On March 30, 1964, the world saw the first episode of Jeopardy!. This show has turned into one of the most popular game shows ever, and in its current version, it is one of the longest-running. Here are 6 brainy facts you many not know about Jeopardy!
It Once Had a Computer as a Contestant. In 2011, Jeopardy! brought back winning contestants Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter to compete against IBM's Watson, a supercomputer. The match was solely for exhibition, and Watson had been put through Jeopardy! practice for several months before the game. Watson won the game easily, with Jennings even quipping that he welcomed his new computer overlords. Interestingly, Watson itself was not at the game podium but was instead represented by an avatar. The reason for this was that the servers were not only very noisy, but they also took up about 10 racks and wouldn't have fit into the space by the buzzer anyway.
Jeopardy! Has Been Canceled Twice in Its Existence. The current iteration of Jeopardy! is actually its third. The show originally ran for 10 years before being canceled in the 1970s. It came back for a short time in 1978 but was quickly dropped. The current version with Alex Trebek began in 1984 and has run uninterrupted since then. Jeopardy! also spawned spinoffs such as a version for kids and many, many parodies, particularly on Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell playing Alex Trebek and Kenan Thompson hosting the parody version Black Jeopardy!.
Alex Trebek Once Hosted Three Game Shows in the Same Time Period. Trebek's skill as a game show host has kept him in front of the camera on Jeopardy! for decades, but he really took off as a game show host in 1991, when he hosted three different shows in the same time period. There was Jeopardy!, of course, and he also hosted a version of Classic Concentration that year. In February, he hosted To Tell the Truth for a single show as a substitute host.
Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune Are Sister Shows in More Ways Than One. Both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have an agreement that if you appear on one, you can't appear on the other, and for that reason, the two are often called sister shows. However, the sisterly relationship was reinforced with humor on April Fool's Day in 1997 when Trebek and Pat Sajak switched places and hosted each other's shows.
Two Jeopardy! Winners Managed to Win With Literally $1. It's not that unusual to see someone win by having $1 more than their competitors. But twice now in the history of Jeopardy! has someone won with literally $1 left in their game purse. The first time was in 1993, when an Air Force lieutenant colonel named Daryl Scott ended up with a single dollar and won. The second time was in 2017, when Manny Abell managed the same feat. Although one of the three contestants in each episode almost always wins, several episodes have ended with no winner. To date, there have been seven games that resulted in no one winning 'Jeopardy!'.
Alex Trebek's Real Name Isn't Actually Alex While everyone might know Alex Trebek is Canadian, few people know that his real name is George. But, don’t fret, Alexander is his middle name, so not everything you know is a lie.