‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions Kicks Off Tonight: Here’s Who’s Competing

by Halle Ames
(Photo Credit: Scott Wintrow/ Getty Images)

The star-studded lineup for this week’s “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions has been released. Find out who is competing tonight. 

Starting today, 15 former champions have qualified to make the tournament with a $250,000 prize for one lucky winner. From May 17 (today) until May 21 (Friday), the quarter-finals event occurs, with all 15 contestants competing for an exclusive spot in the semifinal round.

Meet The Tournament Of Champions Contestants

Meet today’s contestants

We first have Jason Zuffranieri, a math teacher from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is going up against Ryan Bilger, a graduate student from Macungie, Pennsylvania. Finally, Sarah Jett Rayburn is a stay-at-home mom and writer from Hutto, Texas. 

On Tuesday, Karen Farrell, a political consultant from Virginia, takes on Nibir Sarma, a junior at the University of Minnesota, and Steve Moulds, a playwright from Louisville. 

Wednesday consists of more top-notch competition with Michigan native Jennifer Quail, a wine tasting consultant. Attorney, Paul Trifiletti, and LA Legal Technology Professor Ryan Hemmel also join the competition.

Thursday, May 20, Mackenzie Jones, a stem programming coordinator has her work cut out for her. She goes head to head… to head with Kevin Walsh, a story analyst as well as choral music director Ben Henri. 

On the final day of the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions, who do you think will advance to the next round? Teacher Sam Kavanaugh, writer Andy Wood, or Librarian Veronica Vichit-Vadakan. 

With such stiff competition, it’s hard to even make a bet as to who will reign victorious and be crowned the new Tournament of Champions winner. Check your local listing here so you don’t miss a second of the “Jeopardy!” action. 

Furthermore, “Jeopardy!” posted a picture of all the contestants on their social media account today. They captioned the image, “The #TournamentOfChampions kicks off today! Who’s watching?!”

Oh, we wouldn’t miss it!

Buzzy Cohen Returns To ‘Jeopardy!’

Buzzy Cohen returns to the “Jeopardy!” stage once again as guest host of the prestigious Tournament of Champions. 

Cohen is a former “Jeopardy!” champion with long ties to the show. According to the “Jeopardy!” website, Alex Trebek once gave Buzzy Cohen the nickname “Mr. Personality” in 2016. And it’s stuck with him over the years and has become a fan favorite. Additionally, Cohen won over $164,603 throughout nine episodes on “Jeopardy!”

He was invited back to the show in 2017 and proceeded to win the Tournament of Champions. As of 2019, “Jeopardy!” named Cohen as team captain for the All-Star Games. However, since he’s serving as host, Buzzy Cohen will not be eligible to return as a contestant.