‘Jeopardy!’ Behind the Scenes: Here Are All the Rules Contestants Must Follow

by Halle Ames
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The average Joe will never understand what it is like to be a contestant on Jeopardy, but we can sure try. Here are some rules the players must follow. 

Jeopardy doesn’t let just any person off the street compete on the popular show. Can you imagine what a mess that would be! Safe to say most of us would be a train wreck up there.

First, you must be 18 to be considered for the show. The only exception for this rule is the Jeopardy Teen Tournament, where contestants are between the ages of 13 and 17.

However, if you are over 18 and feeling lucky, you can take the online test for the show, called The Anytime Test. There are 50 questions, but the catch is that you only have 15 seconds to answer each question. 

Nervously sweats and gets a flashback to the ACT. 

Oh yeah, the catch is that you can only take the Anytime Test once a year. I hope you studied. Click here if you want to take this test.  

According to Good Housekeeping, “Once you pass the Anytime Test, you’re placed into a pool of applicants — but even then you may not get an audition. Per the show’s website, “audition space is limited, so a random selection of applicants are invited to audition.”

However, if you are selected to audition, you aren’t guaranteed a spot on the show. You must first complete ANOTHER 50 question “in-person” online test. This show isn’t playing around. You must know at least 35 questions to pass.

If you pass, you are asked to participate in a “mock version of the game,” where you will compete against other hopefuls. Here, players are tested on their Jeopardy knowledge and asked about their personal lives. 

Making It on Jeopardy

Once this process is complete, you are placed in a pool of other elite players and have up to 18 months to be selected. If you are fortunate enough to receive a call from the game show, you only have a month’s heads up to get your bum on a plane and get to the filming. Furthermore, contestants must pay their own way to Culver City, California. However, the hotel is paid for. 

On your episode, if you are on a hot streak, you better get comfortable. Once you win a game, you could be filming numerous episodes in a row until you lose. In one day, Jeopardy will film five episodes. That is enough for a week’s worth of content. 

With this being said, you are going to see a change of clothes—three in fact. If you win, you probably aren’t going to want to sport the same outfit as the day before. And yes, there is a dress code. The website highlights a few clothes that should be avoided, including “all-white tops, olive-colored tops, and any clothing with busy patterns.” Additionally, women are asked not to wear any makeup. An artist is provided by the studio and will have you looking your best by the time filming starts. However, no mascara or eyeliner is allowed due to the possibility of smudging. 

Although there are several other rules and stipulations, we only picked out the few that could really make or break your Jeopardy experience. Do you still want to apply? 

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