Jeopardy! Teen Tournament

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The Jeopardy! Teen Tournament is a yearly tournament on the American television game show Jeopardy! It features middle school and high school students between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.

The tournament plays like the Tournament of Champions. 15 contestants play in a two week tournament. The first five games are the quarterfinals, with three new contestants each day. The winners of the five games move on to the semi-finals. The four losing contestants with the highest scores also move on as "wild card" players. If there is a tie at the end of a game, a Final Jeopardy!-type answer is given, and the first player to ring in with the correct response wins the game. If all three players have a score of zero, none of the contestants move on to the semi-finals, and another wild card spot is added. The next three games are the semi-final games. The three winners of the semi-finals move on to the finals. The last two games are the two-day finals. In both games, the contestants start with zero scores, and the contestants' final scores from the two days are added together to see who is the winner. The contestant with the highest score from the two days wins. The other two contestants win smaller cash prizes.

Contestant selection[change | change source]

1990s[change | change source]

Would-be contestants mailed postcards with their names and addresses to Jeopardy!. 1,200 teens were selected at random from the postcard entries and were invited to come (at their own expense) to one of four regional test centers (e.g. Houston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles) to take a timed written qualifying examination with the 50 clues read by Alex Trebek on a video monitor at the front of an exam room. Passing scorers were invited back for an interview and mock game using an electronic buzzer system. Their photographs are taken for their files, and they are asked to fill out a short information sheet with interesting facts about themselves that may be later used by Alex Trebek during the interview portion of the show. Selected contestants and alternates were notified that they had been chosen to appear on the show one to two months later. They are then flown to Los Angeles to tape the show. Taping occurs over a period of two days, with the five quarterfinals played on the first day and the three semifinals and two final games played on the second day. Accommodations were provided for the contestants at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, with taping taking place at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.

2000s[change | change source]

Contestants registered on the Jeopardy! web site rather than submitting postcards. As before, a select number of registrants were invited to audition and take a written test at a regional audition. Accommodations for contestants are provided at the Hilton in Universal City, California.

2006–2019[change | change source]

All web site registrants take a 50-question timed online test at one set test time, usually late February. The test is given using Adobe Flash and takers are given 15 seconds per clue to type in their responses. A random selection of those who pass the test are invited to attend regional auditions in November at 4 locations around the United States at which another 50-question written test is given, followed by interviews and mock games. The number of students selected for the regional auditions is usually around 300, from which 15 are selected for the show.

Prizes[change | change source]

Year(s) Finalists (guaranteed amounts) Semifinalists Quarterfinalists
Winner Second place Third place
1987-Winter 1997 $25,000

(and a spot in the Tournament of Champions)

$10,000 $7,500 $5,000 $1,000
Fall 1997–2000 $15,000 $10,000 $2,500
2001 $50,000
2002–2003 $20,000 $15,000
2004–2005 $75,000 $25,000
2006–2014 $10,000 $5,000
2016−2019 $100,000 $50,000 $25,000

Other prizes[change | change source]

  • Until 2000, all Teen Tournament winners were invited to participate in the Tournament of Champions. When eligible, eight Teen Tournament winners made the Tournament of Champions semifinals, but none ever advanced to the finals.
  • In 1999 and again from 2001 to 2003, the Teen Tournament winner was awarded a new car (a Chevrolet Cavalier in 1999, a Chevrolet Tracker in 2001, a Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Convertible in 2002, and a Volkswagen New Beetle in 2003).
  • Contestants in the 2005 Teen Tournament were awarded a computer package.
  • Some Teen Tournament winners were later invited to Jeopardy!'s "all-time best" tournaments.
    • 1989 winner Eric Newhouse was a Super Jeopardy! semifinalist in 1990, a Million Dollar Masters finalist in 2002, and received a bye to the second round of 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
    • All but 2 Teen Tournament winners to that point competed in 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, with 1992 winner April McManus & 1995 winner Matthew Zielenski both advancing to the quarterfinals.
    • 1991 winner Andrew Westney competed in the 1980s round of 2014's Battle of the Decades tournament (after being voted in as the fan favorite amongst past champions from the 1980s in an online vote), but lost in his match.
    • 2013 winner Leonard Cooper competed in 2019's All-Star Games tournament as a member of Team Austin Rogers. His team wound up competing in the wildcard match where they were eliminated, collecting and splitting $75,000.

