Do You Know the Questions from the First Episode of Jeopardy?
The cozy-but-contemplative chiming of the “Jeopardy!” instrumental rings in your head. While humming along after seeing this quiz title, you sit with one hand in The Thinker’s pose, the other on your keyboard (hopefully not about to click away from BrainFall). You’ve probably heard “Doo Doo Doo Doo” for decades.
Nowadays, you know Final Jeopardy by heart. What about First Jeopardy? This quiz teleports you 36 years to a then-new theme and newly syndicated show. To succeed on this brain blast from the past, you’ll need considerable general knowledge of biblical basics, history, animals, pop culture, geography, language, and holidays. The wide array of topics encapsulates the vicious versatility the first three “Jeopardy!” contestants faced on the first episode. How will you stand up to the performance of advertising copywriter Frank Selvan, freelancer Lois Feinstein, and energy demonstrator Greg Hopkins?
That trio answered incorrectly four times on these eleven questions from the first episode of “Jeopardy!” Can you do better? We believe in you.
First Episode of Jeopardy
The first episode of "Jeopardy!" with daily syndication aired on Monday, September 10, 1984. Now iconic host—then mild-mannered man sporting a magnificent mustache—Alex Trebek quickly established himself as a household name. In fact, with 25 million inquisitive weekly watchers, Jeopardy plays in more households than any game show other than "Wheel of Fortune." Since the first episode, the show has outlasted over 300 game shows in its 36-year span.
The hit show Jeopardy earned Merv Griffin a fortune of his own. The iconic theme song alone earned Griffin between $70-80 million throughout his lifetime, according to a 2005 New York Times interview. What contestant has earned the most money? Brad Rutter won over $4.9 million. Although Rutter grazed on the most greenbacks, he is not the GOAT. That honorific title belongs to Ken Jennings, who defeated Rutter and fellow show icon James Holzhauer in a popular Tournament of Champions in 2019. Jennings holds additional "Jeopardy" records for consecutive games won at 74 and the highest earnings in regular-season play.