‘The Greatest of All Time’ tournament of ‘Jeopardy!’ crowns a winner, sets ratings records

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On Tuesday, the quiz show “Jeopardy!” completed a four-night tournament titled “The Greatest of All Time.” The competition involved three of the show’s winningest competitors from its nearly four-decade run on television. The first to win three nights was the winner.

The tournament, which aired in primetime on ABC, drew far more viewers than just the regular fans of the daytime, syndicated game show. The three initial episodes bested almost all other American broadcasts in the young year and resulted in more viewers than most 2019 sports events in the United States.

Who were the competitors?

James Holzhauer

In addition to his impressive winning streak, Holzhauer distinguished himself with a strategic game play that helped him optimize his winnings, according to WIRED. He focused on earning big sums early by answering the higher-value questions first and then doubling his take with the “Daily Double” questions. This strategy has been adopted by the other big winners too, Inc. reported.

Ken Jennings

In 2003, prior to the season in which Jennings began his streak, “Jeopardy!” changed a rule that had previously only allowed competitors to win five games in a row, according to KingWorld. He is currently the record holder for earning the most money on “Jeopardy!”

Brad Rutter

His other notable claim to trivia fame is tying the IBM supercomputer, Watson, in the first round of a two-day tournament that also included Jennings, according to The New York Tims. Ultimately, Rutter and Jennings both lost to Watson, but until then, Rutter had never lost a game of “Jeopardy!” That included beating Jennings in the “Tournament of Champions” back in 2005, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

And the winner is…

The format of the tournament involved an hour-long episode each night, as opposed to the half-hour episodes that air in the syndicated version. Also, instead of playing directly for money, the competitors earned points, with the winner taking the predetermined prize money. The tournament was set to air up to seven episodes until one contestant reached three wins.

‘Jeopardy!’ sets primetime records

The tournament steadily grew its audience each of its first three nights, making them the most-watched televised event of 2020, behind only the Golden Globes’ 18.32 million viewers. (The ratings for Tuesday’s finale have not yet been released.)

In fact, the tournament has been so popular, it drew more US viewers than almost every major sporting event of 2019, according to Quartz. That includes besting the average viewership of the NBA Finals, the MLB World Series, and the NHL Stanley Cup. The NFL Super Bowl, with nearly 100 million viewers, is the exception.During Holzhauer’s run in 2019, “Jeopardy!” reached its highest ratings in syndication in 14 years with 13.3 million viewers, according to Deadline.

Originally published at https://themilsource.com on January 16, 2020.

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