If you were a contestant on the TV show Jeopardy and came up with the correct question for every answer, just how much would you win?
It is a challenge to give a precise figure, since there are variables to the game such as where the daily doubles occur, how a player bets each of the four times, and the ability to correctly give questions to sixty-one different answers across the general plane of knowledge in a half hour. Add to this the stress of playing the game under the pressures of hot television lights, in front of a live studio audience and your individual psychological perceptions about the process.
But, the premise of someone being quick enough and smart enough to successfully run the entire Jeopardy game board for one night was enough for us to do some calculations. For the sake of this article, we will put the daily doubles in the middle of each run about half way during the first round and about one third of the way during double jeopardy, since this is consistent with how we have observed their placements. As our contestant, you have such constant self-esteem that you will bet these as true daily doubles (thereby doubling all your given earnings at that point) and you executive at a flawless level of execution. With all this as our proposition, here is our calculation on what you as our contestant could possibly earn if you successfully run the board on Jeopardy.
In the first round, each column of questions is worth a total of $3,000. If we insert the daily double at the mid-point after three columns and $9,000 worth of accumulated earnings. You correctly bet that, doubled your money to $18,000 and went on to a complete sweep of the first round. You would have earned $27,000.
In the second round, each column of questions is worth a total of $6,000. With earnings in hand of $27,000, you would have earnings of $39,000.00 after the two columns. If we insert the daily double at that point, you have successfully completed the first milestone of Double Jeopardy with $78,000.00. You continue on answering questions. We will then insert the second Daily Double at the end of your next two columns. Your earnings then would be at $90,000.00. You answer correctly and double the amount for a total of $180,000. Upon completing the balance of the game board, your total earnings for the first two rounds are $192,000.00.
It is now Final Jeopardy. Since you totally boxed out the other two contestants, there is no stress for you on how to bet. Your choice is to go all in and wager the whole $ 192,000. Your question is correct and you successfully double the amount for a half an hour’s worth of work to an astonishing $384,000.00.
We don’t claim this to be the definitive answer. Again, key elements of the game Jeopardy are where the Daily Doubles are placed and when you encounter them. This would change dramatically if each of the three Daily Doubles came exactly as the very last questions of each round each time. If the Daily Double was exactly under the very last $1,000 question in the first round and under the last two $2,000 questions in the second round; we then calculate your cash prize earnings could be as high as $ 576,000. Feel free to check our math and let us know if you came up with something different. Just let us know how you added it up.
And they said all that trivia you know could never amount to anything ….
— The Editors