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‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Outraged To Learn The Show Does Not Cover Contestant’s Travel, Hotel

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Fans and viewers of the popular game show Jeopardy! recently criticized the show when a former contestant levied an allegation against them. Ben Goldstein, who competed on the ongoing 39th season of Jeopardy! voiced his concerns on Twitter and called out the show’s management for their failure to provide adequate support as regards the hotel and travel expenses of participants.

However, a devoted fan, Andy Saunders, defended the show organizers while he proceeded to share his perspective on the subject matter. The fan stated that it has been a longstanding policy of the show to refrain from covering airfare and accommodations for contestants so as to create an “issue of fairness” among participants.

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‘Jeopardy!’ says paying for hotel and travel will not maintain fairness

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In a 1994 article from the Oakland Tribune, Kelley Carpenter, a former contestant coordinator, stated that providing airfare for contestants from distant locations would be deemed unfair to those who reside closer to Jeopardy!‘s studio in Los Angeles.

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RELATED: James Holzhauer On ‘Jeopardy!’s Problem That’s Causing Fans Outrage

“Because we have both out-of-towners and locals appearing on the show, if we were to pay for an airfare and a hotel,” she detailed. “We would have technically given away money to some contestants coming from the East Coast, which wouldn’t be fair to someone who only lives 20 minutes away.”

Ben Goldstein says funding travel and lodging will make the show more accessible

JEOPARDY! MASTERS – ÒGames 7 & 8Ó – Host Ken Jennings kicks off the first two rounds of the tournament. The top six highest-ranked current ÒJeopardy!Ó contestants Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Andrew He, Sam Buttrey and James Holzhauer face off to win the grand prize. FRIDAY, MAY 12 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Christopher Willard)
KEN JENNINGS

Goldstein further explained that funding contestants’ travels and lodging will widen the reach of the show. “Interesting discussion of the ‘Why doesn’t #Jeopardy pay airfare and accommodations’ question here,” he wrote. “Personally, I think covering travel/lodging would make the show more accessible to a wider range of contestants. Not everyone can afford a trip to LA with no guarantee of payback.”

He also reflected on his personal experience as a contestant on Jeopardy!, where he participated in six episodes before being surpassed by Donna Matturri. Goldstein revealed that the show covered some of his expenses. “They paid for my flight when I had to go back out for a second taping week,” he confessed. “But the first flight and four total nights in a hotel and a lot of Ubering was on me.”

Fans react to Ben Goldstein’s revelation

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Goldstein’s disclosure came as a surprise to numerous fans of Jeopardy!, leaving many of them astounded, as they had been unaware of this longstanding policy. “Wow … no clue they didn’t pay your travel expenses … that’s weak,” A Twitter user wrote. “I remember thinking at least the $1,000 third prize would pay for the trip,’” another person commented, “but that’s probably not true anymore.”

“Without seeing Jeopardy’s P&L sheet, I can’t really speak to the ‘constraints,’” someone else wrote. “But we’re talking about an additional ~$2,500 per episode to pay for a flight and two nights in a local hotel for the two new challengers. That really doesn’t strike me as that much.”

However, another person buttressed Goldstein’s opinion about the show’s inclusivity. “I totally agree!” the fan wrote. “There are some extremely smart people out there but can’t afford all the extras just to get there.”

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