Oh for the love of friggin gawd!
Yes all we have are opinions and speculation regarding the casting process--and yes it is a casting process, so don't go thinking it's anything other than that; but can we at least be realistic about these things??? Please???
This is not going to be an overcomplicated, or for that matter a complicated process. Anything other than simple takes time. Anything that takes time takes manpower. Anything that takes manpower takes money, and this show does have a budget.
Keep in mind, this show doesn't (or at least didn't prior to the Jeff Kirby tie incident) even keep a simple database of who has appeared on the show.
With seeing 2500 people each year, and with people being in the pool for 18 months at a time, even a total random selection will give them a diverse enough lot to get 50/50 gender, with a mix of race, occupation, hometown, varied hobbies, etc.
Here is how to get on the show:
1. take test
2. pass test
3. be selected for audition
4. get a score high enough on the in-person test so they don't think you were cheating on the online test
5. do a good job on the mock game and interview
6. be lucky enough to be the person they feel they need on the show so you get the call.
so, for each step, I'll explain:
1. take test--I think we've all got this part figured out
2. pass test--No we don't know if they have a hard score (such as 35) for passing, or a floating score (such as top 10% of all scores). Yes we do know there has been a wide variety of passing scores from 35+ reported here (someone claimed something around a 33, but also said they couldn't be sure of their score). One thing we do know from what's been reported on here, nobody can verify they scored lower than 35 and still got an in person audition.
3. be selected for audition--this is a random draw from all those who also passed the test AND also chose the same audition city as you. They don't have enough other information to make their picks, and frankly, this would take more effort/time/manpower/money so it just simply isn't happening. If you really believe otherwise, enjoy your conspiracy theory. Roger Craig may have had his audition by scoring lower, but that would simply be a coincidence. No friggin way would Jeopardy want to specifically exclude the highest scoring people. It's been 13 years since Ken Jennings was on, and you better believe the show wants to find the next Ken Jennings. It raises ratings for the show, which in turn raises revenue for the show--that's how television works, it is a business to make money. Excluding high scoring people would be shooting themselves in the foot for this endeavor. Now I don't remember giving my gender when signing up for the test, so if that isn't something we do, then there is no way for the show to ensure 50/50 gender at the audition. However, if that is information we have given the show, it would be easy to split that random draw by having two random drawings (one from male, one from female). They don't have the time to go checking our social media profiles for other information, and again, that would take time, which means that would take money they aren't gonna spend.
4. get a score high enough on the in-person test so they don't think you were cheating on the online test--yeah, now is not the time to blow it and get a 20. At this point there is no way to even guess how far they might lower the bar, but just for speculation purposes, if you get maybe a 32 in person and do great on steps 5 & 6 below, they might just overlook the lower in-person score.
5. do a good job on the mock game and interview--call out categories and values with authority, when you are called on to answer, give an answer with confidence, give a great interview no matter what they talk to you about (my episode of Millionaire had me fielding a question I wasn't prepared to answer. I was fully expecting to be asked about something else from the way prep went, but I managed to answer just fine).
6. be lucky enough to be the person they feel they need on the show so you get the call--nothing more to say here
Total game show career losings = $171,522