Jeopardy! airs some special tournaments throughout the season. Most of the tournaments start on a Monday and some tournaments started on Wednesday. February, May and November are the common months for the premiere of new tournaments. Eliminated contestants leave with some departing money for participating in the tournament. The longer you stay in the tournament, the more money you're likely to win.
The tournament format was itself devised by Alex Trebek, expanding on a format used during the original series. Each lasts 2 weeks over 10 episodes. The first week consists of five quarterfinal games. The five winners of those games advanced to the Semi-Finals along with other four players which were wild card spots for the high-scorers among non-winners. The second week consists of the three semifinal matches and the 2-day final match. For all games except the finals, each round is played for points; for the two-game final, it's played for cash with the totals of both games added together to determine the champion (the totals of the first game are shown to home viewers before being erased so the players start from scratch). If there's a tie, a tiebreaker clue is used, while all three players ending with 0 eliminates them and opens up another wild card. If a player finishes with 0 or a negative score before Final Jeopardy! in either the quarterfinal round or semifinal round, they are eliminated from the tournament completely. If they finish with $0 or a negative score before Final Jeopardy! in either game in the final match, they are eliminated from that Final only, with negative scores counting as $0.
Featuring 15 champions who won the most games (minimum of 3 regular-play wins to qualify until 2021, minimum of 4 regular-play wins to qualify effective the 30th tournament) as well as winners of the College Championship. In the first 19 seasons, all 5-time undefeated champs automatically qualified. Until 2000, winners of the Teen Tournament were guaranteed a spot in the Tournament of Champions. Since 2011, winners of the Teachers Tournament were guaranteed spots in the ToC. Unlike other tournaments (see below), the contestants not playing in their respective quarterfinal game are not allowed to watch from the audience, as the point is to win their quarterfinal game rather than simply beating a wild card score.
There was no Tournament of Champions from Season 1, 17, 20, 23, 27, 30, 33, 35.
An annual tournament featuring high school students ages 13-17. The format structure is similar to that of the Tournament of Champions. On the current syndicated version, the Teen Tournament started on February 16, 1987. In November 1998, a Teen Reunion Tournament was held at the Wang Center in Boston, bringing back 12 former Teen Tournament contestants to compete in a single-elimination tournament.
There was a 2nd Teen Tournament that took place on the 23rd Season to start the Summer Games.
There was no Teen Tournament in Seasons 31, 32, 34, and 36.
In Season 35, two Teen Tournaments were held: The first was held in November 2018, and the second was held in June 2019 in response to the many teens who took the online test and auditioned to get on the show.
The College Championship has been held annually featuring college students, all full-time undergrad students without prior degrees. The structure is similar to the Teen Tournament and Tournament of Champions. The very first College Championship premiered on May 8, 1989.
There was no College Championship in Season 31 or 35.
Super Jeopardy! aired Saturday nights on ABC in summer 1990 (from June 16 to September 8). It featured 35 former champions from the first six seasons of the current version plus Burns Cameron, a former champion from the Art Fleming era; this tournament awarded a $250,000 top cash prize to the winner and was hence referred to as "The $250,000 Challenge" (worded as "The Quarter-of-a-Million-Dollar Challenge"). In a departure from the norm, the players played for points (200-1,000 in the Jeopardy round, 500-2,500 in the Double Jeopardy round), and there were four contestants in each quarterfinal match; the semifinals and final itself had the usual three. For the quarterfinals and semifinals themselves, there were no wild card spots for the high-scorers among non-winners; it was "win or go home".
The Teachers Tournament debuted in 2011, and features 15 teachers competing in the same 2-week format as the Tournament of Champions, Teen Tournament, and College Championship. The first Teachers Tournament debuted on May 2, 2011.
Larry Martin, the champion for the 2018 Teachers Tournament, suddenly died January 25, 2019, eight months after winning the tournament, before reaching the 2019 Tournament of Champions.
The Ultimate Tournament of Champions was held from February 9, 2005 to May 25, 2005, featuring former champions from the past 21 seasons, all vying to compete against 74-game victor Ken Jennings in a 3-game final for $2,000,000.
Members of the "Nifty Nine" were selected based on records set in their Jeopardy careers. Only Rutter and Spangenberg advanced beyond their initial round.
Unlike most Jeopardy! tournaments, in which only the final rounds are played for cash equal to the value of winners' scores, the winners of every match received their scores as winnings (or the guaranteed minimum for that round, whichever was greater). In addition, in all rounds, there were no "wild card" spots for the non-winners; it was "win or go home".