List of participants[change | change source]

The following is a list of contestants and where they placed in the tournament. Winners and runners-up who earned more than the minimum guarantees are as indicated in parentheses.

Finalists Semifinalists Quarterfinalists
Season 3 (February 16–27, 1987)
Winner: Michael Galvin
1st runner-up: Mitch Epner ($13,800)
2nd runner-up: Dana Venator
Mike Becker
Paul Egendorf
Brian Kalt
Salil Kumar
Lisa Patterson
David Simon
Felicia Corralez
Creswell Formey
Curt King
Dawn Marie Nolan
Sara Stanchina
Amy Wilson
Season 4 (February 8–19, 1988)
Winner: Michael Block
1st runner-up: David Javerbaum ($21,400)
2nd runner-up: David Graham ($14,300)
Jason Albert
Chris Capozzola
Sascha Dublin
Neil Gronewetter
Mark Wong
Stefanie Wulfestieg
Mia Diamond
Sarah Fanning
Delaine Foss
Gene Hayes
Eric Reid
Julie Robichaux
Season 5 (February 6–17, 1989)
Winner: Eric Newhouse ($28,100)
1st runner-up: Stanley Wu ($15,700)
2nd runner-up: Elena Whitley ($13,400)
Kristen Brimus
Dan Chase
Ryan Godfrey
Matt Lindley
3Peter Morris
Matt Pearson
David Dodson
Tracy Fisher
Marny Helfrich
Samantha Moeschler
Greg Parde
Laura Spear
Season 6 (February 5–16, 1990)
Winner: Jamie Weiss ($26,000)
1st runner-up: Andrew McGeorge ($15,400)
2nd runner-up: Richard Morris ($11,799)
Peji Ghanouni
Mike Grant
Scott Hoffman
Beth Mullins
3Wen Shen
Avi Stadler
Chris Black
Jennifer Dikes
Dionne King
Sharon Kristal
Kate Veksler
Stacey White
Season 7 (February 11–22, 1991)[1]
Winner: Andy Westney
1st runner-up: Dana Bacon ($17,400)
2nd runner-up: Julie Knauer ($13,992)
Joann Chan
Kareem Crayton
Agatha Feltus
Robert Fielding
Maggie Large
Jim Paluszak
Chris Beckner
Dan Gordon
Francesca Khactu
Christy Peterson
3Lauren Sager
Hanna Stotland
Season 8 (February 24–March 6, 1992)
Winner: April McManus
1st runner-up: Cori Van Noy ($10,600)
2nd runner-up: Jill Young
Dylan Fulmer
Pat Gavin
Matt Kane
Rob Marus
Raj Raghavan
Becky Slitt
Jason Colby
KC Harris
3Muffy Marracco Morris
Melissa Murray
Trucle Nguyen
Adrienne Williams
Season 9 (February 15–26, 1993)
Winner: Fraser Woodford ($28,999)
1st runner-up: Jesse Roach ($12,600)
2nd runner-up: Mit Robertson ($8,400)
Anne Black
Nancy Dickman
Patricia Larash
Lev Osherovich
Carrie Pruett
Suj Vijayan
Chris Dobbertean
Jessi Gile
Brent Keeling
Becky Pawlowski
Colin Rafferty
Scott Steiger
Season 10 (February 14–25, 1994)
Winner: Matt Morris ($29,601)
1st runner-up: Peter Steffen ($22,999)
2nd runner-up: Paul Loeffler ($13,200)
Jesse Irwin
Jeremy Manta
E.J. Sieracki
Gerry Tansey
Dorothy Thompson
Felicia Wu
Scott Alport
Rebecca Cinderbrand
Alice Handley
Carsten Reichel
Valerie Volcovici
Jonathan Zimmerman
Season 11 (February 6–17, 1995)
Winner: Matthew Zielenski ($42,300)
1st runner-up: Susannah Batko-Yovino ($26,200)
2nd runner-up: 3Deborah Sager ($17,300)
Chris Jacobs
Sujit Raman
Mathew Sandler
Shannon Shelton
Chuck Truesdell
Halla Yang
Erika Brown
Courtney Donovan
3Gwen Shen
Gus Splittorf
Jim Stichen
Martha Van Hoy
Season 12 (May 6–17, 1996)
Winner: 1Amanda Goad ($31,200)
1st runner-up: 1Derek Bridges ($31,200)
2nd runner-up: Joe Gurski ($24,800)
Linda Alila
Julee Baber
Anthony Chiu
Peter M. Friedman
Geoffrey Hatchard
Ben Healy
Carmen Abrazado
Heather Burnett
Talisha Burton
Lawson Fite
Penelope Pajel
Jodi Sangster
Season 13 (February 3–14, 1997)
Winner: Josh Den Hartog
1st runner-up: Justin Powell ($17,125)
2nd runner-up: Akiva Fox
Fran Bigman
Matthew Burgess
Pooja Dhume
Brandon Frantz
Faith Hillis
Tanis O'Connor
Chad Bell
