Jeopardy! has been on the air for almost 60 years, so most fans are pretty familiar with the rules of the show. However, it looks like the structure of the game show might be changing soon—and one former contestant, Buzzy Cohen, is sharing his thoughts on the potential change.
Could Contestants Get A Bonus For ‘Running’ A Category?
It looks like the showrunners of Jeopardy! are thinking about adding a cash bonus for contestants who answer all the questions in one category correctly. For Jeopardy! superfans, this is called “running the category.”
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“Running the category” can be a pretty impressive feat, and it’s usually only done by contestants who happen to have a deep knowledge of that specific category. While some think this is a great way to award contestants, former player Cohen is unsure about the change.
Former Contestant Weighs In: ‘Will [It] Affect Your Gameplay?’
Cohen won $164,603 during his nine-game run in 2016. He returned for the Tournament of Champions in 2019, winning the title and taking home $250,000. He even got to host the 2021 Tournament.
While appearing on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, he shared concerns about how this monetary prize might affect the way contestants play the game. “I think people like the idea of a bonus,” he admitted. “The sense I get is, is this a bonus that will affect your gameplay or game score total?”
The podcast hosts explained that the bonus would just be a nice addition at the end of a game, which changed Cohen’s mind a bit. “I think that the fandom would love that because it doesn’t exactly affect the gameplay, it’s just a little kicker,” he concluded.
Fan Opinions: ‘A Great Idea’
Cohen seems to have come around on the idea of cash bonuses for expert contestants, and it looks like Jeopardy! fans are equally open to the new component of the game show. “The #Jeopardy! rule change of a cash bonus for running a category is a good idea – annoying to see people gaming for the Double Jeopardy clues,” one person tweeted. “That’s the big change @Jeopardy should do: allow all contestants a chance to answer the #DoubleJeopardy clue at the wager that is chosen.”
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Another wrote, “The proposed idea of a cash bonus at the end of a #Jeopardy game for running a category is a great idea, even if contestants have to go from top to bottom. Like say someone gets $1,000 for third place but they get maybe an extra $1,000 or so for running a category.”
It’s unknown yet whether the proposed cash bonus will become part of future Jeopardy! Games, but it looks like the potential new rule already has the support of fans and former contestants alike.