A 37-year <i>Jeopardy!</i> Mystery Unravels Mysteriously

The game show Jeopardy! exhibits enduring popularity and has spawned a community of rabid fans, particularly the Alex Trebek years, 1984-2020. Old shows are syndicated and archived, with the lone exception of one week in 1986 in which Barbara Lowe won five games in a row. To add to the mystery, Lowe did not appear on that year’s Tournament of Champions, in which all five-time winners were normally invited. As the Jeopardy! fan community coalesced and communicated, those five missing episodes that were never rerun nor appeared anywhere else became a mystery that had to be solved.

An interview with Alex Trebek in 1990 shed some light on Barbara Lowe, who Trebek said was disqualified after her appearance for lying on her Jeopardy! application. That account was bolstered when writer/producer Harry Eisenberg published a book in 1993 that repeated Trebek’s story and added that Lowe’s demeanor was off-putting to the audience.

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The story of Barbara Lowe reached new heights last year when copies of her Jeopardy! appearances were uncovered in a fan’s closet. When those were made available, fans were perplexed, because those shows did not portray Lowe as the least bit problematic. She was downright charming.

Meanwhile, Barbara Lowe Vollick doesn’t watch Jeopardy! anymore and surprisingly didn’t know she was the subject of an internet mystery. The Ringer tracked her down to get her side of the story, which you can read in this article. She gives us her account of her five appearances on the show, what went wrong, and the legal actions that followed. While we now have both sides of the story, Trebek and Eisenburg have both passed on, so there can be no final resolution to the discrepancies in their claims. But we now have the tapes, and Barbara Lowe Vollick’s side of the story. -via Metafilter

Source: neatorama

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