One of the greatest feats a Jeopardy! contestant can accomplish is running the category. That’s when a player — like fan favorite Ryan Long — correctly answers an entire column of clues under one topic, which doesn’t happen often. As a user on the game show’s subreddit pointed out, “It used to be so much easier to follow a run category when play was top-down, straight-down. These days with bouncing and DD-hunting it’s so much harder to track one contestant getting every clue in a category right.” But category runs could happen more frequently if a proposed rule change goes through.
“I have been thinking about trying out, perhaps in one of our other tournaments this season, experimenting with giving out a cash bonus for contestants who run a category,” executive producer Mike Davies said on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast. “It’s a moment in the studio; it’s a great thing.” But controversial Jeopardy! champ Buzzy Cohen, who also appeared on the podcast, isn’t so sure.
Cohen pointed out that “Twitter exploded with pros and cons” when the proposal was first mentioned in the Sept. 13 episode. He asked if the bonus would affect the game score total. Davies and Foss both answered “no,” agreeing that it would be a “separate bonus.”
Cohen believes the proposal could “affect gameplay strategy, and I don’t know if that’s something you’re interested in doing,” but Davis countered that “it might also give incentive to people who are trailing to try and go into a category and get something from the game beyond their second or third place prize.”
The first contestant who runs the category for “I Think You Should Leave Jazz Icons” and answers no other question correctly will go down in history.