Few game show moments are as great as when a Jeopardy! contestant desperately needs a Daily Double, they find it, get it right, and take the lead. Almost as good: When someone bets big while in the lead and loses. Well, now this iconic part of the show is changing as viewers at home will be told where the Daily Double spaces are before the round starts.
On May 8, the first episode of the new Jeopardy! Masters special series will air, starting a new 10-episode tournament featuring six of the best players in the show’s history competing for $500,000 and a “Trebek Trophy.” The six contestants—Amy Schneider, Andrew He, James Holzauer, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, and Sam Buttrey—will play by most of the same basic rules the show has had for years. However, avid viewers will notice one thing’s different, as this time around the show will briefly reveal, only to the audience, where the Daily Double answers are on the big board.
“This is something we’re trying out with Masters,” former Jeopardy! champion and current host Ken Jennings told WISN Channel 12 Milwaukee News. “We noticed it’s very fun in the studio that we know where the Daily Doubles are because we can see the contestants get close; sometimes they veer away at the wrong time. It’s a little bit like a big game of Battleship.”
How Jeopardy!’s Daily Double is changing
For those of you who prefer to be surprised, don’t worry. Jennings explained that they’ll only briefly show the Daily Double locations at the start of each round. So if you want to remain in the dark you can just look away. And folks who want to know can remember the locations and watch as contestants come oh-so-close to landing on them during the match.
While it’s an exciting change to the format of the classic game show, Jennings wasn’t sure if it would stick around outside of this special Masters tournament airing on ABC primetime.
“I don’t know if we’ll try it on the syndicated show,” he said. “But I really like it because the host always knows where the Daily Doubles are in advance, so I get to watch a contestant who really needs the Daily Double kind of advance towards it, ‘Oh, is she gonna get it? Oh no, she’s switched categories!’ [When you know the location] you can really get a sense of how the match is changing and how the odds are changing in real-time.”
Jeopardy! Masters begins tonight, May 8, on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.