to Good Housekeeping, one in 220 people will write a New York Times bestselling book in their lifetime. The odds of getting on “Jeopardy!” – the game show has a 0.4% acceptance rate. So if you take that number, and compare it to 100 people, less than a half-of-person would make it on the show.

If you dreamed of holding that buzzer in your hand, it seems like picking up a pen might result in a better ending.

What Does It Take to Become a ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant?

So what does it take to secure a spot on the quiz show? Lucky for you we did the research, so keep reading to find out.

According to the game show’s website, an interested player must take and pass the “Jeopardy!” Test. If the test is passed and the minimum eligibility requirements are met, then the person moves onto the next round. But the odds don’t get any better. The individual will be placed into a random selection process for an invitation to audition.

Then if you perform well at the audition, the person will move onto another contestant pool. This is where the invite to actually get on the show happens. However, in can take up to 18 months from the audition date to make it on the show. What’s more, just because you make it to an audition, this does’n’t guarantee and advancement to actually be one of the three contestants “Jeopardy!”

If you’re wondering about the teen and college-themed tournaments, well, the same goes for them. “The same process applies to teens and college students, with each test specific to the next scheduled tournament only,” the website states.

Then there are several different subcategories outlining different scenarios and facts and questions. For example, there’s the “Jeopardy!” Test and the Anytime Test. Apparently, these are two different quizzes but both could advance you to the next round.

Here are both tests best described by the “Jeopardy!” site:

“Like the recent Jeopardy! Tests in January, the Jeopardy! Anytime Test is an entry point for anyone who wants to compete on Jeopardy! But now, it’s available to you at any time that is convenient for you. Passing the 50-question test is the first round of qualification. The format of the Anytime Test is the same as that of the scheduled Jeopardy! Test that is offered every year.” 

If you’re still looking for more information on becoming a “Jeopardy!” contestant, or just want to know how it works, we recommend visiting the website. But if you want to learn more about the line-up of guest hosts, we’ve got the full list here. If you want to learn about the behind-the-scenes of the show, check this out.