Audrey Droesch
Sharon Druck
Rita Hamad
Brian Joseph
Alex Rubalcaya
Season 14 (November 3–14, 1997), with its second week at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
Winner: Sahir Islam ($26,300)
1st runner-up: Enos Williams ($20,800)
2nd runner-up: Kristen Stuckey ($14,400)
Evan Johnson
Jonathan Lowe
James Sumner
Kathy Thompson
Bea Vo
Kira Whelan
Julie Anastasi
Meghan Arnold
Rachel Johnson
Deon Lackey
Jennifer Rehmann
Justin Watkins
Season 15 Teen Reunion Tournament (November 16–20, 1998) at the Boch Center in Boston, Massachusetts
Winner: Eric Newhouse
1st runner-up: David Javerbaum
2nd runner-up: Chris Capozzola
Sascha Dublin
Creswell Formey
Samantha Moeschler
3Peter Morris
Julie Robichaux
Amy Wilson
Stan Wu
Stefanie Wulfestieg
Dana Venator
Season 15 (February 22–March 5, 1999)
Winner: Melissa Sexstone
1st runner-up: Trish Ranney ($17,600)
2nd runner-up: Elizabeth Nyman
Jeff Cary
Lina Ghosh
Katie Halliday
Oliver Longwell
Sam Sanker
Joan Williams
Nate Budde
2Milo Dochow
Brian Dunlap
Lindsay Embysk
Kitty Roberts
Rubani Trimiew
Season 16 (November 1–12, 1999) with its second week at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City
Winner: Chacko George
1st runner-up: Emily Deveau
2nd runner-up: Kristi Jones ($10,700)
Jack Challis
Erin Gell
Gerrit Hall
Brittan Heller
Chrissy Ijams
Elizabeth Norton
Miguel Dickson
Scott Duquette
Brian Golden
Marcia Hensley
Brian Polk
Adam Trabka
Season 17 (April 30–May 11, 2001) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Winner: Graham Gilmer
1st runner-up: Andy Siegler
2nd runner-up: Colleen Mahoney
Ryan Ballangee
Logan Bell
Katherine Bushey
Misti Coronel
Jonathan Reinstein
Alexis Stevens
Caley Anderson
Paige Feldman
Tom Hartmann
Nicole Reimer
Amanda Trujillo
Farah Zolghadr
Season 18 (February 4–15, 2002)
Winner: Bernard Holloway
1st runner-up: George Nelson ($29,497)
2nd runner-up: Seth Disner ($28,900)
Lindsey Bartlett
Heidi Greimann
Emily Karrs
Andy Kravis
Evan Stewart
Liana Walters
Anna Gohmann
Blake Hernandez
Seveen Kannankara
Margaret Monroe
Allie Pape
Dan Royles
Season 19 (February 3–14, 2003)
Winner: John Zhang
1st runner-up: Tyler Allard ($28,400)
2nd runner-up: Anthony Valente ($24,799)
Russell Berris
Stephanie Ehresman
Tara Karr
John Matthews
Benjamin Swartz
Shuyu Wang
Susan Bellenot
Kendra Chapman
Jonathan Gillerman
Joel Knight
Brittany McCants
Elizabeth Mullowney
Season 20 (February 9–20, 2004)
Winner: Jennifer Wu
1st runner-up: Chris Holden
2nd runner-up: Courtney Bennis
Meghan Apfelbaum
Heather Goodlett
Kerry Lambeth
Muhammad Meigooni
Matt Nordsten
Oliver Sherouse
Ashley Anderson
Emily Birkel
Lauren Drell
Brad Hoff
Jason Rindenau
Zach Schoepflin
Season 21 (January 26 – February 8, 2005)
Winner: Michael Braun
1st runner-up: Wes Kovarik ($30,000)
2nd runner-up: Anne Shivers ($18,000)
Caitlin Cook
Ruvani Fonseka
Steve Golden
Jimmy Li
Peter Severson
Orlando Zambrano
Vanamali Compton
Amy Fletcher
Allan Long
Whitney Prince
Kerri Regan
Chloé White
Season 22 (February 6–17, 2006)
Winner: Papa Chakravarthy
1st runner-up: Andrew Kreitz
2nd runner-up: Matt Klein
Camille Bullock
Joseph Graumann
Iddoshe Hirpa
David Hoffelmeyer
Sebastian Johnson
Allison Peña
Laura Ansley
Katie James
Loren Loiacono
Lauren Romero
Kenneth Schlax
Andrew Watkins
Season 23 (February 5–16, 2007)
Winner: David Walter
1st runner-up: Ben Schenkel ($42,800)
2nd runner-up: Stephen Fritz ($25,460)
Caroline Bartman
Frank Firke
Heidi Fogle
Naomi Hinchen
Myles Jeffrey
Hank Robinson
Kristin Briggs
