Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions competition will kick off on Monday. The event, which was traditionally hosted by the late Alex Trebek, will still see a familiar face taking over hosting duties. As the official Jeopardy! website announced, former Tournament of Champions winner Buzzy Cohen will host the two-week long competition.
As the show noted, Cohen was given the nickname "Mr. Personality" by Trebek. He originally appeared on the program in 2016, winning $164,603 over the course of his nine appearances. He would go on to compete and win the 2017 Tournament of Champions. He also returned to Jeopardy! in 2019 when he competed in the All-Stars Games, during which he served as a team captain. Jeopardy! noted that Cohen will no longer be able to compete on the program as a contestant if another tournament arises, as being a guest host makes him ineligible to play. Mike Richards, one of Jeopardy!'s executive producers who stepped into the guest host role earlier this season, spoke out about the news of Cohen's upcoming guest-hosting stint.
"Buzzy has been where each of these champions is, so we think it’ll be comforting for the contestants to see a familiar face behind the lectern,” Richards said. “We will miss seeing him compete, but we look forward to seeing how he uses his quick wit and personality as guest host.” The Tournament of Champions will take place from May 17 to May 28. As always, it will feature competitors who won the most games during the period since the last Tournament of Champions, which aired in 2019, until the end of 2020. Additionally, the winners of both the College Tournament and the Teachers Tournament will be coming back to compete. The individual who emerges as the winner will walk away with the $250,000 prize. Second place will receive $100,000, while third place will take home $50,000.
This year's tournament will incorporate some moving tributes. In honor of Trebek, Jeopardy! will be matching the $250,000 prize in order to donate that amount to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless. With this donation, the organization will be able to help 300 people per year with a variety of services such as shelter and medical care. The tournament will also pay tribute to Brayden Smith, who was a five-time champion who died in February. Smith's winnings would have earned him a spot in the competition. The tournament will pay tribute to him in some fashion when it airs.