'Jeopardy!' fans livid after learning the show doesn't pay for contestants' travel or hotel

While many "Jeopardy!" fans often get upset over things that happen during the show, several are now speaking out about a practice that happens behind the scenes.

When a contestant appears on the show, they have to pay for their own airfare and hotel. While this has been the policy for several years, many people are just finding out about it after recent champion Ben Goldstein spoke out about the issues with this practice.

"Interesting discussion of the ‘Why doesn’t #Jeopardy pay airfare and accommodations’ question here," he wrote on Twitter, sharing a recent story from a fan site for the show about this topic.

"Personally, I think covering travel/lodging would make the show more accessible to a wider range of contestants. Not everyone can afford a trip to LA with no guarantee of payback."

The fan site that Goldstein referred to cited a 1994 article from the Oakland Tribune that featured statements from Kelly Carpenter, the contestant coordinator for "Jeopardy!" at the time.


JEOPARDY! MASTERS - "Games 7 & 8" - Host Ken Jennings kicks off the first two rounds of the tournament. The top six highest-ranked current "Jeopardy!" contestants Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Andrew He, Sam Buttrey and James Holzhaue

"Because we have both out-of-towners and locals appearing on the show," she explained then, "if we were to pay for an airfare and a hotel, we would have technically given away money to some contestants coming from the East Coast, which wouldn’t be fair to someone who only lives 20 minutes away."

She added that the only time the show will pay travel expenses is during the "Jeopardy!" tournaments.


While this information has been available for a while, many current fans of the show were not aware until Goldstein brought attention to it.

Now that they do know, they are not happy.

"Of the $125m in profit per year that show makes you'd think they could carve out $1.725m for travel for 230 shows x 3 contestants x $2500 per trip. I mean they've got to be saving on host salary now," one person tweeted.

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"I totally agree!" another person wrote. "There are some extremely smart people out there but can’t afford all the extras just to get there."

Contestants who do not win their show are reportedly given consolation prizes, with the second-place winner receiving $3,000 and the third-place winner $1,000.

However, as one fan pointed out, "I remember thinking ‘at least the $1,000 third prize would pay for the trip,’, but that’s probably not true anymore."

Goldstein himself wrote, "They paid for my flight when I had to go back out for a second taping week. But the first flight and 4 total nights in a hotel and a lot of Ubering was on me."

When one of his followers spoke of potential "budgetary restraints" being the reason for this rule, he replied, "Without seeing Jeopardy's P&L sheet, I can't really speak to the ‘constraints.’ But we're talking about an additional ~$2,500 per episode to pay for a flight and two nights in a local hotel for the two new challengers. That really doesn't strike me as that much."

For more, go to Fox News.