Jeopardy! Kids Week (also variously called Back to School Week and Holiday Kids Week) comprises five special nontournament games and has been held a least once per season on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! since 1999. Middle school students between the ages of 10 and 12 are eligible to become contestants. The rules of the game do not differ from those of the show's regular format, but the material is written to be age-appropriate for the younger competitors.
Three kids compete in each of five games. As in the regular games, the winners of each game keep whatever they win, with minimum guarantees of $10,000 ($5,000 for the first two events in 1999 and 2000). Unlike in the regular games, winners do not return to play another game. The second- and third-place finishers receive consolation prizes, which, as of the third event held in 2000, have been $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. The first two times the event was held, the player who had the highest winning score during the week was also awarded a bonus of $5,000.
In past events, trips to local theme/amusement parks or Hawaii
have been common. In the 2005 and 2006 competitions, schools selected by each of the contestants received the Classroom Jeopardy!
electronic game. In the 2007 Kids Week, each contestant received the Jeopardy! DVD Home Game System
List of biggest winners
- 1999 Back to School Week: Joel Serna, $17,000 ($12,000 plus $5,000 as the week's biggest winner)
- 2000 Back to School Week: Andrew Bergen, $21,800 ($16,800 plus $5,000 as the week's biggest winner)
- 2001 Back to School Week: Michael Blake, $20,000 ($15,000 plus $5,000 as the week's biggest winner)
- 2001 Holiday Kids Week: Emily Kamm, $35,200 (then a new one-day record due to doubling of the dollar values in November 2001)
- 2002 Back to School Week: Kunle Demuren, $49,000 (current Kids Week record)
- 2003 Holiday Kids Week: Max Wagner, $36,800
- 2003 Back to School Week: Jake Logan, $26,601
- 2004 Kids Week from DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.: Holly Flynn, $25,998
- 2004 Kids Week: Megan Fraedrich, $19,801
- 2005 Back to School Week: Madeline Suchard, $20,401
- 2006 Back to School Week: Tommy Hoyt, $26,801
- 2007 Kids Week: Rachel Millena, $28,000
The show originally planned to hold a Family Week with a parent and his or her child teaming up together against other family teams. Tryouts had been advertised during the show's 15th season in 1998-1999. Suzanne Thurber, one of the contestant coordinators at the time, suggested that they should just have the kids compete in their own tournament.
After Jeopardy!'s sister show Wheel of Fortune produced a kids' version, Wheel 2000, as separate series for the Game Show Network in 1997, Jeopardy! premiered its own kids' version counterpart on Game Show Network on January 30, 1998. Jep! was hosted by cartoon voice artist Bob Bergen on a different set and with slightly different rules from the regular version of Jeopardy! The series lasted for one season.
The first week of kids' shows on Jeopardy!, Back to School Week, was held during the first week of the show's 16th season in 1999. Cassie Hill from Merrick, New York was the first winner of a Kids Week game with $5201 on the episode aired September 6, 1999.
Kids Week Reunion
Kids Week Reunion will bring back 15 Kids Week alumni from the 1999 and 2000 Kids Week games to compete for a minimum $25,000 each game. The special week of programming was taped on August 12
and will be broadcast from September 15
to September 19
. The format for the Kids Week Reunion will be the same as the Kids Week format, with three different players playing in each game. The winner will keep whatever he or she wins, with a minimum guarantee of $25,000. Each second-place finisher will go away with $5,000, and each third-place finisher will receive $2,500.