The answer is Alex Trebek.
The question: what long-time television game show host beloved by millions across the globe died on November 8?
Over the course of nearly four decades, Alex became one of the most recognizable faces on the planet and Jeopardy! became a dinnertime staple in countless households.
And though you might be a Jeopardy! junkie yourself, did you know that Alex graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in philosophy, was fluent in French, and helped carry the Olympic torch in 1996? Or that he spent more than 10 years in Canadian broadcasting, including a stint as host of CBC Championship Curling?
To honor the peerless quizmaster, below are 20 other tidbits of Jeopardy! trivia.
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20 Fun Jeopardy! Facts
- Media mogul Merv Griffin came up with the idea for Jeopardy! as he and his wife were brainstorming ideas for a new television quiz show on a long road trip.
- The format of starting with the answers and having contestants come up with the correct question was previously used on the CBS Television Quiz, which ran in 1941 and 1942.
- The original daytime version of Jeopardy! debuted on NBC in March 1964 and aired until January 1975.
- The original host was Art Fleming, and the announcer was Don Pardo.
- A weekly nighttime syndicated edition debuted in September 1974.
- Alex signed on as host of Jeopardy! in 1984. Previously, he was host of the television shows The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, Double Dare, Classic Concentration, To Tell the Truth and Battlestars.
- There have been more than 8,000 episodes of the daily syndicated version of Jeopardy!
- Alex has been the host of every episode from 1984 until 2020, except the episode that aired on April 1, 1997, when he switched places with Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak as an April Fool’s joke.
- Five episodes are taped each day, with two days of taping every other week.
- Alex’s long-time announcer was Johnny Gilbert.
- On one episode, all three contestants finished Double Jeopardy! with $0 or less, and as a result, no Final Jeopardy! round was played.
- Jeopardy! has won a record 39 Daytime Emmy Awards as well as a Peabody Award.
- TV Guide ranks Jeopardy! as the number two game show of all time, behind The Price is Right.
- The record holder for lifetime Jeopardy! winnings is Brad Rutter, who won nearly $5.2 million in cash and prizes across five episodes of the regular series, seven Jeopardy! tournaments and other Jeopardy! related events.
- The holder of the longest Jeopardy! winning streak is Ken Jennings, who appeared from June to November 2004, winning 74 games before being defeated in his 75th appearance. He won $2,522,700, for an average of $33,636 per episode.
- In 2011, Rutter and Jennings lost a two-day exhibition match against Watson, an IBM computer.
- Professional sports gambler James Holzhauer racked up a 32-game winning streak in 2019, during which he set single-game records for earnings. His total take was $2,464,216.
- The Forrest Bounce is a strategy in which contestants randomly pick clues – rather than methodically proceeding through categories – to keep opponents off balance. It is named after contestant Chuck Forrest, who used it successfully. James Holzhauer perfected the Forrest Bounce and also employed aggressive Daily Double wagering.
- The theme song on Jeopardy! is Think, composed by Griffin as a lullaby for his son. Think was originally used only for the 30-second answering interval in Final Jeopardy! but became the show’s main theme in 1984.
- Griffin earned royalties of more than $70 million from Think.
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