Round 4 featured 2-game matches; Round 5 featured a 3-game match.
The Battle of the Decades Tournament was held from February 3, 2014 to May 16, 2014, to commemorate the show's 30th anniversary in syndication. 45 former champions from the past 30 years, represented by decade--1980's (1984-1993), 1990's (1994-2003), and 2000's (2004-2013) all competed in three separate preliminary rounds, with no wild cards for the high-scorers among non-winners; as it was "win or go home". The 15 winners participated in five quarterfinal matches similar to that of the other tournaments, with the five winners and four wild cards for the high-scorers among non-winners advancing to the semifinals. For the semifinals, only the winners advanced to the two-day finals, where $1,000,000 was paid to the winner.
The Million Dollar Masters Tournament was held in May 2002 to commemorate the show's 4000th episode, featuring former champions competing for $1,000,000 in a format similar to that of the regular tournaments. The shows were taped at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY.
The International Tournament featured contestants from various countries around the world. The very first international tournament, Olympic Games Tournament, took place in Culver City, CA from July 15-18, 1996 to commemorate the Centennial Summer Olympic Games, which opened on July 19. All the players who participated in the tournament spoke English. The There were only nine contestants from nine different countries and the winners of the 3 semi-final matches got to qualify in a 1-day final. From May 5-9, 1997, the show traveled out of North America to Stockholm, Sweden for the 2nd international tournament where Magnus Harenstam was the show's announcer. The categories were revealed in Swedish before being translated into English. It was the only international tournament to still have a 3-day semi-final match and a 2-day final match. From February 12-16, 2001, the 3rd international tournament took place in Las Vegas, NV for another 3 semi-final matches and a 1-day match.
The Seniors Tournament, which launched in 1987, featured 15 contestants all aged 50 and older (hence the name); the same format used for the Tournament of Champions and Teen Tournament (the latter of which launched 3 months prior) was used. Since its discontinuation in 1995, players aged 50 and older have appeared in regular games. As always, the winner received an automatic spot in the Tournament of Champions.
A special edition of the show featuring celebrities competing for their favorite charities. Premiering in 1992, these games are usually week-long events, and occasionally are called Power Players Week featuring personalities in politics and journalism. The difficulty of the material is significantly reduced, and because of that, it was parodied several times on Saturday Night Live. Unlike regular play, where a player finishing Double Jeopardy! with zero or a negative score is disqualified from playing in Final Jeopardy!, celebrities who finish the second round with zero or negative are guaranteed a nominal score to work with in the final round.
An exhibition match was held on 2/14-16/2011, featuring Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter competing against the Watson supercomputer for $1,000,000. Second place won $300,000 and third place won $200,000. All three players donated their winnings to a charity of their choice.
It began on September 6, 1999 at the start of the show's 16th season featuring 10–12-year-old children (except for Season 30). Like regular play, winners keep whatever they have won at the end of the game while the second and third place finishers receive consolation prizes. However, there are no returning champions for this event. A Kids Week Reunion was held during the second week of Season 25 bringing back 15 Kids Week alumni from 1999 and 2000. The games have been discontinued after a Season 31 Kids Week contestant who was eliminated before Final Jeopardy! ran backstage crying to her mom upon hearing the bad news.
Starting in 1997, some of these tournaments and events were taped at venues outside Culver City. For instance, from 1997 to 2008, the College Championship was taped at a college campus (the 2000-A College Championship, however, was taped in Culver City).
Power Players Week was always taped at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. The Million Dollar Masters Tournament and 2006 Celebrity Jeopardy! games were taped at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY.
The Tournament of Champions was taped on the road twice, in 2000 and 2009 respectively; the 2009 ToC was taped at the Consumer Electronics Show, NV. Seasons 26, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, and 36 were during this time span that didn't have any road shows, probably because it was the first season with the current set.
The JEOPARDY! All-Star Games aired from 2/20-3/5/19; six teams of three competed for a chance at $1,000,000. Only one member per team can participate in each round of play.
Each preliminary tournament match consists of two games spread out over three nights & the three highest-scoring non-winning teams will play in the Wild Card match.
The two winning teams, and the highest-scoring Wild Card team play in a 2-game total point final match, where the winning team wins $1,000,000. 2nd place splits $300,000, and 3rd place splits $100,000.