‘Jeopardy!’ Fans in Disbelief Over Mayim Bialik Accepting Incorrect Answer

by Caitlin Berard

The iconic game show Jeopardy! is incredibly popular. Millions upon millions of dedicated viewers tune in each night to catch the latest competition. They’re passionate about the show, its contestants, and its hosts, which is a net positive but can sometimes lead to outrage, especially when they believe the game to be inconsistent.

One such incident occurred on Friday night’s episode of Jeopardy!, in which producers and Mayim Bialik accepted an answer that normally would have been struck down.

Mayim Bialik first read out the clue. “100 years ago, in November 1922, Howard Carter made this discovery some 3,000 years after the death that caused its creation.”

Jeff Weinstock then buzzed in, guessing, “What is King Tut?”

Rather than saying, “No,” Mayim gave him another shot. “More specific?” she asked. Jeff then gave a more specific answer, though still not technically the right one. “What is King Tut’s body as a mummy?” he said. “King Tut’s tomb, that’s correct,” replied Mayim.

Now, it’s obvious Jeff knew what he was trying to say, but that isn’t always enough on Jeopardy!. Just last week, in fact, a contestant was disqualified for writing “Harriet Tubma” rather than “Harriet Tubman.”

Annoyed by the inconsistent rules, fans took to Twitter to express their disbelief in the casual acceptance of the incorrect answer. “That was the longest clarification but not exactly the answer,” one fan wrote. “‘Tomb’ does not equal ‘body as a mummy,'” another said.

“What kind of answer was that from Jeff? ‘King Tut’s body as a mummy’? When the correct question was King Tut’s tomb?” added a third.

‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Responds to Controversy Surrounding Win

Let’s circle back to the “Harriet Tubman” controversy mentioned earlier. Sadie, the unfortunate contestant who had the correct answer but didn’t finish writing it, was defeated by Megan Wachpress, who also had the correct answer and managed to write the name in its entirety.

As you can imagine, fans were absolutely floored by the incident, slamming both Megan and Jeopardy! for what they saw as an unfair victory. One fan even found a similar situation in an earlier episode, in which a contestant wrote, “John Denve” instead of “John Denver” and the answer was accepted.

Megan then responded to the controversy on Twitter, acknowledging fans’ concerns. “It’s probably inappropriate for me to say anything about the judges’ call in FJ yesterday (you can see my immediate reaction on the tape),” she wrote.

“But will say I’d love to see Sadie compete again (if she wants to!),” Megan continued. “She is a formidable and gracious player with impressive knowledge.”