During Thursday night’s Jeopardy! episode, viewers and fans of the show recognized a rare error on the game show and called it out on social media.
Currently, guest host George Stephanopoulos is filling in, with his final episode airing July 16. He’s one of many celebrities to take over the trivia show since longtime host Alex Trebek passed away in November 2020. The current interim read aloud a clue about astronomer and mathematician Percival Lowell, which was part of the “Time For Science” category.
“Percival Lowell thought he saw these on the surface of Venus — some think it was a reflection of the blood vessels in his eye,” Stephanopoulos read to the contestants.
One of the contestants buzzed in and answered, “What are canals?” Stephanopoulos signaled that he indeed shared the correct answer. In addition, the contestant earned $1,600 for the right answer. But fans online jumped at the opportunity to correct the game show.
Evidently Jeopardy! messed up in the way they worded the clue. The game show mistakenly wrote Venus instead of Mars, which is where Lowell wrote about discovering the possibility of canals. The astronomer did write about Venus as well, but he said the planet featured “spokes,” not canals.
Numerous Jeopardy! fans jumped on Twitter to correct the game show. The mistake didn’t cost any contestant the game, and therefore didn’t turn into an even larger controversy. But fans at least made sure to note the show’s error.
“Pretty sure @Jeopardy made a mistake in one of its clues tonight. Lowell was known for believing he saw canals on Mars, not Venus,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Percival Lowell thought there were canals on MARS, not Venus. Big booboo on part of @Jeopardy. #jeopardy,” another fan tweeted.
‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host George Stephanopoulos Says the Show is ‘So Precise’
Earlier in the week as George Stephanopoulos‘ stint as guest host began, he ironically made comments about how precise the game show is. Only a few days later, Jeopardy! made the Venus mix up. However, the game show is typically spot on in his defense.
Following the “Final Jeopardy!” round, cameras captured Stephanopoulos speaking to the three contestants. At the end of the clip, he opened up a bit about his experience after hosting his debut episode. Monday night’s episode was the beginning of the Good Morning America host’s stint on the game show. He’s hosting five episodes, which run through tonight, Friday, July 16.
The game show often shares footage of the “Final Jeopardy!” round on their official YouTube channel. Yet after his debut, they added a brief behind-the-scenes look into his chat with the contestants.
Jeopardy!‘s returning champion at the time, Jen Jazwinski, had just been dethroned by newcomer Tim Moon. As the show wrapped up, the cameras kept rolling as Stephanopoulos addressed the contestants. Jazwinski said to Stephanopoulos, “You did a great job up there.”
“It’s very different from anything else I’ve done,” the Jeopardy! guest host replied. “The show is so precise.”
“Yeah, and a lot of moving parts that you have to track all over,” Jazwinski said.
“We were talking about it yesterday. On my day job Good Morning America, if you make a mistake, it’s not a big deal. Like reacting to the mistake is part of the job. Here, you can’t make a mistake,” he added.
While we now know the game show does occasionally make mistakes, it is a rarity. We’ve got a feeling the game show will be triple-checking its clues for the foreseeable future after this week’s error.