‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Debate Prize Money Totals In Masters Special

Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! / YouTube

Jeopardy! fans watching the new Masters special have noticed something that makes the prize money totals in the regular show look weak in comparison. Many people understood the reasoning. However, others felt the show should make a change to the regular season. This would make it fairer for the contestants.

Here is what the complaints about the prize money are and the changes the show could make.

The Jeopardy! prize money is very different in the Masters special

Jeopardy! is in the middle of its Masters special and the prize money for the winner is huge. The champion gets $500,000. However, the show also awards prize money to the top five finishers. They get, in order, $250,000, $150,000, $100,000, $75,000, and $50,000. Yet, this also made some fans look at the regular show and shake their heads.

“75K for coming in fifth? Jeopardy suddenly has a lot of money to show off. Why don’t they [spend] it by giving runner up contestants what they really earn during the show, instead of that measly $1,000,” one fan asked on Facebook (via The Sun).

Jeopardy! runner ups / YouTube

However, other fans explained why this is the case with the regular show. One wrote that it is what makes the game show such high stakes. Some thought that the contestants should keep whatever money they had accumulated when the game ends, but that would, according to many fans, ruin Final Jeopardy! If the person had won $12,000, why risk it in the final round if they could just go home with it?

Another fan pointed out that some game shows send the non-winners home with nothing at all, so $1,000 and $2,000 are nice consolation prizes. Even worse, some shows like Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right give out merchandise and cars. Yet, the winners can’t even take that home unless they have the money on hand to pay the taxes on the winnings based on the worth of their prizes.

What changes do Jeopardy! fans think should be made?

When looking at the difference in prize money between the regular Jeopardy! and the Masters special, one fan had a good point. “I think the amount should be adjusted for inflation,” they wrote. Another pointed out that “$1000 isn’t enough to cover travel to LA anymore,” agreeing with that point. A third suggested that the runner-up prize should be at least $5,000.

Jeopardy! champion / YouTube

Of course, the one thing to take into account is there are about 230 episodes shot per year. Giving out $1.1 million once a year in a tournament like the Masters is one thing. Giving out an extra $1.15 million a year extra just for one of the runner-ups might be more than the show can afford.

What are your thoughts about the prize money on Jeopardy!? Do you think it should be raised in the regular season for the people who don’t win, or is it fine the way it is? Let us know in the comments below.

Shawn Lealos
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One Comment

  1. Article I read stated that Jeopardy used to give whatever the contestants accumulated. One such player had won the amount he wanted to buy a ring for his Fiance and quit playing after that. They changed the payout after that.

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