Tag Archives: Jeopardy!

Shared Post: Ken Jennings Responds to a Question about Final Jeopardy!

I always like to read interesting tidbits about the inner workings of my favorite game show.

Ed wants to know:

I have a question I’d like to ask, if I may. When Alex tells you the category for Final Jeopardy when you make your wager but before the question, are you also able to write “What is” to begin your answer? Or do you have to wait until you get the question to begin? It seems like that would be a few seconds longer to think if you’re having a difficult time with the answer.

During the commercial break before Final Jeopardy, the show stops tape so that the contestants have all the time they need to make their wagers. Once wagers are locked in, contestants are instructed to write the correct question word (“Who” or “What,” depending) on their panels. (No “is”/”are”/”was”/”were” though! No hints on gender or number are forthcoming.)

It’s true that this gives you more time to think/write once the clue is revealed and the music starts, but I think the real rationale behind the rule is to keep a nervous contestant from accidentally omitting the “who” or “what” in Final Jeopardy. I’m hazy on the details, but I believe that at least once in the early Trebek days (before contestants were instructed to pre-write the question phrasing) someone lost a game despite a correct Final Jeopardy answer because they didn’t PIITFOAQ. (This acronym, pronounced “pit-folk,” is how in-the-know Jeopardy! types abbreviate “phrase it in the form of a question.”) To avoid another audience-aggravating event of that kind, they started prompting for the “Who” and “What” off-camera.

Oh, just kidding about PIITFOAQ. But I wish that was a word.

Originally found here.

I Love Jeopardy!

I have loved Jeopardy! ever since I first saw it. I remember thinking back in middle school that it was unfair that I had to miss the show because of school.  Recently,  we got a DVR at my house – one of the greatest creations by mankind , ever, I might add.  The first show I  set up to be recorded was naturally Jeopardy!.  Not only do I record the show, but I actually record it three times a day.  The regular show, the same show in HD, and an older version that’s being show on GSN.  Ah, technology.  Thankfully, I have a Wife that accepts, and even appreciates on certain days, my nerdery and she happily watches the show with me.

Anyways, the whole point of this post was so that I could link to this interview by Alex Trebek, done for Esquire Magazine in 2003.  If you read that interview, I think you’ll find an interesting perspective about ol’ Alex.  Furthermore, he’s apparently got a dirty-ass mouth.  Which I think, frankly, is great.