‘Jeopardy!’ Sets Tournament of Champions With Buzzy Cohen as Guest Host
Jeopardy! is gearing up for its annual Tournament of Champions and is turning to a familiar contestant to guest-host the 10-day event.
Buzzy Cohen will step into the role, which has now been filled by Ken Jennings, Mike Richards, Katie Couric, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Aaron Rodgers. This will be the first Tournament since Alex Trebek‘s death, as Cohen takes the reigns to helm the two weeks of gameplay set for May 17 through May 28.
A former Tournament of Champions winner himself, Cohen was given the nickname “Mr. Personality” by Alex during his 9-game run in 2016 when he accrued a total of $164,603 in winnings. Cohen took the Tournament of Champions title in 2017 and returned to the game as a team captain for the 2019 All-Star Games.
By taking the guest-hosting role, Cohen closes himself out of ever competing in the game again.
“Buzzy has been where each of these champions is, so we think it’ll be comforting for the contestants to see a familiar face behind the lectern,” Jeopardy!‘s Mike Richards said in a statement. “We will miss seeing him compete, but we look forward to seeing how he uses his quick wit and personality as guest host.”
The tournament will feature 15 of Jeopardy!‘s top competitors who won games between the last Tournament of Champions in 2019 and the end of 2020. Competitors from the most recent Teachers Tournament and College Champion winners are also vying for the $250,000 grand prize, with second and third place winners receiving $100,000 and $50,000.
Among the lineup are Andy Wood, Nibir Sarma, Karen Farrell, Ryan Hemmel, Sam Kavanaugh, Ryan Bilger, Sarah Jett Rayburn, Kevin Walsh, Mackenzie Jones, Veronica Vichit-Vadakan, Jason Zuffranieri, Jennifer Quail, Steve Moulds, Paul Trifiletti and Ben Henri.
F0llowing suit with the current practice of matching winnings for donation, Jeopardy! will match its grand prize for the Tournament and donate it to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless. The Tournament will also honor Brayden Smith, a five-time champion who had earned a spot in the event but died unexpectedly in February.
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