Jeopardy! Teen Tournament
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The Jeopardy! Teen Tournament is one of the traditional tournaments held each season on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! Contestants in this tournament are primarily high school students, and between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. A field of 15 players compete in this tournament; one alternate is invited as a standby, but the alternate has never entered competition. The daily syndicated version of the show has conducted Teen Tournament each season since 1987 (Season 3), with two being held in Season 23 (2006–07). In the last two weeks of July 2007, a second Teen Tournament took place which was known as the Summer Games Tournament, making this the first (and only, to date) time in the daily syndicated Jeopardy!'s 23-year history that there were two Teen Tournaments held in the same season. Because of the Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades, the Season 30 Teen Tournament aired after regular non tournament play has ended (July 21 to August 1, 2014). There was no teen Tournament in season 31 (2014–15), season 32 (2015–16) and season 34 (2017-18).
The format used by the Teen Tournament format is identical to that of the Tournament of Champions and the College Championship: 5 quarterfinal games produce 5 semifinalists (winners) and 4 wildcard semifinalists (high scorers among nonwinners); 3 semifinals produce 3 finalists who compete in a 2-game final.
Would-be contestants mailed postcards with their names and addresses to Jeopardy!. 1,200 teens were selected at random from the postcard entries and were invited to come (at their own expense) to one of four regional test centers (e.g. Houston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles) to take a timed written qualifying examination with the 50 clues read by Alex Trebek on a video monitor at the front of an exam room. Passing scorers were invited back for an interview and mock game using an electronic buzzer system. Their photographs are taken for their files, and they are asked to fill out a short information sheet with interesting facts about themselves that may be later used by Alex Trebek during the interview portion of the show. Selected contestants and alternates were notified that they had been chosen to appear on the show one to two months later. They are then flown to Los Angeles to tape the show. Taping occurs over a period of two days, with the five quarterfinals played on the first day and the three seminfinals and two final games played on the second day. Accommodations were provided for the contestants at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, with taping taking place at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.
Contestants registered on the Jeopardy! web site rather than submitting postcards. As before, a select number of registrants were invited to audition and take a written test at a regional audition. Accommodations for contestants are provided at the Hilton in Universal City, California.
All web site registrants take a 50-question timed online test at one set test time, usually late February. The test is given using Adobe Flash and takers are given 15 seconds per clue to type in their answers. A random selection of those who pass the test are invited to attend regional auditions in November at 4 locations around the United States at which another 50-question written test is given, followed by interviews and mock games. The number of students selected for the regional auditions is usually around 300, from which 15 are selected for the show.
The prize amounts for all contestants are as follows:
|Period||Finalists (minimum guarantees)||Semifinalists||Quarterfinalists|
|Winner||1st runner-up||2nd runner-up|
(and a spot in the
- Until 2000, all Teen Tournament winners were invited to participate in the Tournament of Champions. When eligible, eight Teen Tournament winners made the Tournament of Champions semifinals, but none ever advanced to the finals.
- In 1999 and again from 2001 to 2003, the Teen Tournament winner was awarded a new car (a Chevrolet Cavalier in 1999, a Chevrolet Tracker in 2001, a Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Convertible in 2002, and a Volkswagen New Beetle in 2003).
- Contestants in the 2005 Teen Tournament were awarded a computer package.
- Some Teen Tournament winners were later invited to Jeopardy!'s "all-time best" tournaments.
- 1989 winner Eric Newhouse was a Super Jeopardy! semifinalist in 1990, a Million Dollar Masters finalist in 2002, and received a bye to the second round of 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
- All but 2 Teen Tournament winners to that point competed in 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, with 1992 winner April McManus & 1995 winner Matthew Zielenski both advancing to the semifinals.
- 1991 winner Andrew Westney competed in the 1980s round of 2014's Battle of the Decades tournament (after being voted in as the fan favorite from the 1980s decade in an online vote), but lost in his match.
List of participants
The following is a list of contestants and where they placed in the tournament. Winners and runners-up who earned more than the minimum guarantees are as indicated in parentheses.
