‘Jeopardy!’ Legend Alex Trebek Revealed Contestants’ ‘Strategy’ He Hated: ‘Drove Me Nuts’

by Keeli Parkey

During his decades-long tenure as the host of “Jeopardy!” Alex Trebek saw numerous contestants come and go. And, along with these contestants, came their various strategies for winning the game.

However, according to what he said during a 2015 interview, there was one strategy that Trebek hated more than all the others.

That interview was with Howard Stern. Joining in on the interview was late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, as well as Robin Quivers. Also taking part was Ralph Cirella. It was Cirella who turned the conversation to “Jeopardy!” strategy.

“If these people are so smart who play the game, how come so many zero out?” Cirella asked. “Like isn’t the basic rule at least leave $1 at the end of the game?”

Stern said a close family member of his was also bothered by this.

“My father watches ‘Jeopardy!’ every night. He knows you better than you know you,” Stern explained. “And, he goes crazy. He goes … ‘These people, they don’t know how to bet.'”

Quivers then chimed in and wanted to know why contestants should want to have at least $1 left at the end of the game.

Finally, Alex Trebek got the opportunity to share his feelings on this “Jeopardy!” question.

“Well, because in the early days, somebody figured out that ‘Hey, they’re going to bet it all and I’m going to leave myself a buck.’ And, it started a trend,” Trebek explained.

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Hated It When Contestants Would ‘Jump All Over the Board’

While leaving $1 was a “Jeopardy!” strategy Howard Stern and company thought was interesting, there was another that really irritated Alex Trebek. So, what was it?

It was when contestants would “jump all over the board.”

“And, everybody thinks … It’s like, uh, when we had Chuck Forrest as the champion on the program – he would jump all over the board,” Trebek recounted. “So, all the newcomers would say, ‘Well, the way to succeed is to jump all over the board.”

Howard Stern then chimed in to ask the long-time “Jeopardy!” host about this.

“So, doesn’t this drive you nuts?” Stern asked.

Alex Trebek didn’t hold back in answering this question. “Yeah, it drives me nuts. Because you don’t know what the category’s all about,” he said. “The writers get very creative. Just as your writers do. Oh, that’s where they’re going.”

You can watch Alex Trebek talk about his least favorite strategy by contestants of “Jeopardy!” below. His discussion of this topic with Howard Stern begins shortly after the six-minute mark of the video.