Jeopardy! fans rejoice. We are months away from the most hotly anticipated Tournament of Champions in the show’s history. The lineup was officially revealed this week and it’s chock-full of memorable folks—one of whom is rather controversial among fans of the show.
The ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament Of Champions
The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions has existed since 1985. Jerry Frankel won its first iteration and took home the $100,000 grand prize. It’s run nearly every season since then, and it’s featured only the best Jeopardy! has to offer. Its list of winners is a who’s who, including Brad Rutter, James Holzhauer, and Buzzy Cohen.
More than any year before, the season 39 Tournament of Champions is hotly anticipated. No other tournament has ever featured so many super champions because there’s never been this many before. If the tournament only featured Matt Amodio returning it would be priority viewing, but this is something else altogether.
The Names Are Revealed
Cohen appeared on the latest edition of Inside Jeopardy! to reveal the list of names for the upcoming tournament. The podcast is brand new and promises to go behind the scenes of the iconic trivia show. While we already had a good idea of who would come back, the confirmed names are still very exciting.
First are the real sharks: 38-game winner Amodio, 40-game winner my Schneider and 23-game winner Mattea Roach are all returning. Fan favorite Ryan Long is coming back, as is Eric Ahasic. Combined, these four have won more Jeopardy! than anyone ever, and we can’t wait to see them duke it out in a battle of wits to determine the true super champion.
Tournament winners Jaskaran Singh and Sam Buttrey will join the following winners in the deepest field ever: Zach Newkirk, Jonathan Fisher, Brian Chang, Courtney Shah, Andrew He, Tyler Rhode, Jackie Kelly, John Focht, Margaret Shelton, Maureen O’Neill, and Christine Whelchel.
Best Of Luck To One Player
There’s one name who’s also coming back: controversial six-day champion Megan Wachspress. Wachspress stuck out for her comparatively low totals. She barely hung on to win $60,000, with a very low average game total of $10,000. She typically won by single-digit totals. Cohen even mentioned the odds against her: “What might be working against Megan is a low average score, that does not bode well when you’re working at this level.”
The fact is Wachspress found ways to win before, so she could do it again. The field will feature 21 total names after the second chance tournament, and they will compete under a new format which is a tad complicated. Roach, Schneider, and Amodio are getting byes into the semi-final round. Contestants will need to win three games in the semi-finals to advance to the finals, where they’ll also play three games to determine the winner. The winner will earn $250,000 and have bragging rights forever.