Former ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Gets Second Chance At Victory — 50 Years Later


Thinking about Jeopardy! many people will think about Alex Trebek as the host. But contestant Martha Bath appeared on the show five decades ago, before Trebek, back when Art Fleming still hosted. She didn’t win then, but she got a second chance – 50 years later.

Jeopardy! fans tuned in on September 21 to see Bath, a retired certified public accounted, compete once again, already relatively unprecedented for the show’s history. Then, Bath got a taste of sweet redemption. Instead of leaving with fond memories like last time, Bath left as a champion. See her remarkable story here.


Martha Bath is from the time of ‘Jeopardy!’ hosted by Art Fleming

Art Fleming was hosting Jeopardy! when Martha Bath competed / Everett Collection

The year was 1972 and Bath competed on a Jeopardy! that looks different from what we watch today. For one thing, original host Fleming was at the helm. For another, Jeopardy! would undergo rule and format changes gradually over the years, especially starting with Trebek’s tenure. It was this memory Bath recounted when, fifty years later, Bath competed again with Jennings hosting.


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“Fifty years ago this spring, I was on the original daytime show with Art Fleming in New York,” she recalled. “I won $40 and a set of encyclopedias, and I still have them.” Jump to present day and Jeopardy! is filmed in Culver City, California. The venue itself used to be called Stage 10 but now it bears the name the Alex Trebek Stage. Additionally, it is now the site of a big comeback for Bath that has Jeopardy! fans delighted.

Where memories are made for Martha Bath and all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans

Jennings got to see Bath’s victorious comeback / © Sony Pictures Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

It was one surprise after another from the start of Bath’s return. “Generally, Jeopardy! appearances are one to a customer,” noted Jennings. For her second time on the game show, Bath was up against sports journalist Christopher Plummet and reigning champion Emmett Stanton. This time, Bath was crowned champion, making good on Jennings’ promise to send Bath off with “more than $40 tonight.”

“Martha Bath, that’s a lot more than a set of encyclopedias,” Jennings announced when the dust settled. “You’re a Jeopardy! champion with $30,800. Or, if we count 1972, $30,840.” Fans have loved fallen in love with this victory, both as a hopeful second chance for a fellow fan, and also for the history Bath got to live and bring with her to the show. “My hat is off to Martha, who played a whale of a game tonight on #Jeopardy 50 years AFTER she appeared on @Jeopardy with Art Fleming,” said one viewer, adding, “I doubt we’ll see many more Fleming-era contestants take another stab at Jeopardy, but if they can play like Martha, I will be here for it.” There’s also been a lot of reminiscing thanks to the memories she sparked.

Did you catch this special round of the competition?

Bath’s appearance has fans joyful and reminiscing / Twitter

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