Allison Dziuba
Jeffrey Gerlomes
Caroline Jones
Heidi Liu
Eliza Urban
Season 23 Teen Tournament Summer Games (July 16–27, 2007)
Winner: Meryl Federman
1st runner-up: Greg Peterson ($38,600)
2nd runner-up: Kyle Neblett ($36,400)
Lisa Ackerman
Jeffrey Baer
Kriti Gandhi
Rachel Gottesman
Andy Hutchins
Aiden Pink
Kristiana Henderson
Amy Levine
Tommy Maranges
Lindsey Nicolai
Ben Noe
Amy Varallo
Season 24 (February 11–22, 2008)
Winner: Rachel Horn
1st runner-up: Rachel "Steve" Cooke ($25,000)
2nd runner-up: Zia Choudhury ($18,000)
Hunter Brown
Will Casper
Todd Faulkenberry
Katie Gill
Melissa Luttmann
Naren Tallapragada
Maria Bennici
Bonnie Cao
Mollie Haycock
Becky Kralle
Janelle Lambert
Nick Philip
Season 25 (November 10–21, 2008)
Winner: Anurag Kashyap
1st runner-up: Bradley Silverman ($44,600)
2nd runner-up: Audrey Hosford ($26,400)
Ben Chuchla
Shelby Malone
Sarah Marx
Brandon Saunders
3Jay Schrader
Karan Takhar
Haley Batz
Charlie Carbery
Casey Clough
Katie Houghton
Drew Scheeler
Christopher Weis
Season 26 (November 2–13, 2009)
Winner: Rachel Rothenberg
1st runner-up: Will Dantzler ($31,600)
2nd runner-up: Aidan Mehigan
Zach Blumenfeld
Solomon Howard
Gabriel Johnson
Hema Karunakaram
Gabe Orlet
Lindsay Oxx
Bonny Jain
Emily Lever
Stephanie Radke
Samantha Reback
Kennedy Stomps
Forrest Sturgill
Season 27 (February 17–March 2, 2011)
Winner: Raynell Cooper
1st runner-up: Kailyn LaPorte ($42,600)
2nd runner-up: Raya Elias-Pushett ($20,851)
Nikhil Desai
Erin Hart
Idrees Kahloon
Lindsey Thiesfeld
Kate Wadman
Brandon Welch
Cosi Audi
Raphie Cantor
Steven Ho
Christian Ie
Carlee Jensen
Andrew Van Duyn
Season 28 (April 30–May 11, 2012) with its second week at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
Winner: Elyse Mancuso ($79,600)
1st runner-up: Rose Schaefer ($36,000)
2nd runner-up: Catherine Briley ($31,000)
Krishna Bharathala
1Evan Eschliman
Ben Greenho
Anshika Niraj
Eliza Scruton
Kevin Yang
Morgan Flood
1Gabriela Gonzales
Jeff Haylon
Sam Leanza
Caleb Olson
3Rob Schrader
Season 29 (January 30–February 12, 2013)
Winner: 4Leonard Cooper
1st runner-up: Barrett Block ($35,600)
2nd runner-up: 4Nilai Sarda ($26,400)
Tori Amos
William Crouch
Kelton Ellis
4Emily Greenberg
4Irene Vazquez
Joe Vertnik
Lila Anderson
Arjun Byju
Olivia Hummer
Brittany Poppen
Katie Stone
Jordan Villanueva
Season 30 (July 21–August 1, 2014)
Winner: 1Jeff Xie
1st runner-up: 1Alan Koolik ($54,200)
2nd runner-up: Cooper Lair ($31,200)
Kat Deabill
William Golden
Selena Groh
Sam Lerner
Sydney Mokel
Joe Taglic
Nikki Airi
Eileen Bunch
Erin Christopher
Kevin Huang
Ananya Nrusimha
Josiah Takang
Season 33 (November 9–22, 2016) at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C.
Winner: Sharath Narayan
1st runner-up: Alec Fischthal
2nd runner-up: Michael Borecki
Lily Allingham
Lucia Geng
Apurva Kanneganti
Antonio Karides
Emily LaMonica
Connor Pierce
Leeyu Addisu
Jack Bekos
Porter Bowman
Sabrina Duong
Michael Kwan
Jasmine Wheeler
Season 35 (November 7-20, 2018)
Winner: Claire Sattler
1st runner-up: Emma Arnold
2nd runner-up: Maya Wright
Tim Cho
Jack Izzo
Rohan Kapileshwari
Caleb Richmond
Audrey Satchivi
Autumn Shelton
Maggie Brown
Rotimi Kukoyi
Anish Maddipoti
Dan Oxman
Isabella Pagano
Rhea Sinha
Season 35 (June 17-28, 2019)
Winner: 1Avi Gupta
1st runner-up: Ryan Presler
2nd runner-up: Lucas Miner
Justin Bolsen
1Jackson Jones
Hannah Nekritz
Teagan O'Sullivan
Eesha Sohail
Shriya Yarlagadda
Rohit Kataria
Sreekar Madabushi
Stephanie Pierson
Alison Purcell
Audrey Sarin
Sophia Weng

