Jeopardy! Masters: How the Competition Works
The wait is almost over: Jeopardy! Masters starts Monday, May 8 at 8/7c on ABC.
Wondering how the competition works? We’re here to break it all down for you. Ahead of the primetime event, hosted by Ken Jennings, we’re giving you the inside scoop on everything from format details and prizing structure to match points and tiebreakers.
WHAT IS JEOPARDY! MASTERS?
Six of Jeopardy!’s highest ranked champions will compete for a chance to win $500,000, the Trebek Trophy, and the title of 2023 Jeopardy! Masters Champion.
WHO ARE THE PLAYERS?
WHAT IS THE FORMAT?
Over the course of 10 hour-long episodes containing two half-hour games, the six champions will compete across a series of league-style games that follow the standard J! structure: Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy!.
After seven episodes (14 games), the top four players will advance to the Semifinals before one more player is eliminated. The championship culminates with the top three players competing in the Masters Finals for the ultimate win.
THE POINTS & PRIZE STRUCTURE
Up until the Finals, players will be awarded “match points” based on how they perform in each game.
Winner – 3 Points
Second Place – 1 Point
Third Place – 0 Points
Anyone who does not make it to Final Jeopardy! will automatically receive 0 “match points” for that game.
Up until the Finals, eliminations and prizing will be determined by cumulative ”match points,” with the Finals being determined by traditional dollar value scores: a two-game “total point affair” as in other Jeopardy! tournament finals.
The prize structure is as follows:
1st Place – $500,000 + Trebek Trophy
2nd Place – $250,000
3rd Place – $150,000
4th Place – $100,000 (awarded after Semifinals)
5th Place – $75,000 (awarded after Episode 7/Game 14)
6th Place – $50,000 (awarded after Episode 7/Game 14)
THE FORMAT DETAILS
Every episode will consist of two games.
Episode 1: Games 1 & 2
“Match points” (3, 1, 0) are awarded after each game.
Episodes 2-7: Games 3-14
- The two winners of the previous episode will automatically face each other (always in the second game of the night). Their third opponent will be determined by a random draw of the remaining players that have not yet competed against the other two together.
- At the end of Episode 7, the two players with the fewest “match points” are awarded their respective prize amounts for 5th and 6th place and are eliminated from the competition.
Episodes 8-9: Semifinal Games 15-18
- The four remaining players will now face each other over four games, in every combination. “Match points” are re-set before Game 15.
- At the end of Episode 9 (Game 18), the player with the fewest cumulative “match points” from the Semifinals is awarded the 4th place prize amount and eliminated from the competition.
Episode 10: Finals Games 19-20
- The final three will face each other in a two-game total point affair.
- All “match points” re-set to 0 at the start of Game 19.
In the event that any players are tied in cumulative match points, the below criteria will be used to determine their leaderboard standings:
- Number of games won. If there is still a tie…
- Cumulative correct responses for that stage of the competition (including Final Jeopardy!). If there is still a tie…
- Cumulative score (excluding Final Jeopardy! & Daily Double wagers). If there is still a tie…
- Cumulative score (excluding Final Jeopardy!)