Let 'Jeopardy!' Contestants Make 69 Jokes, You Monsters

Wagering $69 is "officially forbidden" as of last year, according to contestants Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer.
April 29, 2019, 6:14pm
Alex Trebek
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jeopardy! is one of those cultural institutions that has basically been the exact same show forever but, somehow, never slips out of the collective consciousness for long. Whenever it seems teetering on the verge of antiquation, a Ken Jennings type swoops in to get everyone excited about weird, backwards trivia once again. Right now, that person is James Holzhauer, the sports-betting mastermind who's currently laying siege to the Jeopardy! coffers, thanks to a mixture of random knowledge, gambling genius, and some preternatural buzzer skills.


It's great that Holzhauer's winning streak got everyone talking about a 55-year-old game show again, but the newfound attention has also brought a disturbing bit of Jeopardy! knowledge to light: Namely, the show won't let its contestants make "69" jokes anymore, Vulture reports.

Ken Jennings first revealed the shocking truth on Twitter last week, telling a fan that wagering $69 is "officially forbidden on Jeopardy now" thanks to some new 2018 rules.

As the world reeled in horror, Holzhauer himself chimed in to confirm the shocking revelation, saying that $69 is just one of five different bets banned by the game's producers:

Of course, 69 jokes are as enduring a part of our culture as Jeopardy! itself, no matter how many times Trump tries to kill the whole format for good. For the love of god, Jeopardy!—what gives you the right to censor your contestants if they want to make a $69 gag or two?

But before we all take up pitchforks to protest the deeply lame ruling, the folks over at AV Club dug up the other numbers banned by Jeopardy! and—well, they actually make some sense. Betting $666 is banned because the devil or whatever, and the three other banned numbers are all Nazi-related. Per AV Club:

The numbers $14, $88, and $1488 (all associated with neo-Nazi propaganda) were all banned from the show last year, allegedly after a contestant accidentally bet the latter number as part of an effort to hit a particular target score.

Still, if you manage to land a spot on Jeopardy! and feel the urge to appease the seventh-grader still lurking inside us all, worry not. You've still got options, $69 aside. Thankfully, $420 is apparently a fair and legal bet, and if you want to pull a Holzhauer and make a massive Final Jeopardy wager, it seems like $42,069 is still totally kosher. Nice!

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