Church Is Category on Jeopardy! TV Game Show
By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
“Producers for Jeopardy! approached us in July of this year about wanting to use the Church as a category during their 30th season.” —Ruth Todd of LDS Public Affairs
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of the question categories on the popular game show Jeopardy! Six questions covered everything from Mitt Romney to Joseph Smith. The episode was taped on September 10 and was broadcast on October 15, 2013.
According to the official Jeopardy! website, the Jeopardy! production staff has six researchers and eight writers whose jobs are to create and assemble categories and questions for the series. “Producers for Jeopardy! approached us in July of this year about wanting to use the Church as a category during their 30th season,” said Ruth Todd of LDS Public Affairs.
Cooperating with the Jeopardy! production staff to create content for the show gave the Church an opportunity to add to the world’s understanding of the Church through a fun and entertaining format. “The categories, as well as the topics, were selected by Jeopardy! producers,” said Sister Todd. “We helped researchers confirm some of the specifics and also provided additional support to transform the text-based clue material into images and video clues. “
The first question in the category of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” showed a video clip of two sister missionaries. Contestants were given a couple of clues and asked who these people were. The answer was “missionaries.” The second question showed a picture of the Tabernacle and contestants were asked to name the building. A contestant answered “Tabernacle Choir” and it was counted correctly, but host Alex Trebek said the answer was just “Tabernacle.” The third question was all text and read, “Serving as one of the 12 of these, Marion Romney got closer to the presidency (of the Church) than his cousin Mitt did.” The answer was “Apostle.” The fourth question showed pictures of the Sacred Grove and Joseph Smith and contestants were asked to name who the person was. The answer was “Joseph Smith.” The final question was “blank” Industries and a logo of the bee and beehive was shown. The answer was “Deseret.” All of the questions were answered correctly by the contestants.
Additionally, at jeopardy.com viewers could play an online version of Jeopardy! with additional questions from the previous show’s categories. The single additional question about the Church read, “The last of the ancient prophets, this angel buried the golden plates in a hill in New York.” The answer was “Moroni.”
“I’ve seen quite a few Mormon references on Jeopardy! over the years,” said Ken Jennings, a former contestant with the longest winning streak on the show and a member of the Church. “When I was a contestant on the show, I wagered $3,800 one time on a Daily Double where the response turned out to be ‘Who is Brigham Young?’ I remember wishing I’d wagered a lot more.”