Out of all the classic game shows, no one does it like “Jeopardy!” As one of the longest-running shows, with loyal fans of all generations, it appears as if the show will never slow down. Every facet of the show brings an astonishing amount of entertainment. From its questions to its music, it stands alone.
As for the iconic theme song we all know and love, it’s instantly recognizable as it is catchy— which brings up the question, how much is it worth?
“Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” creator Merv Griffin wrote the original song in 1963, long before he conceived the idea for the game show. Griffin originally composed “Think!,” the music used today, as a lullaby for his son. Later in the ’70s, when the show began taping, the creators used a different theme song. This one was crafted by Griffin’s wife, Julann, called “Take Ten.”
Eventually, “Think!” replaced his wife’s song and counted down contestants as they answered the final question of the episode.
Merv Griffin Becomes Uber Wealthy Thanks to ‘Jeopardy!’ Theme Song
In 1986, Griffin sold both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” to the Coca-Cola Company for $250 million but stipulated that he would retain royalties. This decision would go on to add to his massive amount of wealth.
Before Griffin passed away in 2007, he noted that the famous song earned him somewhere between $70-80 million in royalties. Griffin also added that it took one minute to write the song, making it noteworthy that he could craft such an iconic song in less than 60 seconds. In addition, the song was not only beloved by fans but critics as well. At the 2009 Game Show Awards, the song was named “Best Game Show Theme Song” by GSN.
To understand how wealthy the song made Griffin, we can look to Ken Jennings, the highest-paid contestant in “Jeopardy!” history, as an example. Jenning would have had to win 2,368 games in a row to equal the amount of royalties Griffin earned with his hit song.
Even though it’s unclear who will officially take over as the next host behind the podium, following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek, one thing is for sure: “Think!” will continue to be loved by fans as long as the show continues to be on the air.