Jeopardy! has been on the air for years, and some viewers might think they’ve seen it all. However, 2022 was full of talked-about moments for the show and its contestants. Here’s our list of the five most controversial Jeopardy! moments of the past year.
Fans Complain About Contestant Seeming Intoxicated
Maureen O’Neil is a fan-favorite contestant and was even chosen to participate in 2022’s Tournament of Champions. O’Neil went on a four-day winning streak during her time on the show, but some viewers apparently wondered if the contestant was under the influence while competing.
Many fans took to Twitter to ask if she was intoxicated. The reasoning behind these questions? Viewers pointed to her excitement while answering questions, as well as her tendency to incorrectly answer before correcting herself—behavior that seems awfully normal for anyone who gets to compete live on the legendary show. Read more about O’Neil’s performance here.
How Messy Handwriting Cost One Player A Win
Even casual viewers of Jeopardy! know that the game show is hard to win, from coming up with correct answers to buzzing in at the right millisecond. However, some fans rallied behind a contestant who lost big due to her untidy handwriting.
Sadie Goldberg and Megan Wachspress made it to Final Jeopardy!, where they both wrote “Harriet Tubman” in answer to the clue. However, Goldberg’s messy handwriting made it look like she had misspelled Tubman’s name, and she didn’t get credit for the answer. Read more about the reaction to Goldberg’s answer here.
Even The Show’s Crew Makes Mistakes
The people who organize Jeopardy! are usually always on the ball, coming up with tricky clues for the contestants to solve as well as being on call for any questions that pop up in the game itself. In one recent episode, though, Reddit users discovered that a clue was incorrect—although it didn’t ultimately affect the score.
Moving through the category about classic TV sitcoms, Ken Jennings glossed right over the typo. Funnily enough, the error turned an episode title into an extra hint. Read more about the mistake no one competing caught on this episode of Jeopardy! here.
One Player Got Blasted For ‘Shrieking’ Voice
It’s no surprise that Jeopardy! contestants can get excited while competing on the game show, but one player had some fans complaining about her noise level. Nicole Wachell was slammed by fans for “shrieking” while answering game questions.
Others defended Wachtell for her speaking voice, pointing that her day job as a teacher meant she had to use a commanding voice to control her students. Of course, there was also the volume down button right there, too. Read more about what fans had to say about Wachell’s speaking voice here.
Host Ken Jennings Accidentally Gave Away An Answer
Co-host Ken Jennings is known for his 74-game streak on the show, but even he makes mistakes. A fun round during the Tournament of Champions exhibition game contained numerical clues about each players’ own winning streak.
Jennings pointed out that each answer corresponded to a streak, listing them off. His mistake? One clue remained on the board, meaning Jennings had just given away the answer. Read more about Jennings’ goof, plus the contestants’ reactions, here.
Even though Jeopardy! has been on the air for decades, these controversial and surprising moments show that there’s still plenty of shocks and laughs to be had on the game show each year.