‘Jeopardy’ exec admits contestants have to ‘fly themselves out’ to LA, pay for hotels

A “Jeopardy” producer has revealed a surprising fact about the show: contestants must pay their own air fare for their first appearance on the iconic game show.

On Monday’s episode of popular podcast “Inside Jeopardy,” show producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss responded to a fan’s question about exactly how contestants get to Los Angeles for their initial taping.

“Our contestants are asked to fly themselves out to Los Angeles for their first appearance,” Foss revealed. 

“If they end up being a returning champion then we do provide travel for them on their return trips out here.”


The producer of the beloved show also got candid about the timeline between a contestant being invited to compete on the show and the episode being shot.

“We hope to let them know a month in advance, but sometimes it’s a shorter window,” she added, referencing what can be a narrow timeframe.

This policy has left some contestants of the show frustrated, as they believe the show should pay for travel accommodations.

“I definitely think that the show should offer to pay for travel and lodging; many people would try out who otherwise wouldn’t,” current second chance tournament contestant Jessica Stephens wrote on Reddit.

“That step wouldn’t change the fact that many people will need to take off work, arrange for child/pet care, etc., but it would go a long way to allowing people who otherwise can’t afford the upfront costs of travel to be on the show.”


The show recently kicked off its second chance tournament. Past players who nearly won but not quite enough are getting a second chance at the game show.

The two-week tournament, which kicked off Oct. 17, halts the regular episodes from airing for two weeks. Each week will highlight three semifinal games complete with a two-day finale. The Tournament of Champions will feature the two victors each week and the episode will air directly after the show.

Earlier this month, show co-hosts Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik discussed the show’s future for the first time since being named the late Alex Trebek’s permanent successors.

“We miss Alex every day. But luckily, it still feels like ‘Jeopardy!’” Jennings said during an interview with “Good Morning America.”

A “Jeopardy” producer revealed a surprising fact about the show: contestants must pay for their own air fare upon their first appearance on the iconic game show.

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