Here's What You Should Know About the 'Jeopardy! Masters' Tournament Format

'Jeopardy! Masters' pits previous champions against each other in an all-new tournament style competition.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

May 6 2024, Published 11:44 a.m. ET

Ken Jennings hosts 'Jeopardy! Masters'
Source: ABC

For more than several decades, game show contestants have been answering in the form of a question on Jeopardy! The popular ongoing game show has been around since 1964 and has continually kept audiences engaged as some truly knowledgeable competitors test their trivia skills in several different categories all while trying to build up their winnings throughout two or more episodes. The show has long been a staple on ABC's lineup of game shows and has remained relevant to this day.

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Over the years, the show has seen some epic champions grace the stage. Several players have accrued massive winning streaks that have lasted for weeks if not months as they etch themselves into game show television history. Starting in 2023, these very champions have been returning to compete against each other to see whose capacity for knowledge is truly boundless. Jeopardy! Masters pits previous players against each other in a new tournament format. Here's what you should know about how it works.

A game of 'Jeopardy! Masters'
Source: ABC
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How does 'Jeopardy! Masters' work? It puts a tournament spin on the traditional game show format.

Jeopardy! Masters first premiered in May 2023. The series is hosted by Ken Jennings, who currently holds the longest streak of Jeopardy! wins with over 74 consecutive wins. All of the players in Masters are previous Jeopardy! champions, including Amy Schneider and James Holzhauer.

For the most part, the game remains the same in which contestants must use their knowledge of trivia to earn as high a score as possible by the end of each game. Players still have the opportunity to choose between different categories and discover Daily Doubles to earn more points through wagers.

However, there are a few key differences between regular Jeopardy! and the Masters version. For one, Masters airs every other day as opposed to Jeopardy's long-held schedule of Monday through Friday.

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Players' scores are also measured by points as opposed to dollar amounts. Furthermore, the competition is presented in a round-robin tournament format.

As opposed to typical single-elimination tournaments, Masters uses a format in which all players are guaranteed the opportunity to face each other. Their scores are also tracked cumulatively over the course of several weeks of competition.

Contestants on 'Jeopardy! Masters'
Source: ABC
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Whoever has the highest scores after a few weeks of competition will move on to semifinals and those whose scores don't qualify are eliminated at that point. In other words, even players who perform poorly during one game will still have the opportunity to improve on their scores before the semifinals.

What's more, every competitor will win a cash prize, though amounts will vary based on how well they score.

Placing first earns you $500,000, the coveted Trebek Trophy dedicated to late host Alex Trebek, and a guaranteed invitation to the next Masters competition.

Other prizes include:

  • Second Place: $250,000 and an invite to next year's competition
  • Third Place: $150,000 and an invite
  • Fourth Place: $100,000
  • Fifth Place: $75,000
  • Sixth Place: $50,000

This relatively new style of Jeopardy! has proven to be a success. Season 2 of Masters began airing on May 1, 2024, and will run throughout the entire month.

Catch new hourlong episodes of Jeopardy! Masters every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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