Jeopardy! Game

Jeopardy! Game

This popular television quiz show was first telecast as a daytime and syndicated production in the 1970s and 1980s. It was telecast in prime time in the 1990s and became a cable offering in 1998. In each instance, an episode was a half-hour.

In a series of rounds, one of  three contestants (previously chosen through an elaborate testing process), was asked by the "emcee" to pick a category and a dollar amount from those flashed on a wall board. (The larger the amount of money - the more difficult the "question"). Then the contestant was told an "answer" for the category chosen. At that stage, each contestant (with a button attached to an electric buzzer) vied to be first to guess the question that "the answer" was associated with. The contestant who guessed correctly was awarded the associated amount of money - which was flashed on a screen below the contestant. However, these winnings were always in "jeopardy" because an incorrect response subtracted money from a contestant.

The game box in the photograph was the Milton Bradley Company's first edition based upon the telecast. It was marketed in 1974. The telecast quiz questions were and continue to be very difficult, thus, contestants are usually graduates of university programs, professional persons, and specialists in specific topical areas.

In 1991, a copy of the 9th edition of the game produced by Summerville Industries of Canada was donated to the Museum. The Summerville copy includes a game board (23cm x 19cm x 4.7cm) similar to the one on the telecast on which the "answers" and the amounts of money appear. The board has a cardboard bottom and a plastic top. There are 5 rows, each with 6 translucent slots. In these 30 red slots, square plastic inserts with the categories, "answers", and amounts of money are placed. The game includes a supply of money in 10, 20, 50, 100 dollar amounts. There is a printed booklet of the questions which relate to the "answers". There is also a metal "snapper" (in lieu of the electric buzzer on the telecast), and a set of standard wooden dice. The game is played as on the telecast.

Last update May 29, 2010