‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions Airing Next Week: What to Know

by Madison Miller

Next week, “Jeopardy!” will be rounding up some of the best trivia masters from the show for a chance to compete for a huge sum of money.

The “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions will take place from May 17-28. The tournament will bring together the best to compete for a prize of $250,000. The second and third prize winners will receive $100,000 and $50,000. The grand prize amount will be matched and donated to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless. This helps people in need with shelter, case management, mental health services, job training, substance abuse counseling, medical care, and more.

Buzzy Cohen, a former “Jeopardy!” champion, will be returning to the show as a guest host of the tournament.

Some will remember Cohen by his nickname of “Mr. Personality,” which was given to him lovingly by the late Alex Trebek. The fan-favorite from 2016 won $164,603 over the course of nine games. He was also the winner in the Tournament of Champions in 2017 and was a team captain for the All-Star Games in 2019. After his guest-hosting gig, Buzzy Cohen will no longer be able to compete on the “Jeopardy!” stage.

“Buzzy has been where each of these champions is, so we think it’ll be comforting for the contestants to see a familiar face behind the lectern. We will miss seeing him compete, but we look forward to seeing how he uses his quick wit and personality as guest host,” Mike Richards said, according to the “Jeopardy!” site.

More on ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions

Only certain contestants will be eligible for the upcoming tournament. There will be 15 different competitors. It will be those contestants who have won the most games between the last tournament in 2019 and the end of 2020. It also includes the Teachers Tournament and College Championship winners. Brayden Smith, who won five games and earned a spot in the tournament, sadly passed away in February. He will be acknowledged during the tournament.

The competition will start on May 17. The first week of the tournament will be the quarterfinals, in which three different contestants will compete each day. Then the winners of each day and the four Wild Card players with the highest scores advance to the semifinals. Those who win the semifinals will have a two-day experience in the finals to earn that final prize.

The first show will feature Jason Zuffranieri, Ryan Bilger, and Sarah Jett Rayburn. You can view each day’s contestants here.

Last Tournament in 2019

In 2019, popular “Jeopardy!” contestant James Holzhauer, walked away as the winner of the Tournament of Champions. He just barely defeated Emma Boettcher, who ended his 32-game streak on the show in the past. His total earnings from the show are now at $2,712,216. He is behind Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in total earnings.

According to USA Today, the finalists on the show had organized a fundraiser. They encouraged viewers to donate $1 for each correct response in the final round. The donations would go to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research in honor of Alex Trebek and Larry Martin, a 2018 Teachers Tournament winner.