‘Jeopardy!’ Host Mayim Bialik’s Rare On-Air Mistake Led to a Score Change

by Samantha Whidden

On Monday (May 30th), “Jeopardy!” host Mayim Bialik struggled a bit after her on-air mistake caused a score change with one of the game show’s contestants. 

According to The Sun, “Jeopardy!” Host Mayim Bialik was forced to pay back a new player after her on-air error. During the May 30th game, contestant Steve Knapp selected Potpourri for $1000. Bialik originally read the clue, “Sadly, the Heath Hen went extinct in 1932, but we still have its relative, the Prairie ‘this,’ known for its courtship displays.”

“What is: A Prairie Grouse,” Knapp answered. But, the “Jeopardy!” host stated that his answer was incorrect. After no other contestant responded, Mayim Bialik stated, “That’s a chicken!”

However, greater prairie chickens are also known as prairie grouse and after “Jeopardy!” returned from commercial Mayim Bialik addressed the error. “Before we get into Double Jeopardy, we have a change in score to announce, and Steve it affects you. The judges have reviewed your response of Prairie Grouse and have decided it is acceptable, we will add $2000, your score is now correct at $3200.”  

While the game continued, “Jeopardy!” fans weren’t keen on how Mayim Bialik handled the situation. One fan declared on Twitter, “The smugness when she said that’s a chicken. Give Steve his money.”

Another “Jeopardy!” Fan also bashed Mayim Bialik by stating they missed Ken Jennings as the host. “She’s laggy, I think often it’s because she’s waiting for cues from the producers, but someone said it might be due to her being edited a lot. The thing about Ken … he actually knows the answers…because he’s that guy.”

Although Mayim Bialik made the error, “Jeopardy!” champion Ryan Long is continuing on and is now on a 12-win streak on the show. 

Mayim Bialik Reveals That ‘Jeopardy!” Can Stop Taping For 60 Minutes When a Clue Correction Occurs 

During a recent interview with Wild Ride! With Steve-O podcast,” Mayim Bialik spoke about how “Jeopardy!” can stop taping for an hour due to a clue correction. “We sometimes shut down for close to an hour over one decision. So, you don’t see that. You just see the like, ‘Oh, they rule on this,’ but any episode where we correct someone’s score, like, ‘The judges have ruled that mahogany is also an acceptable tree that begins with an M,’ or whatever it is, usually means we’ve shut down for like an hour.”

Mayim Bialik also explained that judges’ decisions can change the course of the game. She noted there is an attorney on set to help with correction issues. “There’s a lawyer on set all day, a lawyer from standards and practices. Imagine going to law school, and you get placed on ‘Jeopardy!’ They just sit and make sure that everything’s kosher.”