5 Things to Know About the ‘Jeopardy!’ College Championship


Dorm rooms around the country would have been hosting the brainiest drinking games ever as host Alex Trebek fires up the annual Thunderdome of undergrads, Jeopardy!‘s College Championship.

Fifteen students are on deck for the two-week, 10-game tournament, complete with Wild Card semifinalists (high-scoring nonwinners) and a whopping $100,000 grand prize. Here’s a primer.


More than 100 schools have competed in the tourney’s 30-year history, including Ivy League universities, junior colleges and military academies. Harvard has made the most appearances (15), followed by Stanford; University of Michigan and Northwestern (tied); Yale; and University of California Berkeley and Princeton (tied).

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So far, Stanford is the only school to take home more than one title, having champions named in 2001 and 2005. The most recent winner, crowned in April 2018, was from Brown.


Three schools make their tournament debut in 2020: Arkansas’ Hendrix College, Virginia’s Liberty University and the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”).

Jeopardy Alex Trebeck

(Credit: Jeopardy Inc.)


The rest of the contenders run the gamut: Florida State, Indiana, University of Texas, Carnegie Mellon, University of California San Diego, Princeton, University of Florida, Northwestern, Yale, University of Minnesota, Penn State and University of Southern California. “We’ve selected contestants from a wide variety of colleges and universities — big and small, public and private, from different areas of the country,” says executive producer Harry Friedman. “And there are some natural rivals in there too, which is exciting.”


As always, with contestants skewing younger than usual, “There’s a mix of standard Jeopardy! material and categories or clues that are geared more toward their demographic,” says Friedman, “particularly when it comes to pop culture.” We’ll take “Xbox or X-Men” for $800, Alex!

Jeopardy!, Syndicated, check local listings