^1 Amanda Goad and Derek Bridges were tied for first place at the end of the 1996 Teen Tournament. The tie was broken in a special tiebreaker round. The category was U.S. Cities and the answer was "A November 1995 Bosnian peace accord is named for this city". The correct response, given by Amanda, was "What was Dayton, Ohio?". The 2012 Teen Tournament also ended in a tie in the last quarterfinal match between Evan Eschliman and Gabriela Gonzales. The category was Literary Characters and the answer was "Although he doesn't actually appear in 1984, his presence is everywhere—on posters, coins & telescreens". The correct response, given by Evan was "Who is Big Brother?" (Evan advanced to the semifinals, but Gabriela did not have enough money to make it via wildcard). Jeff Xie and Alan Koolik were tied for first place at the end of the 2014 Teen Tournament. The tie was broken in a special tiebreaker round. The category was the Civil War and the answer was "The battles of Shiloh and Collierville were fought in this state". The correct response, given by Jeff, was "What is Tennessee?". Avi Gupta and Jackson Jones were tied for first place at the last semifinals of the 2019 Teen Tournament. The tie was broken in a special tiebreaker round. The category was American History and the answer was "Types of it you could find in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773 included Souchong & Bohea". The correct response given by Avi was "What is Tea?".[2]

^2 Owing to a questionable judges' ruling in Final Jeopardy!, Milo Dochow was brought back for the Winter 2000 Jeopardy! College Championship; however, he failed to advance to the semifinals.