|Season 3 (February 16–27, 1987)|
|Winner: Michael Galvin
1st runner-up: Mitch Epner ($13,800)
2nd runner-up: Dana Venator
Dawn Marie Nolan
|Season 4 (February 8–19, 1988)|
|Winner: Michael Block
1st runner-up: David Javerbaum ($21,400)
2nd runner-up: David Graham ($14,300)
|Season 5 (February 6–17, 1989)|
|Winner: Eric Newhouse ($28,100)
1st runner-up: Stanley Wu ($15,700)
2nd runner-up: Elena Whitley ($13,400)
|Season 6 (February 5–16, 1990)|
|Winner: Jamie Weiss ($26,000)
1st runner-up: Andrew McGeorge ($15,400)
2nd runner-up: Richard Morris ($11,799)
|Season 7 (February 11–22, 1991)|
|Winner: Andy Westney
1st runner-up: Dana Bacon ($17,400)
2nd runner-up: Julie Knauer ($13,992)
|Season 8 (February 24–March 6, 1992)|
|Winner: April McManus
1st runner-up: Cori Van Noy ($10,600)
2nd runner-up: Jill Young
3Muffy Marracco Morris
|Season 9 (February 1–12, 1993)|
|Winner: Fraser Woodford ($28,999)
1st runner-up: Jesse Roach ($12,600)
2nd runner-up: Mit Robertson ($8,400)
|Season 10 (February 7–18, 1994)|
|Winner: Matt Morris ($29,601)
1st runner-up: Peter Steffen ($22,999)
2nd runner-up: Paul Loeffler ($13,200)
|Season 11 (February 6–17, 1995)|
|Winner: Matthew Zielenski ($42,300)
1st runner-up: Susannah Batko-Yovino ($26,200)
2nd runner-up: 3Deborah Sager ($17,300)
Martha Van Hoy
|Season 12 (May 6–17, 1996)|
|Winner: 1Amanda Goad ($31,200)
1st runner-up: 1Derek Bridges ($31,200)
2nd runner-up: Joe Gurski ($24,800)
Peter M. Friedman
|Season 13 (February 3–14, 1997)|
|Winner: Josh Den Hartog
1st runner-up: Justin Powell ($17,125)
2nd runner-up: Akiva Fox
|Season 14 (November 3–14, 1997), with its second week at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.|
|Winner: Sahir Islam ($26,300)
1st runner-up: Enos Williams ($20,800)
2nd runner-up: Kristen Stuckey ($14,400)
|Season 15 Teen Reunion Tournament (November 16–20, 1998) at the Wang Theater in Boston, Massachusetts|
|Winner: Eric Newhouse
1st runner-up: David Javerbaum
2nd runner-up: Chris Capozzola
|Season 15 (February 22–March 5, 1999)|
|Winner: Melissa Sexstone
1st runner-up: Trish Ranney ($17,600)
2nd runner-up: Elizabeth Nyman
|Season 16 (November 1–12, 1999) with its second week at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City|
|Winner: Chacko George
1st runner-up: Emily Deveau
2nd runner-up: Kristi Jones ($10,700)
|Season 17 (April 30–May 11, 2001) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Winner: Graham Gilmer
1st runner-up: Andy Siegler
2nd runner-up: Colleen Mahoney
|Season 18 (February 4–15, 2002)|
|Winner: Bernard Holloway
1st runner-up: George Nelson ($29,497)
2nd runner-up: Seth Disner ($28,900)
|Season 19 (February 3–14, 2003)|
|Winner: John Zhang
1st runner-up: Tyler Allard ($28,400)
2nd runner-up: Anthony Valente ($24,799)
|Season 20 (February 9–20, 2004)|
|Winner: Jennifer Wu
1st runner-up: Chris Holden
2nd runner-up: Courtney Bennis
|Season 21 (January 26 – February 8, 2005)|
|Winner: Michael Braun
1st runner-up: Wes Kovarik ($30,000)
2nd runner-up: Anne Shivers ($18,000)
|Season 22 (February 6–17, 2006)|
|Winner: Papa Chakravarthy
1st runner-up: Andrew Kreitz
2nd runner-up: Matt Klein
|Season 23 (February 5–16, 2007)|
|Winner: David Walter
1st runner-up: Ben Schenkel ($42,800)
2nd runner-up: Stephen Fritz ($25,460)
|Season 23 Teen Tournament Summer Games (July 16–27, 2007)|
|Winner: Meryl Federman
1st runner-up: Greg Peterson ($38,600)
2nd runner-up: Kyle Neblett ($36,400)
|Season 24 (February 11–22, 2008)|
|Winner: Rachel Horn
1st runner-up: Rachel "Steve" Cooke ($25,000)
2nd runner-up: Zia Choudhury ($18,000)
|Season 25 (November 10–21, 2008)|
|Winner: Anurag Kashyap
1st runner-up: Bradley Silverman ($44,600)
2nd runner-up: Audrey Hosford ($26,400)
|Season 26 (November 2–13, 2009)|
|Winner: Rachel Rothenberg
1st runner-up: Will Dantzler ($31,600)
2nd runner-up: Aidan Mehigan
|Season 27 (February 17–March 2, 2011)|
|Winner: Raynell Cooper
1st runner-up: Kailyn LaPorte ($42,600)
2nd runner-up: Raya Elias-Pushett ($20,851)
Andrew Van Duyn
|Season 28 (April 30–May 11, 2012) with its second week at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.|
|Winner: Elyse Mancuso ($79,600)
1st runner-up: Rose Schaefer ($36,000)
2nd runner-up: Catherine Briley ($31,000)
|Season 29 (January 30–February 12, 2013)|
|Winner: 4Leonard Cooper
1st runner-up: Barrett Block ($35,600)
2nd runner-up: 4Nilai Sarda ($26,400)
