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Source: reddit

Do 'Jeopardy!' Contestants Know the Categories in Advance? 10 Frequently Asked Questions

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Jeopardy! has been on the air with host Alex Trebek for 35 years, but contestants who've been on the show still get tons of questions about the inner-workings of the quiz show. I competed a few years ago in Season 32, and naturally when it comes up in conversation, several common questions about what it's like and what goes on behind the scenes come up again and again. 

With the unprecedented success of current champion James Holzhauer, I've had almost as many conversations about the show in the last couple weeks as I did when I taped my episode three years ago. Here are answers to the most common queries I get.

1. Do 'Jeopardy!' contestants get to know the categories in advance?

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Source: Sony

Man, wouldn't that be nice. Unfortunately, no one but Alex and the production staff sees the categories until they appear on the board. Also, new challengers don't know which game they're playing until a few minutes before they take the podium. Sony tapes five shows in one day of production and the challengers from that day's pool are selected at random. 

That said, there are some ways to predict subjects that might come up in your game. For example, if you know the episode you're about to tape will air on a holiday or before a major event like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards, you can expect questions about that subject to come up at some point. Even still, you wouldn't have any time to study up beforehand to get an edge.