What is the maximum amount of money that can be won on a single episode of Jeopardy!?
At this point in time (2011), the lowest value question in single-Jeopardy! is $200 and the highest is $1,000. The values are doubled in Double Jeopardy!… duh.
- In the first round:
- Add up the values in one column: $200 + $400 + $600 + $800 + $1,000 = $3,000
- Multiply by six columns: $3,000 x 6 = $18,000
- Subtract one of the lowest value questions for a Daily Double: $18,000 – $200 = $17,800
- Bid it all and win the daily-double (double the amount): $17,800 x 2 = $35,600
- In Double Jeopardy! (amounts are doubled):
- Add up the values in one column: $400 + $800 + $1,200 + $1,600 + $2,000 = $6,000
- Multiply by six columns: $6,000 x 6 = $36,000
- Subtract two of the lowest value questions for the two Daily Doubles: $36,000 – $800 = $35,200
- Add the amount won from the first round: $35,600 + $35,200 = $70,800
- Bid it all and win the daily-double (double the amount): $71,200 x 2 = $141,600
- Bid it all and win the other daily-double (double the amount): $141,600 x 2 = $283,200
- In Final Jeopardy!:
- Bid it all again and win (double the amount): $283,200 x 2 = $566,400
So there you have it, the most that can be one in one day on Jeopardy! is $566,400. Not bad, not bad at all. It’s too bad that unlike in bowling, a perfect game of Jeopardy! is essentially impossible because in addition to requiring a lot of skill to get every question correct (and not letting the other players get any at all), it also requires luck to get the daily-doubles last, and even more luck that both of them are on a lowest-valued questions.