|Season 30 (July 21–August 1, 2014)|
|Winner: 1Jeff Xie
1st runner-up: 1Alan Koolik ($54,200)
2nd runner-up: Cooper Lair ($31,200)
|Season 33 (November 9–22, 2016) at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C.|
|Winner: Sharath Narayan
1st runner-up: Alec Fischthal
2nd runner-up: Michael Borecki
^1 Amanda Goad and Derek Bridges were tied for first place at the end of the 1996 Teen Tournament. The tie was broken in a special tiebreaker round. The category was U.S. Cities and the answer was "A November 1995 Bosnian peace accord is named for this city". The correct response, given by Amanda, was "What was Dayton, Ohio?". The 2012 Teen Tournament also ended in a tie in the last quarterfinal match between Evan Eschliman and Gabriela Gonzales. The category was Literary Characters and the answer was "Although he doesn't actually appear in 1984, his presence is everywhere—on posters, coins & telescreens". The correct response, given by Evan was "Who is Big Brother?" (Evan advanced to the semifinals, but Gabriela didn't have enough money to make it via wildcard). Jeff Xie and Alan Koolik were tied for first place at the end of the 2014 Teen Tournament. The tie was broken in a special tiebreaker round. The category was the Civil War and the answer was "The battles of Shiloh and Collierville were fought in this state". The correct response, given by Jeff, was "What is Tennessee?".
^3 Peter Morris in 1989 and Muffy Marracco Morris in 1992 were the first pair of siblings to appear in the Teen Tournament. Peter Morris appeared again in the 1998 Teen Reunion Tournament. Wen Shen in 1990 and Gwen Shen of 1995 were also brother and sister. Lauren Sager (1991) and Deborah Sager (1995) are sisters. Jay Schrader (2008) and Rob Schrader (2012) are brothers.
^4 Leonard Cooper in 2013 is the only contestant in Jeopardy! tournament history (all tournaments combined) to lose his semifinal but win the tournament. A triple-zero score in the second semifinal necessitated the use of the wild card option in the semifinals, similar to the first round. In the third semifinal, Nilai Sarda ($30,400) defeated Cooper ($30,200) and Emily Greenberg ($24,400). The only other non-zero semifinal score was Irene Vazquez ($100) from the first semifinal.
Teen Reunion Tournament
The Jeopardy! Teen Reunion Tournament was a special one-week tournament held in November 1998 at the Wang Center for the Performing Arts in Boston, Massachusetts that invited back 12 former Teen Tournament contestants from the first three tournaments on Jeopardy!
Twelve former Teen Tournament contestants competed three at a time in four qualifying round matches. Winning contestants who were among the top three scorers would play in the final match for $50,000. Losing qualifiers took home $5,000, while the non-playing finalist took home $7,500. The third-place finisher took home a minimum guarantee of $10,000, while the second-place finisher was entitled to a minimum guarantee of $15,000. The highest scoring player in the finals took home $50,000.
The two nonwinning finalists also received the board game Game of the Year by University Games as well as a Tigris Pyramid and Movana.
- Qualifying round
- November 16, 1998: Dana Venator defeated Peter Morris and Creswell Formey.
- November 17, 1998: David Javerbaum defeated Amy Wilson and Sascha Dublin.
- November 18, 1998: Eric Newhouse defeated Stefanie Wulfestieg and Julie Robichaux.
- November 19, 1998: Chris Capozzola defeated Stanley Wu and Samantha Moeschler.
Capozzola, Javerbaum, and Newhouse advanced to the finals.
- November 20, 1998: Newhouse defeated Javerbaum and Capozzola.
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- Jeopardy Teen Tournament Intros
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- Orzeck, Kurt (February 23, 2011). "Samohi Student Loses in Jeopardy Teen Tournament". Santa Monica Patch. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012.
- Lane, Tammy (February 18, 2011). "PLD Junior Competes in Jeopardy! Teen Tournament". Fayette County Public Schools: Where It's About Kids. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013.
- Ganster, Kathleen (February 10, 2011). "A newsmaker you should know: O'Hara student on 'Jeopardy' teen tournament". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011.
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