Jeopardy! This is not an easy game. If a contestant feels that their run on the show ended prematurely, there’s a strict rule barring them from returning. A former contestant took advantage of an exception in the system to be allowed to compete again.
Martha Bath competed in her first competition in 1972
Martha Bath was able to make a return visit to the Theatre last week. Jeopardy! podiums. In 1972, she was the first to appear on the original version of the show. Art Fleming, the creator of the daytime game program, hosted it in those days. It has seen multiple revivals since then. It wasn’t until 1984 that Alex Trebek took the helm, marking the transition to the Jeopardy! We all know and love today.
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1972 saw Bath lose her first round. In the end, she took home just $40 and a collection of encyclopedias. Inflation would have made her $40 about $283 today. Even the third-placed contestants can still take home thousands. There’s no one who would reasonably protest giving Bath a second go at the prize money fifty years later.
With that being said, some fans pointed out a glaring deviation from the show’s age-old rulebook: Contestants who suffered a loss on the regular weekly broadcast do not get to return. It turns out that no rule was broken. Let’s take a look at the fine print.
A Note on ‘Jeopardy!’ Eligibility
Potential competitors have shown that the eligibility criteria are clear. guidelines concerning repeat appearancesThese are your options: “You cannot appear on Jeopardy! if you have previously appeared on Jeopardy! from 1984–2022.” So, according to the show’s rules, there wasn’t anything barring Bath—and any other contestants from before 1984, for that matter—from throwing her hat into the ring one more time.
Prior to 1984, the show’s multiple syndications were hosted by Art Fleming. Few people remember when the show was on. Jeopardy! wasn’t on TV, there was actually a five-year period between 1979 and 1984 when the show was not airing. When Jeopardy! Alex Trebek was the new CEO, and it marked the beginning of a new era.
Therefore, it is natural that contestants from Jeopardy! who competed from 1964 to 1979 wouldn’t be barred from returning. It’s unclear if Bath is the first of Fleming’s contestants to return, but after seeing her glorious comeback, we would love to see more competitors from the classic Jeopardy! Test their trivia knowledge once more!