I’ll take “Jeopardy!” scores for $200.
What is… the lowest “Jeopardy!” score of all time?
That is correct. On March 12, 2015, Stephanie Hull posted a -$6,800 for the lowest score ever recorded on the long-running game show. As a result, she went down in history as the worst of all time. But on the bright side, at least she came away from the game as a record holder.
In a 2020 interview with Slate, Stephanie Hull, who is now a philosophy professor in Missouri, talked about her performance at length.
“I don’t particularly want to rewatch my own episode. I watched it when it aired in my local market that day. And that’s the last time I’ve seen it,” Hull said.
So she hasn’t gone back to analyze her gameplay, but Stephanie did have a few ideas about what exactly happened to put her in such a hole that day.
How Did a ‘Jeopardy!’ Score Get So Low?
“The Daily Doubles were gotten by the other players and that is really key in terms of strategy,” she told Slate. “I was trying to focus on the bottom of the board, which is typically where they’re found, but that is not where they all were in this particular Double Jeopardy! board. And the other thing was I buzzed in and answered incorrectly on every $2,000 question. I was trying to get myself out of the hole with high-value questions. They were very difficult questions and I couldn’t get myself out of the hole.”
Interestingly, Stephanie performed pretty well in the first round and was actually getting some answers right. It’s not like Stephanie was clueless up there. In the interview, she talked about how she has been a “Jeopardy!” fan her entire life. She followed along in 2003 for Ken Jennings’ legendary run. She knew strategy and knew exactly what she had to do to climb back into the game. It was just a fateful day.
“Imagine doing something that you’ve wanted to do your entire life and then it turning into that and you know you’re going to be on national TV, so you’re basically trying desperately not to cry. That’s kind of where I was,” she said in the 2020 Slate interview.
Stephanie even went so far as to delete some of her social media accounts after the performance. She correctly guessed that people weren’t going to be particularly encouraging to her.
At least one person offered some support. It wasn’t much, but in typical Alex Trebek fashion, he tried to justify the low score.
“That was a really weird board. That was just so weird,” the legendary “Jeopardy!” host said at the end of the show.