The Triumphant Return of A "Jeopardy!" Contestant: 50 Years Later

Herbie J Pilato

[Author's Note: This article is based on entertainment postings and accredited media reports attributed to,, and]

It's considered one of the most popular game shows in television history.

People from all walks of life have adored the show for decades, including several celebrities.

Everyone from Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) to Constance Ru (Fresh Off The Boat), to the Oscar-winning icon Jodie Foster (who began her career with early childhood TV guest spots on shows like the original Kung Fu and The Partridge Family) has even gone so far as to make guest appearances on celebrity editions of the series.

The name of the show is Jeopardy!

As documented on, Jeopardy! "was created by Merv Griffin. The show is a quiz competition that reverses the traditional question-and-answer format of many quiz shows. Rather than being given questions, contestants are instead given general knowledge clues in the form of answers and they must identify the person, place, thing, or idea that the clue describes, phrasing each response in the form of a question.

"The original daytime version debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964, and aired until January 3, 1975. A nighttime syndicated edition aired weekly from September 1974 to September 1975, and a revival, The All-New Jeopardy!, ran on NBC from October 1978 to March 1979 on weekdays. The syndicated show familiar with modern viewers and produced daily (currently by Sony Pictures Television[a]) premiered on September 10, 1984.

"Art Fleming served as host for all versions of the show between 1964 and 1979. Don Pardo served as announcer until 1975, and John Harlan announced for the 1978–1979 season. The daily syndicated version premiered in 1984 with Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer. Trebek hosted until his death, with his last episode airing on January 8, 2021, after over 35 years in the role."

Today, as recently reported by journalist George Back and Yahoo! Entertainment, a former contestant on the show from five decades before received a second opportunity to be a champion on the iconic program.

Martha Bath, a retired Certified Public Accountant from Seattle, Washington, had first appeared on Jeopardy! in 1972 when it was hosted by Art Fleming.

“Generally, Jeopardy! appearances are one to a customer,” said host Ken Jennings, who now shares the reins with Mayim Bialik (following the tragic demise of beloved, long-time host Trebeck).

"Fortunately," wrote Back, "the show made an exception in Bath’s case. While she wasn’t a champion in 1972, she still went home with a pretty nice consolation prize."

“I won $40 and a set of encyclopedias,” said Bath. “And I still have them.”

Bath got off to a significant start. "She located two Daily Doubles and cashed in big on both," Back revealed. "Trailing slightly as she entered Final Jeopardy, she bet her full $15,400 and it paid off huge."

“Martha Bath, that's a lot more than a set of encyclopedias,” said Jennings. “You're a Jeopardy! champion with $30,800. Or, if we count 1972, $30,840.”

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS: A TREASURE HOUSE OF DECEMBER MEMORIES REVEALED, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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