ABC announced that on January 7, 2020, the three highest earning “Jeopardy!” contestants will return to compete in “The Greatest of All Time,” a multi-night tournament. These contestants are Ken Jennings, who holds the record for most consecutive games won, Brad Rutter, who holds the record for highest winnings of all time, and James Holzhauer, who set and broke his own record for highest single-game winnings multiple times.
The regular “Jeopardy!” season features several tournaments that are favorites among regular viewers, but this tournament promises to be different. The first one to win three games will win one million dollars and secure their slot as the greatest “Jeopardy!” contestants of all time. With Holzhauer’s recent mind-boggling winning streak and strategy, long-time viewers and newcomers to the show were hooked, waiting to see his next outrageous bet and runaway win. As his streak grew longer and winnings total grew higher, Holzhauer was naturally compared to the other two contestants competing in “Greatest of All Time;” especially Jennings, who was even called upon to comment on Holzhauer’s strategy. It was inevitable for a tournament such as the upcoming one to be suggested, and likely promises a big ratings boost for the show as fans tune in. Rutter and Jennings previously competed against each other and an IBM computer, with Rutter coming in third place, Jennings in second place and the computer first.
Many “Jeopardy!” viewers are long-time fans, and saw Jennings, Rutter, and Holzhauer compete for the first time during their regular season winning streaks, so this tournament is a very exciting prospect. Winners like the three contestants who have long runs on “Jeopardy!” and the tournaments give the show some semblance of a story, with characters who remain long-term that viewers can get to know and root for. This tournament provides a continuation of that, with these “Jeopardy!” celebrities competing against each other. Half the fun lies in the speculation of whose strategy and knowledge will prevail, and which fan favorite will get the best of the other two.
“Jeopardy!” fans such as myself have been waiting for this announcement, and as the date nears, the excitement builds. However, worry lies in the idea that this might not be the battle royals promised. It would be extremely disappointing if one of the contestants lost by a wide margin in every game of the tournament, if one contestant won every game outright and the competition ended in three nights, or if every contestant underperformed. Hopefully the tournament satisfies the dreams of avid viewers, but there is only one way to find out.