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Who Was the Greatest 'Jeopardy!' Contestant Of All Time? We'll Find Out In 2020

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By Emily Reily
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A 'Jeopardy!' For the Ages

Giphy | Jeopardy!

There have been so many great memories and so many great contestants on the long-running quiz show "Jeopardy!" that it's difficult to pick the best moments, never mind choosing who are the winningest contestants.

But next year, after 35 years with Alex Trebek as the host, we'll get the chance to find out.

Choose Your Winner

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Producers have now decided to anoint the greatest contestant of all time next year.

They'll pick among the top-tier contestants who remained on the show for weeks, proving to be unbeatable.

Right now the three contestants up for the title are Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer. Most casual "Jeopardy!" fans are familiar with those names; they were introduced so often by Trebek that it was ingrained in people's minds. Rutter, however, first appeared on the show in 2000. The three of them have also had the biggest winnings.



Cheatsheet notes that Rutter had the most earnings, but Ken Jennings won the most games. What that comes down to is that Rutter was able to place bigger bets on the final amount he'd make at the end of each episode.

Jennings, on the other hand, has plenty of experience as well as smarts. He first appeared on the show in 2004.

Holzhauer is a fierce competitor, so he could easily take the whole thing. And since he's competed recently, the whole thing is fresh in his mind, giving him an advantage.

Championship Starts Jan. 7


The new offshoot, "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time," will air in prime time starting Jan. 7. That's an unusual step, given that the show has historically aired at 7 p.m., but it seems like they're making a special exception.

Given the show's history and popularity, they should have no trouble gaining viewership. Now that we're squarely in the age of memes and social media, these special "Jeopardy!" episodes could yield some incredible gifs.

Three Nights Of Quiz Show Magic

Giphy | Jeopardy!

"Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time" will be run sort of like a sports championship, with the contestants competing on three nights, Jan. 7-9. They have allowed for extra shows to run through Jan. 16 in case of a tie.

The show's website states:

"The three will compete in a series of matches; the first to win three matches receives $1 million and the title of “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time.” The two non-winners will each receive $250,000."

So even the losers will walk away with a quarter of a million dollars. That's not bad for a quiz show.

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