Ken Jennings has already excelled during his time as Jeopardy! host. After briefly serving as a guest host in early 2021, Jennings began sharing hosting duties with actress Mayim Bialik later that year. Turns out, even the man who won more than $4 million on the show isn’t perfect behind the podium.
Jennings’ blooper occurs in a recent episode of the Tournament of Champions. In the episode, three of the most successful contestants on the show—Mattea Roach, Matt Amodio, and Amy Schneider—competed in a more casual exhibition game. Together, the three contestants have won 101 Jeopardy! games. Because of their winning streaks, the three participants are qualified as “super champions.”
Why would the number of games the three players have won be important? Well, it just happens to be part of Jenning’s mistake. As the first round was coming to a close, the players finished off the “Number, Please” category. It had a secret underlying theme in all of its answers—they all correlated with the number of games won by each person on the show, Jennings included.
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With the $800 answer (74, the number of games Jennings won), $600 answer (38, the number of games Amodio won), and $1,000 answer (“To Infinity and Beyond,” the amount of games to be won in the future) already off the board, Schneider rang in for $400 prompt. She answered 23, which corresponded with the number of games that Roach won. At that point, the $200 prompt, with an answer of 40 for Schneider’s winning streak, still remained on the board. Apparently, Jennings didn’t see that last remaining clue in the category.
“I don’t know if you noticed,” remarked the host, “but the numbers in that category—40, 23, 38, and 74, which is larger than all of them,” winding up for a joke about his streak being the longest. Jennings paused for a moment, just long enough to realize his mistake in reading off the answer. “Oh sh*t,” the host cried while cringing and closing his eyes.
The audience quickly took note of his blooper, letting out a resounding “ohhhhhhh” in the auditorium as Jennings threw down his cue cards and pretended to leave the podium. Thankfully, he returned with a smile on his face. “We’ll just pretend,” he said. Amodio took the opportunity to make a joke of the host’s error, raising his buzzer and desperately trying to ring in to answer the spoiled clue.
Although it was only an exhibition game, many people are thankful the producers decided to leave the blooper in the video. As one fan commented on the YouTube video, “Credits to Mr. Davies and the rest of the production staff for being absolute heroes and leaving the entire blooper in the final cut of the episode. Fantastic.” We couldn’t agree more.