^3 Peter Morris in 1989 and Muffy Marracco Morris in 1992 were the first pair of siblings to appear in the Teen Tournament; they are brother and sister. Peter Morris appeared again in the 1998 Teen Reunion Tournament. Wen Shen in 1990 and Gwen Shen of 1995 were also brother and sister. Lauren Sager (1991) and Deborah Sager (1995) are sisters.[3] Jay Schrader (2008) and Rob Schrader (2012) are brothers.

^4 Leonard Cooper in 2013 is the only contestant in Jeopardy! tournament history (all tournaments combined) to lose his semifinal but win the tournament. A triple-zero score in the second semifinal necessitated the use of the wild card option in the semifinals, similar to the first round. In the third semifinal, Nilai Sarda ($30,400) defeated Cooper ($30,200) and Emily Greenberg ($24,400). The only other non-zero semifinal score was Irene Vazquez ($100) from the first semifinal. Since then, all Jeopardy! tournament semifinals require a winner. A triple-zero score will now require a tie-breaker.

Merchandising[change | change source]

A console game based upon the Teen Tournament was released in the mid 1990s for the Nintendo Game Boy.

Teen Reunion Tournament[change | change source]

The Jeopardy! Teen Reunion Tournament was a special one-week tournament held in November 1998 at the Boch Center in Boston, Massachusetts that invited back 12 former Teen Tournament contestants from the first three tournaments on Jeopardy!

Format[change | change source]

Twelve former Teen Tournament contestants competed three at a time in four qualifying round matches. Winning contestants who were among the top three scorers would play in the final match for $50,000. Losing qualifiers took home $5,000, while the non-playing finalist took home $7,500. The third-place finisher took home a minimum guarantee of $10,000, while the second-place finisher was entitled to a minimum guarantee of $15,000. The highest scoring player in the finals took home $50,000.

The two nonwinning finalists also received the board game Game of the Year by University Games as well as a Tigris Pyramid and Movana.

Results[change | change source]

Qualifying round
  • November 16, 1998: Dana Venator defeated Peter Morris and Creswell Formey.
  • November 17, 1998: David Javerbaum defeated Amy Wilson and Sascha Dublin.
  • November 18, 1998: Eric Newhouse defeated Stefanie Wulfestieg and Julie Robichaux.
  • November 19, 1998: Chris Capozzola defeated Stanley Wu and Samantha Moeschler.

Capozzola, Javerbaum, and Newhouse advanced to the finals.

  • November 20, 1998: Newhouse defeated Javerbaum and Capozzola.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]